What is a BIOS
BIOS, Basic Input / Output System, It is the firmware that began to come on motherboards since 1975. Although it started as a series of instructions for the computer to start working, over time it became more complex so that it could store user data, such as options boot, hardware behavior, overclock and much more.
BIOS is the most basic and simple type of firmware that we can find. In addition to its limited options, it basically takes care of POST control and that everything is correct. And since it became outdated (for example, it cannot boot from hard drives larger than 2 TB), a new type of firmware had to be released: UEFI.
What is UEFI
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is roughly an improved BIOS. This system is also loaded before the operating system and is much more complete and intuitive than this. From the UEFI we can also use the mouse to move through all its options, and we can also even be connected to the Internet. Today, UEFIs are almost like complete operating systems.
UEFI systems remove the restrictions and limitations of traditional BIOS systems. For example, this type of motherboard can work with up to 9.4 ZettaBytes (more than 10,000 million Terabytes), 3 times larger than what is believed to be the entire Internet today. It is also compatible with GPT partition tables, so we can use large hard drives without problems.
This type of firmware also has other advanced features such as, for example, the ability to save the Windows key on the board itself (goodbye to stickers) or Secure Boot, the secure boot that prevents unsigned operating systems from loading without permission . Also advanced encryption support and many other cool features must-haves to take full advantage of the hardware’s potential.
Unfortunately, If your computer has BIOS, you will not be able to change it to a UEFI system. You will have to buy a new motherboard, with this system, and mount the PC on it.
When we are interested in finding out what type of firmware our PC uses
In most cases, it will not be necessary to know if our computer uses a BIOS or uses a UEFI system. This, to most users, does not contribute anything. Neither system affects, broadly speaking, the overall functioning of the operating system. However, some advanced users may need to know this information.
For example, when installing a new operating system, or having to repair it, it is necessary to know what platform our PC runs on. The same happens, for example, if we are thinking of overclocking the computer, since it is much easier and more stable to do it from UEFI than from the classic BIOS.
The same happens if we like to have our computer always up to date. New BIOS and UEFI versions often fix bugs and improve compatibility with all kinds of PC components. Therefore, if we are going to look for new versions to update them, it is necessary to know what platform we are working on.
Whatever the reason, we are going to explain how we can find out the type of firmware our PC uses.
Find out if our motherboard uses BIOS or UEFI
There are several ways to find out the type of firmware that our motherboard has. In order not to depend on programs, and to be able to find out as quickly as possible, we are going to use an operating system tool known as «System information«.
This simple tool will allow us to know, broadly speaking, the hardware information of our computer. For example, we can see information about the system, motherboard, processor, RAM, etc.
To find out the type of firmware our computer uses, all we have to do is type in the address bar “Msinfo”. We will run the “System Information” program that will appear and we will allow you a few moments until you finish collecting and processing the information.
Within the section «System Summary»We will be able to find the information that interests us. Specifically, within the entry «BIOS mode ». Here we will be able to see the type of system that we use, although it is a classic, or an advanced EFI system.
We already know the type of firmware on our motherboard. Now we are going to find out its date, so that we can easily check if there are new versions that can improve our PC.
View the BIOS or UEFI date of the PC
Taking advantage of the fact that we still have msinfo open, in the «System overview»We are going to find other important data. The one that interests us on this occasion, in order to know when the BIOS or UEFI version that we have on our PC was released is that of «BIOS version and date«.
Now that we know the version, the only thing left to do is go to the manufacturer’s website (which, if we don’t know it, we can find this information in the «Motherboard manufacturer«), Find the model (which is in the«Motherboard product«), And look for a new BIOS or UEFI on the PC.