The basic firmware of every PC contains many powerful functions, which is why a few incorrect settings can prevent successful startup. We’ll tell you which options you should stay away from.
Avoid changing functions in the BIOS or Uefi that you do not know 100 percent about what they do.
The BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) is the basic firmware of a computer, which is located in an extra chip on the motherboard. The BIOS starts immediately after switching on the PC and carries out a self-test (called POST), during which the installed hardware is checked for functionality. If there are no problems, the BIOS transfers it to the operating system, such as Windows.
BIOS, the predecessor of Uefi
In the meantime, the BIOS has been replaced by the more modern Uefi, which stands for “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface”. It offers at least the same functionality as the BIOS, just with a fresh user interface that you can navigate using your mouse and keyboard. Sometimes the Uefi also offers other features that are supposed to increase user comfort.
Who still knows it? The old BIOS wasn’t exactly an eye catcher.
Both firmwares can be accessed directly after switching on the computer by pressing a certain key – usually with Del or F2, more details can be found in the manual of the mainboard. But the Uefi can be opened from Windows 10 by holding down the Shift key while you click the command to restart.
From Bios to Uefi: This is how the transition works without any problems
BIOS and Uefi: Incorrect settings can have far-reaching consequences
As already mentioned at the beginning, BIOS and Uefi offer numerous setting options. However, they should be carefully considered, as an incorrectly set option is sufficient to prevent the PC from starting up. But don’t worry, this can usually be fixed by resetting the firmware: How to reset the BIOS or Uefi correctly
Error 1: change the boot order
The boot order defines the medium from which the operating system should be started.
The boot order defines the medium from which the operating system should be started. As a rule, the system hard drive should come first here. All of the following options only come into play if the medium beforehand does not offer anything to boot. After a firmware update, power failure or the installation of new hardware (especially new hard drives) it can happen that this order gets mixed up and you get an error message instead of the Windows logon screen the next time you start it. So always make sure that the correct drive always comes first.
Error 2: Overclocking the CPU
The Uefi in particular offers many options to improve the performance of the processor.
The Uefi in particular offers many options to improve the performance of the processor by changing other values such as the multiplier, voltages and other options. Pros use exactly these settings for overclocking – but they also know what they are doing, and the performance improvements can sometimes be very large. If you have little idea, you should use programs that can be operated in the Windows environment, such as Ryzen Master for AMD Ryzen CPUs or Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility. Because incorrect settings in the Uefi can lead to an unstable system or even to the fact that the PC no longer starts up.
Error 3: Overclocking memory
At most, we recommend setting the XMP or DOCP profiles stored in the RAM, which are usually risk-free.
The RAM can also be overclocked in the firmware. This is also about latencies, speeds and tensions. As with the CPU, beginners should keep their hands off this. At most, we recommend setting the XMP or DOCP profiles stored in the RAM, which are usually risk-free. An incorrectly set RAM prevents a PC from booting or causes sudden crashes and freezes.
Error 4: Secure Boot and other operating systems
“Secure Boot” ensures that malicious software cannot hijack the operating system by only allowing validated operating systems.
If you want to use other operating systems such as Linux in addition to Windows, for example because it is a kind of emergency USB stick for solving PC problems, you should deactivate the “Secure Boot” option in the firmware. Because it ensures that malicious software can hijack the operating system by only allowing validated operating systems. However, many Linux derivatives or even older Windows versions (such as Windows 7) do not have such a signature, which is why booting is prevented.
Error 5: No legacy mode
The Uefi also offers a so-called legacy mode, which leads other operating systems to believe that it is the older BIOS.
The Uefi also offers a so-called legacy mode, which leads other operating systems to believe that it is the older BIOS. This option is important if you are still using old Windows versions such as 7. Because that doesn’t get along with the newer Uefi and booting is not possible.
Error 6: incorrectly importing updates
Like everything else on the PC, the BIOS or Uefi can also be updated. This now even works directly via the Internet within the firmware, but also always via a USB stick that contains the new version.
Like everything else on the PC, the BIOS or Uefi can also be updated. This now even works directly via the Internet within the firmware, but also always via a USB stick that contains the new version. Now it can happen that you have downloaded the wrong version, the power fails during the update or you accidentally switch off your PC because you suspect an error during the update. In the worst case, you will destroy your BIOS / Uefi and your PC will no longer make a sound and a reset is usually no longer possible. Some mainboards are equipped with a second firmware chip that cannot be overwritten so that the software can be restored. So double-check that you have the right version and give the update plenty of time.
Error 7: Incorrect fan settings
The Uefi usually also offers the option to change the rotation speed of the CPU and case fans.
The Uefi usually also offers the option to change the rotation speed of the CPU and case fans. Often the mainboard manufacturer also offers profiles such as “Turbo” or “Silent” for this, alternatively you can also create your own fan curves. Incorrect settings, however, can cause the fans to rotate insufficiently and the hardware to heat up too much, or the fans to rustle suddenly or continuously too loudly, although it is not necessary at all. So it’s best to stick to the manufacturer’s profiles if you’re not sure how to sensibly create a fan curve.
Error 8: No AHCI for SSDs
AHCI, stands for “Advanced Host Controller Interface”.
If you still use a BIOS instead of a Uefi and you install an SSD, the following function is important: AHCI, which stands for “Advanced Host Controller Interface”. You will only benefit from the full speed of the flash storage medium if you activate this option after installing the SSD, otherwise it will be slowed down. AHCI can sometimes be deactivated at Uefi for various reasons, but this is not the rule. So take a look if the response times seem too long to you.