What exactly the software in the BIOS do ? - Minix

This is a discussion on What exactly the software in the BIOS do ? - Minix ; Hi, What is the exact work of a BIOS chip residing on the motherboard ? does it do the wellness checking of the attached devices basically keyboard, monitor, ram only or all the devices attached ? Thnaks. Srinivas...

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Thread: What exactly the software in the BIOS do ?

  1. What exactly the software in the BIOS do ?

    Hi,

    What is the exact work of a BIOS chip residing on the motherboard ?
    does it do the wellness checking of the attached devices basically
    keyboard, monitor, ram only or all the devices attached ?

    Thnaks.
    Srinivas


  2. Re: What exactly the software in the BIOS do ?

    Hello,

    > What is the exact work of a BIOS chip residing on the motherboard ?


    Getting the mainboard and the most critical devices (memory, keyboard,
    display) to work in a foreseeable way. That means initializing these
    devices, together with the chipset the mainboard is based on.
    Apart from that, it provides some crucial routines needed to do basic stuff,
    e.g. reading a sector of the disk or displaying a character. These, as you
    know, work only in real mode, so that in protected mode a driver for the
    interface is needed.
    DOS uses the BIOS for almost everything.

    > does it do the wellness checking of the attached devices basically
    > keyboard, monitor, ram only or all the devices attached ?


    That depends if you have your BIOS set up in PnP or Non-PnP mode. In PnP
    mode, only the crucial devices (chipset, memory, display, keyboard, disk)
    are initialized and assigned ressources, while in Non-PnP mode every device
    is initialized (by jumping into a special ROM on that particular device,
    e.g. SCSI-adaptor which is not used to boot, sound card, nic if not used to
    book). PnP mode leaves any additional devices to the operating system, which
    may (or may not) assign ressources based on different needs (like
    IRQ-sharing or whatever).

    In e.g. Windows 98 conflicts can come up, because the ressources are not
    assigned properly by the OS; then you should change your CMOS to Non-PnP
    mode. The BIOS then assigns these ressources and Windows simply uses the
    already-assigned ressources and doesn't bother to initialize again. This, of
    course, only works with devices which are (a) present at boot-time and (b)
    have the intelligence to tell the BIOS what how to do or the code to do it
    themselves.

    Regards,
    Sebastian



  3. Re: What exactly the software in the BIOS do ?

    sinu.nayak2001@gmail.com wrote:
    > Hi,


    > What is the exact work of a BIOS chip residing on the motherboard ?
    > does it do the wellness checking of the attached devices basically
    > keyboard, monitor, ram only or all the devices attached ?


    BIOS is short for "Basic Input Output System" and operates devices before
    a full-blown OS has been loaded into memory. For some OS-es (like MS-DOS),
    the BIOS software stays active and plays an integral role in I/O
    operations, other OS-es take over the functionality of the BIOS once they
    are up and running. Wellness checking of devices is only an optional part
    of a BIOS (although commonplace nowadays). Earlier BIOS-es simply started
    executing and died horribly in the case of hardware failure. The BIOS is
    the first software run on a CPU after power-up. For more info chech
    Wikiiedia and Google.

    Regards,

    Jens

    --
    Jens de Smit
    Student Computer Science | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    jfdsmit@few.vu.nl | http://www.few.vu.nl/~jfdsmit

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