BIOS is an acronym that stands for Basic Input Output System.Also know as "System Setup", the BIOS is software that is contained on a small memory chip on the PC's Motherboard, typically referred to as the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor).
The BIOS also contains instructions that the PC uses to perform basic instructions, such as whether to Boot from Network or Hard drive, which drive to Boot from first.
BIOS is also used to identify and configure hardware components in a computer such as the hard drive, floppy drive, optical drive, CPU, memory, Plug and Play devices etc.
This is called the ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) and this is usually stored in additional non-volatile memory also referred to as NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) Over the years as technology has changed people still refer to the BIOS as both CMOS and NVRAM, however they are subtly different.
The CMOS contains the BIOS and its settings, the NVRAM contains the ESCD, updating the BIOS will not clear the NVRAM.
You can enter the system BIOS or Setup on a Dell PC by pressing F2 at the Dell loading screen.
Or by pressing F12 and selecting BIOS Setup from the menu. The BIOS interface is designed for advanced users, you can change a setting that could prevent your computer from starting correctly and you could suffer potential loss of data.Dell recommends updating the BIOS as part of your scheduled update cycle.Like Operating System and driver revisions, the update contains feature enhancements or changes that will help keep your system software current and compatible with other system modules (hardware, firmware, drivers and software) as well as providing security updates and increased stability.Unlike Windows and Anti-Virus program updates which are usually automatic, BIOS has to be updated manually.Dell provides an easy to use self installing update package that allows this task to be performed relatively easily.There are several ways to check your BIOS version but the easiest is to use System Information.