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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | System BIOS | BIOS Setup Program ]

Setup Program Interfaces

There is no standard interface for the BIOS setup program; it varies depending on the manufacturer and even within BIOSes by the same manufacturer. You would think that with only two companies (Award and American Megatrends, better known as AMI) dominating the field that they could coordinate and come up with some sort of a standard, but this has not happened. In fact, just the opposite, since AMI's newer BIOSes are actually Windows-like, complete with cursor and mouse control! Most traditional setup programs are text-based and use menus.

As PCs have grown more complex, they have started to have more and more settings that can be controlled. Generally speaking, this is a good thing, because you have much more control over how your system works than you ever have had before. However, it can also mean some confusion. Early PCs had a very simple setup program, sometimes even just a list of 10 or 12 questions displayed on the screen. Newer ones use sections to organize the various settings. Most PCs of the same general caliber will have similar settings, even though they may be organized differently.

Next: Entering the BIOS Setup Program

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