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Can we talk BIOS....

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posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:02 PM
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Updating BIOS.
Making changes to BIOS.
Cleaning BIOS.

Three things I was told not to do.
I mean, BIOS is a scary as hell thing to mess with if things go wrong.

So, why do PC manufacturers want you to update BIOS?

My PC is not quite two years old, and Dell is tying to con me into a second BIOS update already.
Of course they say it is URGENT.
And of course my PC is plugged into a UPS.

But, I still am not convinced this update is a good thing.

So, could we have a good discussion on the pros and cons of BIOS updates????
I am sure there are plenty here that either have opinions, or are wondering just like I am.


To BIOS, or not to BIOS?
THAT is the question




posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

Bios are sort of like updating your drivers except its more focused on the hardware.

RAM is constantly being upgraded like on a daily basis , and now SSD's and of course your mother board .

But missing a BIOS is not a huge deal , but missing several of them can maybe cause issues in the long run .

I would say BIOS .



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:21 PM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

Bios is not what it used to be. Legacy bios had no direct interaction with the host operating system. UEFI bios changed this. Being only 2 years old from dell its almost certainly uefi. Since the advent of uefi, bios uodates are arguably more urgent than legacy bios updates. With every technology improvement or innovation you have to always ask yourself 2 questions
1.) How does this benefit me?
2.) How does this benefit someone else?



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:24 PM
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If you are using your PC for what you need currently and are having no issues. Don't update it.

Don't fix what isn't broken. If you have new things on the horizon or are having problems, than do so.

I'm no expert but seems the right course of action. Best of luck!
edit on 9192020 by Gnawledge because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: drewlander

What makes the UEFI more urgent?
I think you are right about mine being UEFI, but I'd have to look around to find out.



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 10:47 PM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

Find or request the BIOS release notes. What is the update fixing?
Sometimes it's an update to plug a security vulnerability but most often it's just minor fix or enhancements that very few would even care to update or notice any 'improved' difference.

As to BIOS updates I usually wait 3-4 months and monitor applicable forums to see if anyone is screaming Do not update; another words I wait for any potential fallout.



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 11:15 PM
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originally posted by: DontTreadOnMe
To BIOS, or not to BIOS?
THAT is the question


If it's not broke, don't fix it!



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 11:27 PM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

The BIOS, as you probably know, is the core of how your system (hardware) operates. Every single thing that tells your hardware how to run and from where is in the BIOS.

From a tech standpoint vs someone who isn't, I wouldn't advise anyone to touch it that isn't familiar with it. It can do irreparable damage to the system. One wrong setting could damage your memory, your processor and your motherboard all in one go. It can literally take out your entire system leaving you with 100% scrap and pretty close.


That would be the only reason I could think of.


It's kind of like what the registry is to windows is what the bios is to your hardware. Of course, these are broad definitions but as close to home as you can get without being technical and breaking everything down.


Drivers for CMOS are tricky. If you have a corrupt file, bad file or something just not right, the update can brick your system that's why it should always be done by someone who knows what they're looking at.


In all honesty... You wont learn till you do it. Google is a good source. Even as a tech, I still search for documents and info on stuff all the time to help with whatever I need done. Though - I'm used to this sort of work as it's been my day job for as long as I can remember in one fashion or another.


I think computer companies should not encourage anyone to mess with the BIOS or the Registry because it can be just as technical as rebuilding a car engine and oftentimes more so! lol

But... computer companies need to sell computers and they do that by replacing the ones you break. Hense, the BIOS isn't their problem. But then, on the other hand.... It really isn't. There are so many companies involved in just one computer it isn't even funny. Probably hundreds or more when you include the software. Every component is made by a different source so I guess it's really the person who's software is on the BIOS's issue (man that's hard to say). So I suppose anyone else like Dell wouldn't care. They don't own the bios just like they don't own the software - and possibly more components on the system. They may own the board itself and the memory and some of the general software but that's about it.


edit on 19-9-2020 by StallionDuck because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2020 @ 11:31 PM
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Sorry - I got a little off there and forgot my main point.


BIOS like software, isn't perfect. Updates have to be made. Sometimes hardware changes or becomes available that needs to be compatible or included in the BIOS so it's updated now and then. Oftentimes, if you buy new components for your computer, it's best to update the bios.


I've come into problems over the years where updating the bios really does help. Sometimes it can benefit system performance as well.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 12:47 AM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

The OS can interact directly with the bios. Normally the hardware abstraction layer sits between your host OS and this subsystem. Without that gap, an attacker could in theory access the lowest levels of your hardware to hide an attack vector.

This means doing an " OS reset" is pointless. Your hardware is pooched. Completely. You can never again safely use the hardware unless you update the firmware, but any device used to update the firmware (usb flash drive for example) could become infected and retransmit an infection to any device in which it (the flash drive ) is later mounted.
edit on 20-9-2020 by drewlander because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-9-2020 by drewlander because: Drinking



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 01:14 AM
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BIOS or UEFI ?
Important question.

BIOS is the older CMOS system that set up basic devices , then passed the control to the OS .
UEFI is the newer and assumes near full control over the OS.

With BIOS , unless you are having an issue fixed by a firmware update , leave em alone.
With UEFI , it is the opposite , as some updates are put out to head off problems .

Shhhh...I usually check my system board's site weekly

edit on 9/20/20 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 01:21 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

It is a lot harder to update legacy bios than uefi. That, boot speed, and support for 2tb+ drives are the only advantages to uefi from my perspective.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 04:08 AM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: Gothmog

It is a lot harder to update legacy bios than uefi. That, boot speed, and support for 2tb+ drives are the only advantages to uefi from my perspective.

Drivers load in UEFI
CPU firmware is updated in UEFI
Fan control speed can be set in UEFI
System can be overclocked in UEFI
UEFI does not give over 2 TB capability other than its tie in to GPT partitioning of the HDD in the OS which provides > 4Tb access.
A lot of other good stuff.

edit on 9/20/20 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 04:19 AM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: Gothmog

It is a lot harder to update legacy bios than uefi. That, boot speed, and support for 2tb+ drives are the only advantages to uefi from my perspective.

They are basically the same method.
Except BIOS had to be updated from a bootable media or OS.
UEFI can be updated directly in the UEFI
It is still nothing but EEPROM writing.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 04:47 AM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

If I recall Dell handles such updates automatically, allowing you to just click "OK" with everything else ( the flash and reboots ) all happening automatically.

If so, it's simple and painless as long as nothing goes horribly wrong ( unexpected power outage or somebody getting antsy and holding a power key down to force a mid-update reboot as examples ).

These updates are often universally beneficial, maybe adjusting voltage curves to help with thermals and throttling and things like that. Sometimes they're reactions to problems that only effect smaller groups of users who use specific programs or features.

In the case of Dell it's a pretty safe option IMO. Dell systems are very standardized ( most users haven't changed any of their internals ) which allows them to optimize such updates in a one size fits all approach. Dell is also motivated to be cautious because tens of thousands of bricked systems wouldn't be good press nor financially viable.

Long story short: The BIOS update almost certainly won't cause violence to your system and very possibly could improve performance.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 05:43 AM
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First thing: what does the new version has? Knowing what the new things are helps deciding if you need/want it or not.

Second thing: does your motherboard have a backup BIOS memory? Some motherboards have a backup memoray that, in case something goes wrong with the main EEPROM, can be copied over to put things as they were when the computer left the factory. If your computer's motherboard has one of those you can see how to use it and then be safer in the BIOS update, as you will know that you can put things as they were.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 08:16 AM
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How does one know if the PC has UEFI or the older BIOS??

And what happens if this update fails?



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 08:46 AM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

They are accessible as a choice on startup via the setup menu. If you change the setting, you may need to reinstall your OS.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

And if uefi is compromised like LoJax then you are screwed. Imagine when emotet starts using lojax rootkit. All these "improvements" become a liability. Perception is reality. Look at it from a defensive perspective and you gave up security for accessibility.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: drewlander

What is accessible on the startup menu?????





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