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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - BIOS Setup Utility Information and Menu Options

This information applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers.

This document contains information on what the BIOS program is and how to use the BIOS Setup utility.

Your computer includes a BIOS Setup utility for changing important computer settings. This document does not define specific default BIOS settings because too many differences exist between computer models. This document includes typical examples. Your system might be different.

Finding the BIOS version

Use the following steps to find the BIOS version for your computer:

Show me how

  1. Turn off the computer and wait five seconds.

  2. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F10 key repeatedly until a BIOS Setup screen opens.

    If nothing happens, press the F1 key repeatedly.

  3. In the BIOS Setup utility, do one of the following:

    • On the Main tab, find the BIOS version.

      Figure 1: Finding the version for BIOS version 6 or less

      Finding the BIOS version
    • On the File tab, use the down arrow to select System Information , and then press Enter .

      Figure 2: Finding the BIOS version

      Finding the BIOS version
      On the System Information screen, find the BIOS version.

      Figure 3: Finding the version for BIOS version 7 or greater

      Finding the BIOS version

Updating the BIOS

If you are looking for information on updating the BIOS, see Updating the BIOS .

What is the BIOS Setup utility?

Use the BIOS Setup utility to change important BIOS settings for the computer. Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a program that controls communication between all input and output devices on the computer (such as disk drives, display, keyboard, mouse, and printer). The BIOS settings are stored in a chip on the motherboard CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) memory. A battery on the motherboard keeps the settings from being lost when the system is turned off.

The BIOS stores configuration information such as:

  • The addresses of devices (hard disk drives, for example), that are attached to the computer.

  • The startup sequence of the computer.

  • The amount of system and extended memory.

CAUTION: The information stored by the BIOS Setup utility is essential for correct computer operation. Do not change settings without understanding what will happen. Use caution when making changes in the BIOS Setup utility. A mistake could prevent the computer from operating correctly or Windows from opening.

Entering the BIOS Setup utility

Use one of the following sections to open the BIOS Setup utility.

BIOS version 6 or less

  1. Turn off the computer and wait five seconds.

  2. Turn on the computer.

  3. When the first screen displays, do one of the following:

    • Immediately press the F10 key if your computer was built in 2006 or later (came with Vista or Windows 7). Press the key once every second until a BIOS Setup utility screen opens.

    • Immediately press the F1 key if your computer was built before 2006 (XP or earlier). Press the key once every second until a BIOS Setup utility screen opens.

      NOTE: On some Compaq Presario computers (before 2002), press the F10 key at the logo screen.

BIOS version 7 or greater

  1. Turn off the computer and wait five seconds.

  2. Turn on the computer.

  3. When the first screen displays, do one of the following:

    • Immediately press the F10 key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Computer Setup program opens.

    • Immediately press the Escape key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup menu opens. Then press F10 to open the Computer Setup program.

Navigating through the BIOS Setup utility

Use one of the following sections to navigate through the BIOS Setup utility.

BIOS version 6 or less

Help is displayed on the right side or bottom of the screen.

To move through the BIOS, use the keyboard keys as listed in the following table:

Key on keyboard
Description of function
Left or right arrow key
Selects a different menu screen. (Moves the cursor left or right).
Up or down arrow key
Selects an item. (Moves the cursor up or down).
Enter
Executes a command or selects a submenu.
F5
Loads the default configuration values for the current menu.
If you think a BIOS setting might be wrong, you can reload the defaults. For more information, see Reloading the default settings .
F10
Saves the current values and exits the BIOS Setup program.
Esc (Escape)
Exits the menu or exits the BIOS Setup program without saving.
NOTE: Your mouse will not function in the BIOS setup screens.

BIOS version 7 or greater

To move through the BIOS, use the keyboard keys as listed in the following table:

Key on keyboard
Description of function
Left or right arrow key
Selects a different menu screen (moves the cursor left or right).
Up or down arrow key
Selects an item (moves the cursor up or down).
Enter
Executes a command or selects a submenu.
F10
Saves the current values and returns to the previous menu.
Esc (Escape)
Exits the menu or the BIOS Setup program without saving any changes.

Reloading the BIOS default settings

Use one of the following sections to reload the factory BIOS settings to the default setup :

BIOS version 6 or less

  1. Press the F5 function key.

  2. Select Yes or OK .

  3. Press the Enter key.

  4. Press the F10 function key.

  5. Select Yes or OK to save the defaults.

You can also complete the following steps to reload the factory BIOS settings using the menu:

  1. In the BIOS Setup utility, select the Exit tab.

  2. Select Load Setup Defaults .

  3. The system prompts you to load the optimized setup defaults. Select Yes or OK and press the Enter key.

  4. Select Exit Saving Changes .

  5. Press Esc and then press Enter to exit Setup.

BIOS version 7 or greater

  1. In the BIOS Setup utility, select the File tab.

  2. Select Apply Defaults and Exit .

    The default settings are restored, the BIOS setup utility closes, and the computer boots into Windows.

BIOS Setup menu tabs

The BIOS Setup utility screen has five different tabs along the top. Use the following sections to learn more about the information on each tab.

BIOS version 6 or less

The tab headings are listed as follows:

Main
Advanced
Power
Boot
Exit
Allocates resources for hardware components
BIOS Setup initially displays the Main menu screen.
Configures advanced features available through the chipset
Configures power management features
Selects boot options and power supply controls
Saves or discards changes to Setup program options.
See the Main menu screen.
See the Advanced menu screen.
See the Power menu screen.
See the Boot menu screen.
See the Exit menu screen.

BIOS version 7 or greater

The tab headings are listed as follows:

File
Storage
Security
Power
Advanced
Displays system information, sets date and time, and saves or discards changes to Setup program options.
BIOS Setup initially displays the File menu screen.
Displays storage device information, configures and tests the storage devices, and selects boot options.
Set passwords and security settings for system devices, and view the System IDs for the computer
Configures power management features.
Configures power-on and bus options, and device options such as the Num lock key.
See the File menu screen.
See the Storage menu screen.
See the Security menu screen.
See the Power menu screen.
See the Advanced menu screen.

BIOS Setup menu screens

Use the information in the following sections to modify the BIOS settings for the computer.

BIOS version 6 or less

Each screen shows different options for modifying the system configuration.

Main menu

The Main tab of the BIOS Setup shows the following typical items on the screen. (Your system might be different):

Figure 4: Example of Phoenix - Award main screen

Figure 5: Example of American Megatrends main screen

  • System Time

  • System Date

  • Language

  • Floppy Diskette (optional)

  • Channel Devices (types of hard disk drives and CD or DVD optical disc drives). Select the Channel Device to view the Channel Device submenu and the hard disk drive settings, such as cylinders, sectors, and capacity, and CD or DVD optical disc drive settings.

  • Installed Memory (RAM). Includes Memory Banks.

  • BIOS Revision

  • Core Version

Channel Device submenu

Two common Channel Device submenu screens and their options are listed below.

Example 1:

  • Device: (Hard disk drive or optical disc drive)

  • Vendor

  • Size

  • LBA Mode

  • Block Mode

  • PIO Mode

  • Heads

  • Async DMA

  • Ultra DMA

  • SMART Support (Available on many computers released after May 2005. See Testing the Hard Drive Using SMART for more information).

  • Type

  • Block (Multi-Sector Transfer) Mode

  • PIO Mode

  • DMA Mode

  • 32Bit Data Transfer Mode

Example 2:

  • IDE HDD Auto-Detection

  • IDE Channel 0 Master [Auto]

  • Access Mode [Auto]

  • Capacity

  • Cylinder

  • Head

  • Precomp

  • Landing Zone

  • Sector

  • SMART Support (Available on many computers that were released after May 2005. See Testing the Hard Drive Using SMART for more information).

  • Transfer Mode

Advanced menu

The Advanced tab of the BIOS Setup shows the following typical items on the screen. (Your system might be different and not include all items):

CAUTION: Setting items on this menu to incorrect values might cause your system to malfunction.

Figure 6: Example of an Advanced screen

  • CPU type

  • CPU speed

  • Cache RAM (Memory used by the processor)

  • Plug and Play O/S

  • Reset Configuration Data (Initialize the NVRAM)

  • Primary Video Adapter (The graphics adapter type used at startup - set to the slot-type if installing a video card).

  • Onboard Video Memory Size (The amount of memory taken from system memory to be used by the onboard video hardware)

  • PS/2 Mouse

  • Large Disk Access Mode

  • Local Bus IDE Adapter

  • Onboard SATA Adapter

  • Onboard PATA/SATA Adapters

  • Onboard PATA/SATA Configuration

  • USB Legacy Mode Support

  • Onboard TV-out Format

  • Onboard LAN

    NOTE: Onboard devices such as LAN, audio, or video might also appear under PCI or I/O Device configuration.
  • Onboard LAN Boot ROM

  • Onboard 1394

  • Onboard Audio (Disable when installing an Audio card)

  • Supervisor Password

Power menu

The Power tab of the BIOS Setup shows the following typical items on the screen. (Your system might be different and not include all items):

Figure 7: Example of a Power screen

Two common Power menu screens and options are listed below.

Example 1:

  • After AC Power Failure

  • WOL (Wake-On-Lan) in S4 power state

  • Hyper-Threading (Advanced or Hidden)

  • No Execution (NX/XD)

Example 2:

  • Power Savings

  • Auto Suspend Timeout

  • Hard Disk Timeout

  • IDE Primary Master (power saving setting)

  • IDE Primary Slave (power saving setting)

  • IDE Secondary Master (power saving setting)

  • IDE Secondary Slave (power saving setting)

  • IRQ assigned to modem

  • Power button behavior

  • Restore on AC/Power Loss

Boot menu

The Boot tab of the BIOS Setup shows the following typical items on the screen. (Your system might be different and not include all items):

Figure 8: Example of a Boot screen

  • Boot-time Diagnostic screen

  • Boot Device Priority (The order for the boot process. For example, removable devices, DVD optical drive, and hard disk drive).

Exit menu

The Exit tab of the BIOS Setup shows the following typical items on the screen. (Your system might be different and not include all items):

Figure 9: Example of an Exit screen

  • Exit Saving Changes

  • Exit Discarding Changes

  • Load Setup Defaults

  • Discard Changes

  • Save Changes

BIOS version 7 or greater

Each screen in the BIOS Setup program shows different options for modifying the system configuration.

File menu

The File menu contains the following items:

System Information - Displays information about the computer.

About - Displays information about the setup utility.

Set Time and Date - Select this to set the time and date.

Apply Defaults and Exit - Select this to return the computer to the default settings and exit from Setup.

Ignore Changes and Exit - Select this to ignore the changes and exit from Setup.

Save Changes and Exit - Select this to save the settings and exit from Setup.

Use the following sections to learn more about each item:

System Information

This screen displays information about the computer.

Figure 10: System Information screen

System information screen
The following items display in the system information screen.
Main menu
Displayed information
Product Name
Displays the model number of your HP computer.
SKU Number
Displays the product number of your HP computer.
Processor Type
Displays the processor type of your HP computer.
Processor Speed
Displays the processor speed of your HP computer.
Processor stepping
Displays the microprocessor version of your HP computer.
Cache Size (L1/L2/L3)
Displays the size of each of the caches.
Memory Size
Displays the total amount of RAM in the computer, the memory type and speed, and the amount of memory installed in each socket.
Integrated MAC (Media Access Controller)
Displays the MAC address for the integrated network adapter.
System BIOS
Displays BIOS version.
Chassis Serial Number
Displays the serial number of your HP computer.
About

The About screen displays copyright information for the System BIOS and Setup Utility.

Figure 11: About screen

About screen
Set Time and Date

Use the up and down arrow keys to select between the time and date. Use the left and right arrow keys to adjust the time and date - the left arrow decreases the number and the right arrow increases it. When done, press F10 to accept the changes, or press ESC to exit without saving the changes.

Figure 12: Setting the time and date

Setting the time and date
Apply Defaults and Exit

Select this to return the computer to the default settings and exit from Setup.

  1. In the BIOS Setup utility, select the File tab.

  2. Select Apply Defaults and Exit .

Figure 13: Setting the defaults

Setting the defaults
Ignore Changes and Exit

Select this to ignore the changes and exit from Setup.

Figure 14: Ignore changes

Ignore Changes and Exit
Save Changes and Exit

Select this to save the settings and exit from Setup.

Figure 15: Save changes

Ignore Changes and Exit

Storage menu

The Storage menu contains the following items:

Device Configuration - Select this to view device information and configure the storage devices.

Storage Options - Select this to change from SATA emulation to AHCI.

DPS Self-test - Select this to check the hard drive.

Boot Order - Select this to change the order of the devices from which the computer boots.

Use the following sections to learn more about each item:

Device Configuration

Use the Device Configuration to view the device information and change the emulation type for the hard disk drive and the optical drive. Use the up and down arrow keys to select the item. Then press the Enter key.

Figure 16: Device configuration screen

Device Configuration screen

In the Device settings screen, the following information is available: Size, Model, Firmware version, Serial Number, and Emulation Type. To change the Emulation type, press the left and right arrow key to change the setting. Then press F10 to accept the change or press ESC to cancel the changes and return to the previous menu.

Figure 17: Device settings screen

Device settings screen

The following table shows the information available in the Device Configuration screen:

Size
Displays the size of the device.
Model
Displays the model number of the device.
Firmware
Displays the firmware version of the device.
Serial Number
Displays the serial number of the device.
Emulation Type
Change the Emulation Type of the device.
Storage Options

To change from SATA emulation to AHCI, use the left and right arrow keys to make a selection. Then press F10 to save the changes or ESC to cancel and return to the previous screen without saving the changes.

Figure 18: Storage options screen

Storage options screen
DPS Self-test

The Drive Protection System (DPS) self-test is a diagnostic tool built into the hard drive to help diagnose problems with the drive. Press Enter to begin the test.

Figure 19: DPS Self-test screen

DPS Self-test screen

A screen displays showing the estimated time to complete the test. Press OK to start the test.

Figure 20: Starting the DPS test

Starting the DPS test

A screen displays a graphic showing the progress of the test. To cancel the test from this screen, press the ESC key.

Figure 21: DPS progress screen

DPS progress screen

When the test is complete or if the test is cancelled, a screen displays showing the results.

Figure 22: DPS test results screen

DPS test results screen
Boot Order

Use this screen to change the order in which the computer uses the boot devices. Use the up and down arrow key to move to the item you want to change. Then press the Enter key to drag the device to a new location. Press F10 to save the change or ESC to cancel the change and return to the previous menu.

Figure 23: Boot Order screen

Boot Order screen

Security menu

The Security menu contains the following items:

Setup Password - Select this to use a password to prevent unauthorized access to the Computer Setup Utility.

Power-On Password - Select this to require a password to turn on the computer.

Device Security - Select this to change device settings from Device available to Device hidden .

USB Security - Select this to enable or disable the USB ports on the computer.

Slot Security - Select this to enable or disable the PCI Express Slots on the computer.

Network Boot - Select this to enable or disable the Network Boot feature.

System IDs - Select this to view the System IDs for the computer.

System Security - Select this to change the system security settings.

Use the following sections to learn more about each item:

Setup Password

Use this to require a password or change the password for the Computer Setup Utility. Type a password in the New Password area, and then type in again in the Confirm Password area. Press F10 to accept the password, or the ESC key to cancel and return to the previous menu.

Figure 24: Setup Password screen

Setup Password screen
Power-On Password

Use this to require a password or change the password to turn on the computer power. Type a password in the New Password area, and then type in again in the Confirm Password area. Press F10 to accept the password, or press the ESC key to cancel and return to the previous menu.

Figure 25: Power-On Password screen

Power-On Password screen
Device Security

A list of devices on the computer displays. To change the setting from Device available to Device hidden , use the up and down arrow keys to move to the device. Then press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

NOTE: The integrated audio on the motherboard cannot be hidden; therefore, if the computer is using the integrated audio, the System Audio does not display in this screen. The System Audio device displays in this screen only if a separate sound card is installed.

Figure 26: Changing the Device Security setting

Changing the Device Security setting
USB Security

Enable or disable the USB ports on the computer. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, use the up and down arrow keys to move to the port. Then press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 27: USB Security screen

USB Security screen
Slot Security

Enable or disable the PCI Express Slots on the computer. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, use the up and down arrow keys to move to the slot. Then press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 28: Slot security screen

Slot security screen
Network Boot

Enable or disable the Network Boot feature on the computer. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 29: Network Boot screen

Network Boot screen
System IDs

View the System IDs for the computer.

Figure 30: System IDs screen

System IDs screen

The following information is available:

  • Product Name

  • Serial Number

  • UUID - Universally unique identifier

  • SKU Number

  • Family Name

  • Feature Byte

  • Build ID - the hardware and software configuration of your computer.

  • Keyboard

System Security

Select this to change the system security settings. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, use the up and down arrow keys to move to the item. Then press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 31: System Security screen

System Security screen

Power menu

The Power menu contains the following items:

Hardware Power Management - Select this to change the Hardware Power Management settings.

Thermal - Select this to view the fan speeds inside the computer.

Use the following sections to learn more about each item:

Hardware Power Management menu
Select this to change the Hardware Power Management settings:

Figure 32: Hardware Power Management screen

Hardware Power Management screen

Change the Hardware Power Management settings on the computer. Use the up and down arrow keys to move to the item. Then press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

The following settings are available in the Hardware Power Management menu:

Hardware Power Management Menu
Setting
SATA Power Management
Enable or Disable
S5 Maximum Power Savings
Enable or Disable
S5 Wake on LAN
Enable or Disable
Thermal menu

Select this to view the fan speeds in the thermal menu.

Figure 33: Thermal screen

Thermal screen

Select this to view the fan speeds in the thermal menu.

The Thermal menu displays the following items:
Thermal menu
Information displayed
CPU Fan Speed
Displays the CPU fan speed.
System Fan Speed
Displays the system fan speed.

Advanced menu

The Advanced menu contains the following items:

Power-On Options - Select this to change what happens after the computer loses power, and to change the behavior of the Power On Self Test (POST).

BIOS Power-On - Select this to automatically turn on the computer.

Bus Options - Select this to change the BUS options.

Device Options - Select this to change the device options such as the behavior on the number lock key.

Use the following sections to learn more about each item:

Power-On Options menu

Use the Power-On Options menu to enable or disable POST (Power On Self Test) messages, to select what happens after the computer has lost power, and set a delay in the POST. Use the up and down arrow key to move to the item you want to change. Then use the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 34: Power-on Options screen

Power-On Options screen
The following options are found in the Power-On Options:
Power-On Options Menu
Settings
POST (Power On Self Test) Messages
Enable or Disable
After Power Loss
Previous State or Off
POST Delay (in seconds)
None, 5, 10, 15, 20 seconds
BIOS Power-On menu

Enable or disable the BIOS Power-On feature. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. If you are Enabling the BIOS Power-On, use the down arrow key to move to the Time, and then use the left or right arrow key to set the time for the computer to turn on. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 35: BIOS Power-On screen

BIOS Power-On screen
The following options are available in the BIOS Power-On menu:
Day of week / Time
Setting
Sunday
Enable or Disable
Monday
Enable or Disable
Tuesday
Enable or Disable
Wednesday
Enable or Disable
Thursday
Enable or Disable
Friday
Enable or Disable
Saturday
Enable or Disable
Time (hh:mm)
Enter the time setting
BUS Options menu

Use the up and down arrow keys to move to the item you want to change. To change the setting from Enable to Disable, press the left or right arrow key to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes, or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving.

Figure 36: BUS Options screen

Bus Options menu
The following items are found in the BUS Options menu:
Bus Options menu
Settings
PCI SERR# Generation
Enable or Disable
PCI VGA Palette Snooping
Enable or Disable
Device Options menu

To change items in the Device Options menu, use the up and down arrow keys to move to the item you want to change. Then use the left and right arrow keys to change the setting. Press F10 to accept the changes or ESC to cancel and return to the previous menu without saving the changes.

Figure 37: Device Options screen

Device Options screen

The following items are available in the Device Options menu:

Device Options menu
Settings
Num Lock State at Power-On
On or Off
Multi-Processor
Enable or Disable
Hyper-threading
Enable or Disable
Integrated Video
Enable or Disable
NIC PXE Option ROM Download
Enable or Disable

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