Bios And Post Essay

1291 words - 6 pages

Computer Structure and Logic Understanding The BIOS and POST
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Introduction
Inside every PC is a BIOS, which stands for Basic Input Output System.  In a nutshell, BIOS is software that interacts between a computer’s hardware and the operating system and software applications.  There are several types of BIOS', ranging from the motherboard ROM BIOS to adapter BIOS' such as video BIOS, drive controller BIOS, network adapter BIOS, SCSI adapter BIOS, etc... These BIOS' are the lowest level of software in a computer providing a set of small programs or software routines that allow the hardware of a computer to interact with the ...view middle of the document...

  CMOS refers to the low-power RAM that holds the system's setup parameters.  The BIOS reads the CMOS RAM into memory at boot up and provides the setup routine that allows you to change the contents of CMOS, but the CMOS RAM/RTC device is a totally different microchip.  The CMOS holds the information provided by the BIOS.  This is why you "lose" the settings of a system when the battery dies or you clear the CMOS through a jumper on the motherboard.
With today's high performance 64 bit operating systems, the BIOS becomes less used, but it is still there, always interacting with the operating system. Disk access, for example, is done through the operating system with 64-bit routines, whereas the BIOS is using 16-bit routines. Although the BIOS provides video support, Windows and other 32 or 64-bit operating systems
Computer Structure and Logic Understanding The BIOS and POST
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use software device drivers to work with the hardware.  Early OS's, like DOS, worked with the BIOS.  DOS relied on the BIOS to perform most functions, like displaying characters on the screen or sending output to the printer, reading input from the keyboard and other essential tasks. These drivers, which operate in protected mode allow for several enhancements. They can access more memory, can be written in 32 or 64-bit code for optimized execution and are not limited to the amount of space available to their code. However, regardless of the operating system, Windows, Linux or DOS, the BIOS and the operating system still interact with each other.

   1.  Power is applied to the computer
   When power is applied to the system the power supply will generate a power good signal which is received by the motherboard.  When the motherboard receives this signal, it stops forcing a reset signal to the central processing unit and the CPU begins processing instructions.
  
2.  POST
    POST stands for Power On Self-Test.  It's a series of individual functions that perform various initialization and tests of the computer’s hardware.  BIOS starts with a series of tests of the motherboard hardware.  The CPU, math coprocessor, timer IC's (circuit delays), DMA controllers (which move data to and from the PC’s memory), and IRQ controllers (which control the data that moves through the processer). The order in which these tests are performed varies from motherboard to motherboard. The BIOS will look for the presence of video ROM between memory locations.  If a video BIOS is found, its contents will be tested with a checksum test.  If this test is successful, the BIOS will initialize the video adapter. It will pass controller to the video BIOS, which will in turn initialize itself and then assumes control once it's complete. The BIOS will scan memory from C800:000h to...

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