The BIOS is part of the motherboard's hardware and is independent of anyÂ operating system; therefore, instructions for entering the BIOS setup utility tends to vary. It is often either a function key like F2, the Esc key or the Delete key. The required key is usually displayed in the "entering setup" message that pops up within the first few seconds after the computer is turned on.
If the computer starts too quickly, the screen can be frozen by pressing the Pause/Break key on the keyboard during start-up. Some computers with both USB and PS/2 keyboard connections can only allow USB input after the POST. This means USB keyboard users will not be able to access the BIOS unless they switch to a PS/2 keyboard.
BIOS interfaces are mainly used to make adjustments to a computer's hardware functionality or to report on the hardware within the computer. Some of the adjustments that can be made using the BIOS setup utility include: resetting BIOS passwords, changing the computer's boot order, configuring new hard disks, managing the memory settings, restoring the BIOS to a default configuration, adjusting the LCD brightness, turning on or off modular devices and setting hard disk and system passwords.