Q:

What is the function of BIOS in a PC?

A:

Quick Answer

The main function of the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is to boot up an operating system on a PC. It does this by first identifying and testing all hardware components (including the hard disk and floppy drives), and then by locating a valid operating system to which it can transfer control.

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Full Answer

The BIOS is distinct from the CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor), the latter of which, in simple terms, is the physical storage device for the BIOS set-up routines.

BIOS has become more peripheral, with the development of 32-bit and later architectures. Whereas early 16-bit DOS systems relied on BIOS for many basic functions, the high performance operating systems of today tend to interact directly with the hardware via integrated software device drivers.

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