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Chapter 37. Upgrading Your CPU and BIOS > Why You Need to Upgrade Your BIOS

Why You Need to Upgrade Your BIOS

Your BIOS was made about the same time as your computer, and although it may have served you well so far, many things have undoubtedly changed since your computer was manufactured. New types of peripherals have been invented, disk drives have gotten larger, and new types of video cards with higher resolutions have been created, among other things. In short, the BIOS in your computer has remained static while the rest of the computer industry has continued at its usual hectic, dynamic pace. For example, the BIOS in some early model 486 computers was designed while most hard disk drives were still around 200 to 400MB in size. When users of these computers attempted to install larger hard disk drives—in the 2 to 4GB range—they discovered that their computers could not recognize more than the first 528MB of their new multi-gigabyte hard disk drives.

The reason behind this problem was that the BIOS in their computers was not able to understand Logical Block Addressing (LBA). In simpler terms, it means the BIOS cannot address all the storage space on the hard disk drive beyond the first 528MB because that is as high as it can count. The answer to this problem is simply to upgrade the BIOS. If you find that no BIOS upgrade is available for your PC (another hint that it's time to purchase a new PC instead of upgrading your current model), sometimes you can solve problems similar to the LBA problem by applying a software patch.


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