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How to build a PC: Part 7 - how to configure the BIOS

Last step before installing your OS and enjoying your PC

When it comes to choosing a PC, you probably head straight to an online or high-street retailer. But why not consider building it yourself? We've put together a step-by-step guide covering every aspect you need to consider. There's also a video version of this tutorial for you to watch for further instruction.

When you've finished this article, take a look at the remaining six parts. These cover choosing components, installing the motherboard, installing a CPU, adding ram and cards, connecting the power supply unit and inserting the drives.

How to configure your PC's BIOS

Configuring the BIOS is going to be one of the final steps to setting up a new PC. The BIOS is software built on to the motherboard that manages the installed hardware.

On first boot, you'll likely receive an error message. That's because BIOS settings need to be configured.

Our EVGA motherboard uses Phoenix AwardBIOS, and we have categories called Standard CMOS Features and Advanced BIOS Features.

Selecting Standard CMOS allows the time and date to be set. It also presents us with a list of connected hard drives and optical drives. If one of your drives is missing you may want to check your connections. At the bottom it also displays how much RAM is installed. If the actual installed RAM and this number differ, then check and make sure the memory is seated properly on the motherboard.

 

Advanced BIOS Features will allow us to pick the order in which our drives are checked on startup. For the initial setup of Windows, we're going to set the CD-ROM drive to boot first because that's where our Windows 7 setup disc will be. After Windows is installed, change this setting back to your primary hard drive.

The other categories in the BIOS will vary by motherboard. The BIOS will let you adjust more advanced settings like your RAM timings or the voltage to your processor for overclocking. We won't be discussing that, though because every configuration is different. When done with the BIOS settings, insert the operating system setup disc into the CD-ROM drive.

Save your settings and exit the BIOS. Your computer will then restart and the Windows installer should load. After installing the OS, enjoy your new PC!

See also: The 15 easiest laptop upgrades

How to build a PC: the complete guide -

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