The Laptop's BIOS Setup Program

All modern PCs, laptops included, have a special Startup or Setup program. This program is not a part of your computer's operating system (Windows). Instead, it's built in to the computer's circuitry, or chipset, and it might also be referred to as the BIOS Setup program.

What the setup program does is configure your laptop's hardware. It keeps track of such things as how much memory (RAM) is installed, the type of hard drive, whether or not you have a CD-ROM or DVD drive, plus other hardware options. The Setup program also keeps track of the time with the computer's internal clock as well as other random things.

Be sure that you know how to get into your laptop's Setup program. The method used to access it differs from computer to computer. Commonly, to get into the Setup program, you press a specific key or key combination on the keyboard when the computer first starts (and before Windows starts). On most laptops, the special key is Del or F1. If your laptop uses a different key, be sure to make a note of it.

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One important item to know about in the Setup program is the security system, which usually includes a password. You shouldn’t set that password when you're just getting used to your laptop. Instead, wait until you’re more familiar with it. If you do use a password, make sure you write it down, or you will not be able to access your computer.

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