In the past, most people never bothered to update their computer’s firmware, or BIOS as it was called in the PC world, even though it was possible to do so. Nowadays, with mobile devices, firmware updates are frequent. They’re also becoming more frequent for desktop users. Why should an ordinary computer user bother?
What is Firmware?
Firmware is a piece of software that controls the low-level functions in the computer. It’s a bridge between the hardware and the operating system. In modern PCs, it’s known as UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Some computer manufacturers still may refer to it as the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), because that was the term used when the original IBM PC was created.
Why Update Firmware?
The biggest reason to update your computer’s firmware is to improve security. Malware that targets firmware can be insidious, surviving reboots or even replacing the hard drive. Attackers are getting increasingly sophisticated in targeting the firmware to gain control of the computer. Manufacturers are releasing updates to try to stay ahead of them. Firmware updates also fix bugs to keep your computer working in optimum condition.
How to Update Firmware
Updating firmware is easy. To find updated firmware, your computer manufacturer might have installed a utility that automatically updates your drivers and firmware. Otherwise, you’ll have to navigate to your manufacturer’s website and locate the correct firmware update for your machine. If you built your PC yourself, you’ll find firmware updates on the motherboard manufacturer’s website.
To update the firmware, you’ll download a utility that will “flash,” or install, the firmware to your computer. When it runs, it’s very important that you not turn off your computer while it updates or you might find it permanently becomes unusable, or “bricked.”
Now that you can see how easy updating your computer’s firmware is, there’s no reason not to do it. If you have any questions about firmware or need any help, please feel free to get in touch with us.