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All that software running in the background—including security programs that may interfere with writing to the computer’s BIOS—can cause the process to fail and corrupt your BIOS.

Any system crashes or freezes might also result in a corrupted BIOS.

You should see a list of available BIOS versions, along with any changes/bug fixes in each and the dates they were released. You’ll probably want to grab the newest BIOS version—unless you have a specific need for an older one.

If you purchased a pre-built computer instead of building your own, head to the computer manufacturer’s website, look up the computer model, and look at its downloads page. Your BIOS download probably comes in an archive—usually a ZIP file. Inside, you’ll find some sort of BIOS file—in the screenshot below, it’s the E7887IMS.140 file.

This will render your computer unbootable—it’ll be “bricked.” Your computer’s BIOS version is displayed in the BIOS setup menu itself, but you don’t have to reboot to check this version number.

There are several ways to see your BIOS version from within Windows, and they work the same on PCs with a traditional BIOS or a newer UEFI firmware.

The whole BIOS updating procedure should be treated with extreme caution.

However, you’ll perform the same basic process on all motherboards.

RELATED: First, head to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and find the Downloads or Support page for your specific model of motherboard.

The archive should also contain a README file that will walk you through updating to the new BIOS.

You should check out this file for instructions that apply specifically to your hardware, but we’ll try to cover the basics that work across all hardware here.

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