Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Your system BIOS is software, but updating it regularly may not be appropriate. Updating it to fix a bug, of course, would be.
I just updated/upgraded my computer this past February. New motherboard, cpu, ram, etc. There are a couple items from my older computer also. I like to keep my software, utilities, anti-virus, and so on, up-to-date; generally when a new update/version is issued. My question is this. Since my computer is fairly new and appears to be operating normally, is it necessary to update the BIOS, motherboard chip-sets, and so forth? My BIOS is at or less than 6 months old. I mean, I know that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"! But I just want to be alright with either keeping what I've got or update it.
It's an interesting question that I hadn't really thought about before. We certainly go to great lengths to stress how important it is to keep your system software up to date with the latest patches and the like. Even applications these days frequently self-check and notify you automatically when updates are available.
But what about your BIOS?
The BIOS (or Basic Input/Output System) is the software that's "hardwired" into your computer. It's the software that runs when you first turn on your machine, the software that does a little self-check at first, and then knows how to load other software like your operating system.
The BIOS can also be used by the operating system to access hardware on your machine.
You've actually captured my opinion on BIOS updates: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Unlike your operating system or even your application software, the BIOS rarely represents a vulnerability to your system. In fact, BIOS bugs, while they do happen, are typically infrequent and of low impact.
But as I said, they do happen, and absolutely if a fix for a problem you're experiencing is a BIOS update, then I would take it.
BIOS updates are kind of funny, since they're actually updating the firmware on your motherboard. As such there's a slight risk: if the update fails for some reason you may not be able to reboot your machine. Scary, but infrequent. And many motherboards now include some kind of reset mechanism to restore a BIOS to some original default.
But in the long run, it's just not a hassle, or a risk, that I feel is called for unless you're fixing a specific problem.
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