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BIOS, diagnostics and other start-up notes

Crashed computer


Determining the BIOS version

The BIOS version is usually displayed quickly when a computer is booting, and when you are in the BIOS options screen

You can also get the BIOS version when your operating system is running!

From Windows

Use the msinfo32 command (i.e. type msinfo32 in the search field at the bottom left of the screen, and then launch the System Information app) and check the BIOS version line in the system summary screen. You will also get lots of other useful information about your computer (e.g. computer name)

From Linux

Use the dmidecode command: dmidecode -s bios-version

$ sudo dmidecode -s bios-version
[sudo] Password for your_login:

Entering the BIOS

Power off the machine, then power it on again and press repeatedly the appropriate key several times while the computer is starting, until you see the BIOS options screen. This should take place before you have to type the Windows bitlocker password, or the Linux (de)crypting password

Dell F2
HP ESC or F10

Enabling boot on a USB drive in the BIOS


SettingsGeneralBoot Sequence: USB Storage Device must be selected, and in the first place of the Boot Order

Updating the BIOS

Updating the BIOS is safe, but it may be a good idea to get help from somebody who has already done it. Your computer may restart several times, blink, etc, before the update is complete.

Be sure to be connected to a power supply during the update

If your Windows computer is protected by bitlocker at boot time, you have to suspend bitlocker (suspend, and not disable), before rebooting. more info

The BIOS update will take place during the boot time, then Windows will start and bitlocker will automatically start again


There are lots of HP BIOS details in HP PC Commercial BIOS (UEFI) Setup - Administration Guide (pdf document)

Choosing the boot media or the diagnostics

Dell F12 (enter the One-time Boot Menu)
HP ESC and then F2

Booting in safe mode

Safe mode ⇔ Mode sans échec

Windows 10

Windows 7

Power off the machine, then power it and press the appropriate key at the same time

Dell F8

See also Performing a safe clean boot

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other/bios.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/30 07:27 by jypeter