Configuring CMOS

Upon entering the BIOS screen the first option should be "standard CMOS setup" this is what you want, it should already be highlighted so press return/enter and you will be taken to the CMOS screen. The CMOS is the place where you will set up the basic data for your computer to start correctly. You can start at the top with the date and time. It may be correct already but if not set this by using the arrow keys to move and Pg up and Pg down to modify the highlighted item. You set the correct time this way as well. 

Below that will be 4 selections that say,

Pri Master Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 Auto
Pri Slave Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 Auto
Sec Master Auto 0 0 0 0 0 0 Auto
Sec Slave Auto 0 0 0 0 0 >0 Auto

The first column shows each of the 4 available IDE device's on 2 IDE channels, Primary and secondary. The device which you selected as Primary master (should be your hard disk or fastest hard disk if you have more than one). If you are using Hard disks with jumpers on the back be sure they are set to the correct setting (master/slave) most disks come ready set to master.

If you are using a SATA hard drive you will have to follow a few steps in order for the BIOS to recognise your disk (If your motherboard also has IDE ports available). Firstly you will need to go into the integrated peripherals menu and disable the onboard IDE channels. Then set the SATA DMA transfer to enabled. Finally enter the onboard Device menu and enable the SATA channels that your SATA hard drives are connected to. If these steps are not followed then either the BIOS won't recognise your disk or the Windows installation will fail. Of course you should boot and see first as some motherboards will be set up to use SATA by default and no changes will be necessary.

You can set the BIOS as shown above to automatically detect the hard disks each time you boot up so it will detect all the setting for you. However if your not planning on changing your hard disks then its probably a good idea to set this option to "user" this option will scan for the current disk in that position and set the columns for you. If however you should change your hard disk on that IDE channel then you have to set the CMOS up again or you will experience errors. 

With CD drives and DVD drives I always leave mine on Auto. You can set this to CD-ROM then select your own mode - normally mode 4. Again make sure your CD Drive is set the master/slave accordingly. It will either be connected to the slave of the primary channel, on the same cable as the hard disk or have its own cable and so should be set as the master of the secondary channel. As long as you are aware that if you have 2 devices on the same channel one has to be set as master and one as slave. It is always a good idea to set the fastest component on each channel as the master, as both components have a maximum speed of the master component. e.g.. if you have 2 hard disks one ATA-100 and one ATA 66 then the ATA - 100 drive should be the master as it can transfer data faster. Having the ATA - 66 drive as master will mean that the ATA- 100 drive could only transfer data at 66 Mb/s.

Below this is the Floppy drive configuration, Just set this to the type of floppy drive you have, probably 1.44M , 3.5 in. If you have another floppy drive set this in floppy drive B, if not then leave this option as not installed.

There may be a virus protection option in this screen, if so then its best to leave it disabled until your computer has been setup as sometimes it causes errors when setting up windows and you don't want to waste anymore time at that point. When windows has been installed it should be OK to turn this feature back on again. If you are worried about Virus' though I recommend that you get a software virus protector from a reputable company which can scan the boot sector as well as every where else.        

Next - Expansion cards

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