Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BIOS Update

Before this year, I had never heard of BIOS and had no idea what it was. I also routinely accepted all updates that looked legit that popped up on my computer. Now I have a new rule: do not install BIOS updates. I still don't know exactly what BIOS is, but it seems to be the essence of a computer, so don't mess with it!

A few weeks ago, I got a Toshiba notification that there were updates available so I just clicked install without thinking much of it. The BIOS update that Toshiba notified me of was complicated and at one point it seemed to freeze up. Not knowing what else to do, I shut down my computer and went to bed. When I tried to turn on my computer the next day, nothing happened. The only thing that seemed to be working were the indicator lights on the front of the screen. After some troubleshooting with tech support, we got the computer fan to turn on as well, but that was it. Ultimately, I had to send my computer in.

I poked around the internet and learned that BIOS updates are prone to problems and are only advisable if you are a computer wiz or if your computer doesn't work anyway and the update is supposed to address the problem. If the BIOS update fails, your computer becomes an expensive paperweight.

Luckily, my computer was still under warranty so this was all free, but other internet posters were not so lucky. I just got my computer back, and it is working fine. According to the repair summary, they were able to complete a "crisis BIOS recovery" back to the prior BIOS version. Ah, technology!


  1. Yuck, glad that's all figured out. Why would they even do that? I think most people just okay the updates without reading each one. Ridiculous.

  2. Good to know and I agree - most people "trust" the source that notifies you, whether it is your computer company or your security system. If Jeff would commit (a rare event!) he'd just say well that's a PC for ya, now MACs... =)
    This is a good warning for us all to LOOK before we leap to update. Glad you are all recovered.