BIOS Questions that don't belong in the other forums. Read them!
#31524 by oxbowarcher
Sun May 01, 2005 12:28 am
Years ago I was tech smart, I understood all about how my 486 MOBO worked, and my brand new PnP ISA cards, etc. I was a DOS programmer (MASM) also. But I have ignored tech advances for about the last 10 years. My conceptual knowledge is still good, but my detailed knowledge is very out of date. Also my brain is not very sharp anymore. I have some GENERAL QUESTIONS about how things work these days. Maybe someone here will answer some of the questions or tell me a webpage where the operation of modern day systems is explained.

Q1) Are the 'Boot Block' functions = run POST, read CMOS, setup IVT, find boot device ? Apparently they keep that basic stuff separated out from the modern stuff (PCI, ACPI, etc), so you are able to run through a Boot Block Recovery.

Q2) Is any information actually kept in the 'CMOS' data area ? There is so much more information to store now. The CMOS area was small. I assume the CMOS area isn't even used any more. l assume that the many additional (new) parameters are written to the EEPROM. I would guess CMOS isn't needed anymore except as a battery operated clock.

Q3) The EEPROM is divided into Boot Block, BIOS, ESCD and DMI data area. I saw that the flash programs have command line switches that allow you to clear or rewrite those areas. But then I saw AWARD flash program has all of those options PLUS an option ( /PY ) called PROGRAM FLASH MEMORY and ( /PN ) called DO NOT PROGRAM FLASH MEMORY. That leads me to believe there is some additional area besides BB, BIOS, ESCD and DMI. What does it mean?

Q4) HELP ! Please tell me if there is a website that explains how modern BIOS is layed out, a general flow of the boot sequence, etc. Preferably an explanation that doesn't require reading assembly code.

Thanks for your help.

Bill S. - in Seattle, WA, USA