Origin of BIOSb(asic) i(nput/)o(utput) s(ystem)
- plural form of bio
- (computing) Built-in operating system.
- (computing) Basic input/output system.
bios - Computer Definition
On PC systems, a set of routines that tests the hardware (e.g., disk drives, keyboard, and monitor) at startup, starts the operating system (OS), and supports the transfer of data between hardware devices at startup. Until the early 1990s, BIOS was stored in firmware , i.e., readonly memory (ROM). In contemporary computers, BIOS is written to erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) or flash memory to facilitate updates.
Acronym for Basic Input/Output System, which is a software program built into a computer and is the first program to run when the computer is started. The messages that appear on the screen when the computer starts are, in fact, from this software program.
On personal computers (PCs), the BIOS contains all the code (on a ROM or a flash memory chip) required to control the keyboard, the disk drives, the display screen, a number of functions, and serial communications. After BIOS finishes testing the memory and configuring the system, it “boots” the operating system installed on the hard drive by loading an executable loading program from the boot block of the hard drive, CD-ROM, or, in some instances, the network.
See Also: Code or Source Code; Computer, Network.