This document contains information on what the BIOS is, how to enter it, and how to use it. Specific default BIOS settings are not addressed here, as there are too many variations between computer models to include in a short document. It is good practice to keep a record of your BIOS settings for future reference. Default settings can be reloaded easily.
HP Notebook PCs - BIOS Setup Information and Menu Options
Updating the BIOS
If you are looking for information on updating the BIOS, go to the following document: HP Notebook PCs - How to update your BIOS or ROM
What is the BIOS Setup utility?
Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a program that controls communication between all the input and output devices on the system (such as, disk drives, display, keyboard, mouse, and printer). The BIOS is typically placed in a read only memory chip (ROM) on the computer's motherboard.
The system BIOS on the computer has a built-in setup utility that lets users control the special features of the computer. Configuration information stored in the BIOS includes the type of peripherals installed, the startup sequence of the computer, and the amount of system and extended memory. When the system is turned off, a battery on the motherboard maintains the BIOS Setup information.
caution:The information stored by the BIOS Setup utility is essential. It should not be changed arbitrarily. Caution should be used when making changes in the BIOS Setup utility. A mistake could cause the PC to not perform as expected.
BIOS features differ among notebook models
The BIOS used in HP notebooks is customized for each model line. This is because each model line has its own unique hardware configuration which requires a set of BIOS features to match it. BIOS features have a direct one-to-one correspondence to a notebook's hardware. In some cases, when a model line undergoes a revision and includes updated hardware components, the revised line may use a different version of the BIOS with features not included in the earlier version.
For example, the HP ProBook 6555b has a fingerprint reader built into it, whereas the HP Pavilion dm1z does not. As such, the BIOS for the HP ProBook 6555b has settings for the fingerprint hardware, while the BIOS for the HP Pavilion dm1z does not. Similarly, the HP Pavilion dm1z has advanced audio speakers, so its BIOS has different sound-related settings than the HP ProBook 6555b.
Even though BIOS features differ among notebook models, the core functionality of the BIOS remains the same and the procedures described in this document are conceptually valid for all HP notebook PCs if the specifics are not.
Accessing the BIOS Setup menu
There are at least three different ways to access the BIOS setup menus depending on the type of CPU, the BIOS, and when the notebook was built. For most models, after you press the power button to turn On the computer, a prompt displays to specify what key to press to enter BIOS or Windows or diagnostic functions. For newer computers, it will be the F10 key or the Esc key, however, on very old computers, you may be prompted to press the Delete key to enter a Setup function. If you do not press the suggested key at the proper time and the computer continues though the boot process, you will need to shutdown the computer and try the boot process again.
Pre-UEFI, before 2008 for most models.With the computer turned Off, press the power button to turn On the computer, and repeatedly press the F10 key. Normally, the Compaq or HP splash screen will display a message to press F10 to enter the BIOS just before the BIOS menu is displayed.
UEFI Enabled, 2008 to mid 2011 for most models.If the computer has the UEFI pre-BIOS environment, when the Compaq or HP splash screen displays, you are prompted to press Escape to enter Start Up Menu. Then there is a prompt to press F10 to enter the BIOS Setup.Because of the different types of CPUs and BIOS configurations, it may be possible to turn On the power and press F10 for the BIOS without going through the UEFI Start Up Menu.
Shortened Startup without splash screen, mid-2011 or later for most models.To help computers start faster, on some models the Compaq or HP splash screen is not displayed during the start up process. In this case, after pressing the power button, repeatedly press the Esc key to enter the Start Up Menu, and follow the prompt to press F10 to enter the BIOS Setup.
Reloading the default settings
Complete the following steps to reload the factory installed BIOS Setup settings:
In the BIOS Setup utility, select the Exit tab.
Select Load Setup Defaults.
Select Save Changes and Exit (pressing F5 and the Enter key will also load the Setup Defaults).
Press Esc and then Enter to exit Setup.