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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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The Basic Initial Operating System (BIOS) is a small operating system that resides in a Read Only Memory (ROM) chip inside your computer's hardware. When you turn on your computer, the BIOS runs a Power On Self Test (POST), then loads the first sector of your boot device (often, your hard disk) into your system's Random Access Memory (RAM), and then passes control to the start of the loaded RAM memory block. That boot sector code then reads the rest of the code that your operating system needs to run to get started, and executes it. Then your OS asks you to "log in," and you system is started.
When your OS is started, it usually (but not always) queries the status of you hardware devises from tables set by the BIOS in order to discover what was available when the BIOS was run.
Note that there is usually an additional program that is first run when the boot sector code is run if you have a non-MS OS on your drives, and sometimes if your system defaults to starting a MS OS. That program displays a menu of available boot option from which you can select, and then boots the one you select.
So, to answer your question, the BIOS is specific to your exact hardware, and is installed by the hardware manufacture. Often the BIOS ROM is in a EPROM, which allows it to be updated, and updates for the BIOS can usually be found on the manufacturer's Web site.
From your first post, I suspect that your system is old, and it's not recognizing a USB 2 or USB 3 device. If that's the case, you might find a BIOS upgrade that would add that functionality to your system, since the changes to the USB specification are, mostly, software changes, and you might get it to work with a BIOS update.
Last edited by PTrenholme; 02-19-2011 at 06:52 PM.
Well, the ProBook 4530S is a recent (2010) laptop from HP, and a quick glance here shows that the current BIOS release is F.0D made 24 Jan 2011. The product specifications state that it supports USB 2.0 connections. (I didn't read the BIOS upgrade details, so I don't know if support for USB 3.0 was provided.)
Anyhow, since it's a HP laptop, the BIOS update will require that you run it from a Windows O.S. (like the Windows 7 that comes pre-installed on its hard drive.) The details can be found on the HP web site.
Note that, if English is not your preferred language, HP has several web sites in other languages.
Also, note that HP provides support services for their customers, and they might be able to answer your questions. although, if your question is about something specific to Linux (or Ubuntu), they may not be quite so helpful.