Do I need to upgrade my BIOS occasionally?

Hi,

I have been updating all day because I had a computer shut off
on Easter.  Everytime I would turn on my laptop, it would
quickly turn off.

I blew out the inside with compressed air as best I could by
removing some back panels and did a System Restore and it
is working now.

Meanwhile I believe what caused it was a rash of updates all
at once that caused my computer to improperly shut down
prematurely and it would not restart properly.  

So today I have taken all day downloading updates one at a
time.  Very slow.........

Do I need to upgrade my BIOS?  If so, how?  Thanks.

Not exactly sure what zones to put this question in.......
Maverick2010Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
_Commented:
Yeah that ^.

And yes, ACPI is most likely "System".

In the Configure section, under Temps, highlight each temp, and there is a checkbox for "Show in Systray"
Cursor-over is when you put the cursor on the number(s) in the Systray and all temps will show in a popup balloon.
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dbruntonCommented:
Short answer, No.

Your problem may well be caused by dust build up and heat problems.  You've blown the dust out and that may have fixed the problem.  Did you blow out the inlet and exhaust ports for the CPU cooler?

Monitor the temperatures with a util such as Speedfan http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

As for BIOS updates check the manufacturer's site.  They may well have instructions on how to do this.
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PerarduaadastraCommented:
Different manufacturers have different ideas about this, but generally you would update the BIOS to address a particular issue that was impacting your use of the computer.

Many manufacturers require the computer to be booted into some flavour of DOS, which can be awkward as the BIOS update files are frequently too large to fit on a floppy, the drive for which the computer probably doesn't have anyway, so the files have to be copied to a bootable CD or USB pen drive, the latter in turn assuming that the computer supports booting from USB devices... and so on.

Intel has a method for updating the BIOS in its current desktop boards that can be run from Windows, and this makes the process quite painless. Dell also has a similar approach, and the importance of the update is flagged on their download page.

However, the old adage of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is probably the wisest course to follow,as a computer killed by a failed or corrupt BIOS update can ruin your day.
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Maverick2010Author Commented:
I blew out the inlet port and the outlet port to start with, then I thought, "well, all I accomplished was blowing the dust around".  Some dust came out and the rest I figured just got rearranged.  So I removed some of the back panels to try and blow some more.

I tried to remove the entire back cover but there must be some clasps or snaps that hold it in place, I figure, so I didn't try any further as I didn't want to break anything.  I did all this on an antistatic mat.

I just installed SpeedFan but I don't know how to use it.  Does it automatically regulate the fan speeds and voltages without me having to do anything?

About updating BIOS, I will leave it alone since the computer is working OK.
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_Commented:
>> Does it automatically regulate the fan speeds and voltages without me having to do anything?

No. The default install just monitors the fan speeds, voltages, and temperatures.
To adjust things, click the Configuration button, and go through the tabs.
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_Commented:
forgot:
other than the fan speeds not much can be controlled. Most of what you do in there is set alarms, and the Way and What, SpeedFan displays.
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Maverick2010Author Commented:
Thanks for the reply.  I begin to see how I might set the values.  Trouble is, I don't have a clue on what values are appropriate.  Not knowing about proper temperatures and voltages or what.

I guess I'll just watch the GPU temperature value that is displayed in my tray.  I assume that it is displayed there because it is the most important temperature to watch?  And when I see that temperature climb abnormally someday, I will know something is wrong.  Or will that temperature climb gradually over the months  as dust collects inside my computer?

Actually, what temperature should I be monitoring and what can I expect to happen?

Thanks.
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_Commented:
hmmm... I usually have the CPU temp show in the Tray, with the GPU and System temp set to show on cursor-over. But you can set them up how you want, depending on what you want to keep an eye on.

Remember that the temps will vary depending on the load. So just kind of watch them for about a week to get an idea of what range they want to run in.

I'm not real sure about laptops, but my general rule for temps are:

cpu -  under 50C (~120F) --- most new cpus run in the mid/high 30Cs with a medium load.

gpu - under 80C (~175F) --- most run in the low/mid 70Cs with a medium load.

system - about 40/50C
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Maverick2010Author Commented:
OK, I'm having a nomenclature problem here.  My SpeedFan  version 4.43 shows GPU (associated with GeForce video card), HD0 (associated with HD0 (160.0GB)), Temp1 (ACPI), and Core (AMD K8).  There is no mention of CPU or System.  And I'm not really sure how to get more than one value to show in the tray at a time or what you mean exactly by "cursor-over".  Is there an owner's manual for SpeedFan?

I think Core would be the CPU? (after all, I have this HP laptop with AMD processor)....HD0 is Hard Drive Zero?....but I don't know about ACPI.  Would that be System?

I agree about just watching the temperatures play out in order to get a feel for what to expect.

Sorry to be a pain in the ____!  Thanks for helping me to understand.
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dbruntonCommented:
Core is generally all you need.  You can usually ignore the rest.


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Maverick2010Author Commented:
I did not select my own comments for award.  This is reflective of the ongoing problem with the awards points page.  Please delete my own selection of my own comments.  That is not what I want to select.  It is as I said-there is a problem in the awards points page that I have brought to you attention many times that you won't fix.  This inevitably leads to mistakes when I award points.

I select the other two mentioned above. I would prefer selecting the choices even more multiply but that will do.

Thank you.
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Maverick2010Author Commented:
The help was great.  I have most difficulty awarding points multiply not only because of the good answers but because no one will fix the award system which associates people's comments with the wrong comments.  This makes it entirely guesswork when awarding points and comments.  Sad.
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_Commented:
Thank you much.
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Maverick2010Author Commented:
You're welcome.
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