How to Backup a BIOS


Backing up a computer's BIOS is a good idea if you want to tinker with the settings or are planning to flash the BIOS. This is done using BIOS software made by and specific to the BIOS' manufacturer. Since most computers don't have a 1.44 MB floppy drive anymore, the best way to boot into DOS and perform the BIOS backup is by using a bootable CD-R.

Things You'll Need

  • BIOS software for BIOS brand
  • CD burning program
  • CD-R blank disk
  • Download BIOS upgrade software for the specific brand of BIOS. Refer to the references for links to AMI and Award/Phoenix BIOS software.

  • Unzip the BIOS software to the desktop. Load your CD burning program and create a bootable CD from the "New projects" option within the program. You'll need a CD burning program that supports the creation of bootable CDs.

  • Drag and drop the BIOS tools that you unzipped into the CD data window in the CD burning program. Click "Burn."

  • Restart the computer with the CD in the drive. You may need to change the boot order in the CMOS settings to put the CD-ROM as the first boot device.

  • Once the computer has booted from the CD, run the executable file for the BIOS program. This can be found by browsing the emulated virtual floppy or drive letter for the CD files using the "DIR" command for browsing the directory and the "CD" command for changing directories in DOS.

  • Type "awdflash c:backup.bin /sy /pn" to back up an Award or Phoenix BIOS. This will copy the BIOS file to the root of the hard drive.

  • Use AMI BIOS interactive software to direct the BIOS backup to the hard drive. This can be done easily because AMI software is GUI driven.

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  • Photo Credit bios chip image by Nikolay Okhitin from
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