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Understanding BIOS/POST Essay

The next few pages will consist of two tasks that involve solving problems with the BIOS (basic input/output system) and how to secure the computer for viruses. Task one asks about a series of beeps provided by two different BIOS; the AMI and the Phoenix. Through the beeps we must figure out what error the BIOS are giving us. Task two is all about the fire walls and ways to protect your computer and the different firewalls that protect the entire computer or just that specific piece. The POST or power on self-test is performed by the BIOS on start up. Keywords: BIOS, POST

Understanding BIOS/POST
The most crucial component on a motherboard is the BIOS. The BIOS is what makes a computer a functioning and operational piece of equipment instead of a bunch of molded plastic. It preforms basic start-up functions along with running the POST to make sure the key components of the computer are performing properly. When it comes to the firewall on the computer, it protects the operating system from foreign elements that could harm it. In task one, we analyzed of the beeps to find the problem on the BIOS. According to www.bioscentral.com, 6 short beeps on the AMI BIOS, translate to gate A20 failure. The keyboard controller IC has failed, which is not allowing Gate A20 to switch the processor to protected mode. In order to fix the problem replace the keyboard controller. When it comes to the Phoenix BIOS; the error code message translates “first 64KB logic failure. Description is the first RAM control logic has failed. Task two as determined by http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/ “For the sake of simplicity, think of hardware firewalls as specialized network boxes that contain customized hardware and software.

When properly configured, hardware firewalls provide a protective barrier that hides an organization’s internal PCs from the outside world. They can also shield one company department (say, finance) from another (say, human resources). In many cases, hardware firewalls are great solutions for organizations that want a single security umbrella that protects multiple systems. For this very reason, most FORTUNE 500 networks have hardware firewalls in place. So what’s the downside? Since they are specialized devices, hardware firewalls tend to be expensive, complicated, difficult to upgrade, and tricky to configure. In other words, they are best reserved for IT managers who are specially trained to install, configure, and monitor such devices. Low-end hardware firewalls, now found in network switches and routers for the home, also have their limitations. If you take a personal laptop on the road, for instance, your system is no longer protected by the home-based firewall.”

In contrast to their hardware cousins, software firewalls are more ideal for individual users or small businesses that have dial-up or broadband Internet connections. Instead of using a custom (and often expensive) piece of hardware, a software firewall installs on an individual’s PC, notebook, or workgroup server. Even if an organization has hardware firewalls in place, it’s wise for individuals to use software firewalls on their own systems. The main reason: software firewalls are especially convenient for mobile workers who need digital security when working outside of the corporate network. That’s because the entire security solution is, in essence, a single application running on one’s computer. Another major benefit, software firewalls are easily upgraded. Users simply download patches, fixes, updates, and enhancements from the firewall provider’s web site, or the provider sends these improvements via the Internet.” http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/?id=ad_ost_hvsf&ctst=1

References
http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/?id=ad_ost_hvsf&ctst=1. www.bioscentral.com


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