Article ID: 321779 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you start your computer, the basic input/output system (BIOS) checks (among other things) the system-specific settings that are stored in the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip. You can modify these settings as the system changes.
To change the CMOS settings, you must enter CMOS Setup by pressing a specific key or a combination of keys during the initial startup sequence. For example, press DEL or CTRL+ALT+ESC during the startup. (The specific key combination that you press is typically indicated during startup as "Press <keyname> to enter Setup".)
After you have entered Setup, windows that display various options and settings appear. Some of these options are standard, while others are specific to the BIOS manufacturer.
One of the CMOS settings is the PNP OS option. This setting tells BIOS how many devices to configure at startup. The table in "More Information" shows the effect of this option on the configuration of the motherboard devices.
The original intent for designing this option was to give Microsoft Windows versions 95 and 98 more freedom to adjust hardware configurations. By default, these operating systems would never move a device configured at startup for fear of breaking a DOS driver. Later versions of Windows also typically leave BIOS-configured hardware alone, even if the BIOS placed the hardware in a less than optimal configuration. This is because moving such hardware frequently exposes latent bugs in the BIOS.
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Article ID: 321779 - Last Review: August 4, 2005 - Revision: 5.1