You may remember that I bought a new laptop from Asus a while back, to replace my aging Surface Go 2 laptop. One of the main reasons for the change was that Microsoft’s own device was not compatible with Windows 11. As I needed a laptop with the operating system, for testing and work purposes, I decided to buy a new one.
I received a good offer for an Asus ZenBook UX425JA laptop and decided to use it from then on. The device has been around for a while, which usually means that some components are not up to date.
When it comes to new Windows PCs, it is essential to check if updates for these components are available. The ASUS BIOS, for example, dated back to 2020, while a late 2021 BIOS file was available.
Also, the drivers for the Intel UHD graphics adapter, wireless adapter, and Bluetooth module were all outdated.
Installing these updates can improve performance, positively impact battery, fix issues you may encounter, and fix security issues alongside it.
On my device, I noticed a strange behavior right from the start: the Windows desktop sometimes flickered and went completely black during a reboot. I suspected it was graphics driver related, and it turned out it was.
Some of the updates are not provided through Windows Updates, and many users may skip them because of this.
BIOS update on Windows 11
BIOS and firmware updates can improve a device’s stability, performance, and security. Some users are hesitant to update a computer’s BIOS, but the process is simple and can be done in minutes.
The first thing you need to do is identify the current BIOS version.
- Open the Start menu on the Windows PC.
- Enter the system information and select it when the search results appear.
- Locate the BIOS Version/Date entry.
On my PC it showed American Megatrends Inc. UX425JA.306, 12/31/2020. It is usually enough to note the date, but in this case the brand of the device and the BIOS version – 306 – were also listed.
To find out if an update is available, combine the “system model” information displayed in the same window with the information. In my case, searching for the Zenbook UX425JA BIOS returned the ASUS website for the device with download options.
I checked the BIOS download options and a new BIOS was offered. Simply compare the release date with the installed BIOS version to see if a newer version is available.
Updating the BIOS is also a simple process. Some manufacturers provide executable files that you can run in Windows to initiate the BIOS update.
I recommend downloading the BIOS file to a USB device and keeping the device connected to the PC.
The next steps are to restart the PC, load the BIOS – most devices indicate how this is done at startup – and select Flash options when loading the BIOS interface. Select the new BIOS file when prompted and wait for the process to complete.
Recheck the BIOS Version/Date line in the System Information tool after the update to verify that it installed correctly.
Update other drivers
Graphics adapter, WLAN, Bluetooth and other devices may also work with outdated drivers. How you update them depends on the manufacturer. Most of the time, Intel, AMD or Nvidia provide these drivers. Although you can also get updated drivers from the device manufacturer, these may not be updated as frequently as drivers provided by Intel or AMD. It is generally safe to choose these generic drivers. Sometimes some custom options may be suppressed if a generic driver is used. Most of the time, you won’t see a difference in functionality.
I recommend downloading and installing the drivers manually, but you can also use automated tools. Intel, for example, has a Intel Driver & Support Assistant tool that checks for updates and supports downloading and installing updates.
Windows PCs may come with an outdated BIOS and outdated drivers. Many Windows users may not be aware of this and run devices that do not provide the maximum performance, stability, and security that they might do if all device drivers were updated. Even brand new devices, which have been out for about a month, may already have driver and BIOS updates available.
Now you: How do you handle BIOS and driver updates?