Every computer needs BIOS to get up and running. It is essential to the basic functions of the machine whether it is a desktop, laptop or tablet. The majority of users rarely interact with BIOS since most of its work happens at startup or behind the scenes of their regular operating system. However, for businesses that run on technology, it is important that IT staff can access and change BIOS settings on every computer in the workplace. The most efficient way for IT staff to do this is to access BIOS remotely.
IT staff can access every computer in the workplace and the computers of remote employees through Netop Remote Control. While the process is normally streamlined, there are moments when remote computers cannot be accessed due to there being no active OS. With the integrated Intel vPro remote management, IT staff members have the capability to use Netop Remote Control to address any crashes or necessary reboots, regardless of the state of the software or the distance of the remote device.
What Is BIOS?
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is not a program that sits on your hard drive. In fact, it is completely independent of your operating system. BIOS is firmware that controls the motherboard of your computer. It manages the data flow to and from everything connected to your computer: hard drive, video adapter, printer, mouse, keyboard and any other peripheral.
When you first hit the power button on your computer, BIOS starts its work. It acts like a preflight checklist on an airline, making certain that everything is properly connected and powered before getting started. Once the check is complete, BIOS boots up your operating system, and you begin your daily computer work.
How Changing BIOS Settings Can Affect a Computer
It is important to remember that BIOS settings should only be accessed by someone who knows what they are doing. Because it operates at such a basic level, an improper setting can lock you out of the computer or cause it to refuse to boot the operating system. Still, changing BIOS settings can enhance the convenience and security of your computer.
By accessing BIOS settings, an IT professional can do several important things:
- Set a password: For security and safety, you can add a password to BIOS access, preventing unauthorized access and changes.
- Boot device options: By default, BIOS cycles through several boot options before going to the operating system on your hard drive. In this default mode, someone can boot the device using an unauthorized disk or flash drive. Your IT professional can make certain that office computers only boot from the hard drive.
- Auto power on: BIOS includes the system clock. Through BIOS, a technician can have all the computers in a workplace turn on automatically at an appointed time, so they are ready and waiting for staff.
- Wake on LAN: Turning on this setting allows a user to power up the computer remotely. A technician can start a remote session even after the computer has shut down.
How to Access BIOS on Your Computer
On older computers, you can access the BIOS menu during the startup process. It normally involves pressing a function key before you see the logo for your operating system. Pressing the key interrupts the startup and displays the BIOS options and settings.
Windows 10 computers boot up much faster than older models. This makes it difficult to access BIOS during the startup period. Instead, in Windows 10, you can instruct the computer to open the BIOS menu during a restart. This method takes several steps.
- From the Start menu, click on “Settings.”
- Find the setting for “Updates and Security.”
- Choose the “Recovery” option.
- Choose “Restart Now,” which will open a menu during the restart process.
- Choose “Troubleshoot.”
- Choose “Advanced Options.”
- Choose “Firmware Settings,” which will bring you to the BIOS menu.
The Benefits and Challenges of Remote BIOS Access
You can see that accessing BIOS in a Windows 10 computer is a time-consuming process. Imagine if you wanted to change the BIOS settings or update BIOS in every computer in a large workplace. This would consume a great deal of your IT staff’s time as they went from department to department accessing each individual computer and laptop. A better option would be to access BIOS remotely and change settings from afar.
However, most remote desktop protocols have an important limitation when it comes to BIOS. You can only make a remote connection once the operating system has loaded. You are already past the point of easy BIOS access. While the guest user can restart the host computer, the remote connection will break during the startup process as BIOS checks the power to peripherals, including network connections.
Accessing BIOS Remotely and Changing Settings With Intel vPro Active Management Technology
In 2007, the Intel Corporation introduced the vPro line of processing hardware. Processors with vPro capabilities have faster processing and more efficient battery use. They feature faster network connections with heightened security. One of the most important innovations of vPro technology was the introduction of Intel Active Management Technology, or AMT.
Intel remote management makes it much easier for IT departments to access BIOS remotely. AMT allows technicians to make out-of-band connections with computers on a network. They can change BIOS settings remotely whether the computer is active or not. They can even change the settings on a computer that has failed to boot, fixing the problem while it is dormant. The ability to access BIOS remotely greatly improves BIOS management in companies of all sizes.
An important part of this technology is that it runs on a smaller service processor located on the Intel processor. AMT can work across platforms, allowing technicians to access BIOS remotely for any platform your business uses. BIOS management is not limited to desktops and laptops, but IT staff can also access BIOS remotely for point-of-sale devices and anything else that uses an Intel vPro processor.
The Netop Remote Control Difference: Easy and Secure Remote Access
In May of 2017, versions of Netop Remote Control included integration with Intel vPro remote management. Partnering with Intel allows our users even greater options for remote access. When using Netop Remote Control, your IT department can access any vPro-equipped device on your network whether it is on or off. Netop Remote Control and Intel vPro hardware make it possible to access BIOS remotely across the many secure remote access solution platforms your business uses.
Netop Remote Control is an important partner for making secure remote access connections within your network. We offer the security and flexibility that your business needs to keep your technology productive and safe. In addition to making it simple to access BIOS remotely, we also make it easy and safe to access and monitor live remote connections. Netop Remote Control offers several important benefits.
- Cross-platform connectivity: Make flexible remote connections with all the different devices on your network.
- Enhanced security: Remote connections stay in-network and get monitored through a video record.
- Flexible administration: Role-based identification makes it possible to know who can access which computers. You can also limit what files, programs and folders a given user can access.
- Ease of use: Consolidating all of your remote connections through a single network makes things simple. Your employees can make connections faster and deal with less frustration. This saves time and money, two of your biggest business assets.
Whether you are looking for a solution to access BIOS remotely or to help your remote workers be more productive, Netop Remote Control is the answer for all your remote connection needs. Netop Remote Control with vPro remote management is your secure IT remote control solution. Call today to learn more.
Sam Heiney is the Product Manager for Netop Remote Control.