Motherboard configuration data storage is a topic that almost all computer users are familiar with.
Motherboard configuration data storage is a hard topic to understand for most people, much less when you’re trying to figure out why not all motherboards work the same.
In the past motherboard manufacturers would have only needed to store mainboard information in their BIOS chipsets and on a small section of memory chips.
But it wasn’t until System Management Mode (SMM) was introduced with Intel’s i965 southbridge that motherboard manufacturers could store almost full system configuration in these areas.
It’s the information that tells your motherboard how much memory you have installed, the speed of your video card, and many other settings found on modern PCs.
Some people don’t know where this data actually resides, though.Most computer operating systems store motherboard configuration data in the file system.
Some hardware stores the configuration file in NVRAM (non-volatile RAM), which is the RAM chip found on motherboards.
But other motherboards keep their configuration files outside of NVRAM, usually inside of BIOS ROMs (read-only memory).
The location of these files can also differ between manufacturers or models. Where do today’s computers store almost all motherboard configuration data?
Article Background Information for this Motherboard Configuration Data Storage. Article: where do today’s computers store almost all motherboard configuration data?
Today’s computers use custom-designed memory chips to store nearly all of their configuration information, generally known as motherboard NVRAM (non-volatile random access memory).
The CPU uses instructions to read and write data to NVRAM. NVRAM is usually hidden from users.
1.Motherboard configuration data storage:
NVRAM: the RAM chip. Configuration files stored in NVRAM (and accessible through BIOS) can be read and written through a PC’s operating system.
On most modern motherboards, NVRAM is used for a few critical settings, such as the system’s boot sequence and CMOS setup.
In recent years, NVRAM has been used more frequently to store other important information. Some motherboards have only one common type of firmware ROM, found in both UEFI and legacy BIOS modes.
It is called a “system ROM” because it is primarily responsible for preparing the computer for booting.
On modern systems, this ROM most commonly contains Intel’s “coreboot” image, which is also the main purpose of the “coreboot” repository.
Other motherboards may have two different types of firmware ROMs. One type supports the EFI based BIOS that are common on new motherboards, while another type is used to support older-model hardware that still runs in legacy BIOS mode.
This dual-flavor hardware mostly comes from older motherboard manufacturers who passed away years ago.
Most of these older systems can’t boot from a hard drive or install PC software, but they still work well as basic web-surfing machines or general use computers.
Some new computers may still use these older sub-BIOS systems.
These metadata files contain valuable information that can be used to aid an intrusion recovery process or for troubleshooting purposes.
2.Store in BIOS ROMs:
the permanent memory. Having configuration data stored outside of the “system ROM” was common on older computers.
BIOS ROMs are built-in flash memory chips, which are also commonly referred to as whole-disk storage or BIOS chips.
When you turn on your computer, it automatically runs code that’s stored inside of these BIOS memory chips.
Long before hard drive disks were commonly used for storage, they were used to store critical motherboard data.
To slightly simplify things, this data was stored in various places, including NVRAM and various spots within the actual BIOS ROM itself.
3. Nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) :
It is the type of memory that retains information when power is turned off.
The RAM chip that sits on the motherboard.
It can vary in size (and number of chips) based on the PC’s configuration.
RAM contains data that is stored when the computer is turned off, but lost when you power it on again.
That’s why you shouldn’t remove RAM unless you also install new chips or replace the entire motherboard.
In a traditional sense, RAM is used to store basic computer information, such as account names and passwords.
However, at a lower level, NVRAM is used to store a limited amount of data that can be read by your PC’s BIOS.
When you update your motherboard firmware through software or a hardware key combination, those changes can be saved to NVRAM before they are viable for use by the OS.
In many cases, those changes will be transferred from NVRAM into RAM or flash memory as soon as your computer boots up or gets turned on again.