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Tip of the Day
Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Aug 3, 1999

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BIOS Version Information

Question:
I have scoured the Web and can't find any information on where to obtain BIOS version/name information. As far as I can tell, there are no APIs or C libraries to provide this function. I have searched BIOS and DOS interrupts with no luck. I know system BIOS lies in the range F000h–FFFFh, but a debug dump turns up no useful information. Is there a reasonably simple way to accomplish this in C++?

Answer:
It seems like I'm seeing this question come up a lot these days.

Given a specific brand and type of BIOS, there may or may not be version information stored somewhere. As far as I'm concerned, there is no reliable way to get a version number from the BIOS on all computers.

I have seen code that displays the copyright from a BIOS. This code had to search BIOS memory for every variation of "copyright," "(c)," "(C)," etc. And it came to my attention that this would fail on a number of computers.

I'm sorry but there is a good reason why you could not find any documentation on how to do this.

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