Two motherboards may be very similar, but it doesn’t take much difference to render their BIOS files incompatible with one another. Here's why you shouldn't update one motherboard BIOS with a different motherboard's BIOS file. (See all graphics cards, upgrades and components reviews.)

QUESTION My friend has an Asus Crosshair V Formula motherboard and Asus hasn't released any new BIOS updates since 2012. So I was thinking, would the BIOS from the Crosshair V Formula Z work with the standard V formula? (See also: How to use IDE drive in PC with SATA connectors.)

ANSWER We would strongly warn you against attempting something like this. Flashing a BIOS not intended for you specific motherboard could result in all sorts of problems, including leaving you with a motherboard which no-longer works at all.

Although these two motherboards are very similar, it doesn’t take much difference to render the BIOS files incompatible. Unless you hear specific information to the contrary, do not try flashing the BIOS from the newer model.

If there’s a specific feature you want, then you may be able to get somewhere by visiting one of the BIOS modification sites on the web. A Google search for "BIOS modding" will set you in the right direction. However, all such modifications come with considerable risk should you wish to take it. (See also: Should I boost my PC's memory?)

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor and Windows 8 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.