How it works: O.C. Profiles

Written on July 25, 2011 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

A computer's BIOS controls all the basic settings of your computer, such as memory and hard drive settings, as well as some other options which are all necessary for your computer to start Windows normally. All these settings should already be set when you receive your computer, but in certain instances the BIOS may “forget” all the custom settings and revert to default settings. This can happen if the motherboard's CMOS battery loses power (the BIOS requires a constant small amount of voltage to retain these settings) or can even happen if the system has an unexpected restart or shutdown.

O.C. profiles allows users to save their BIOS settings to a memory chip on the motherboard that is non-volatile (does not need a constant voltage source). This means that even if the BIOS gets reset due to a power loss or the CMOS battery dies, the saved O.C. profile is available for you to quickly restore from. Most motherboards also allow for multiple O.C. profiles to be saved, meaning that advanced users can have multiple BIOS setups that they can easily switch between. These multiple profiles are most often utilized by users performing aggressive overclocking who need multiple BIOS settings they can switch between quickly if/when their machine becomes unstable.

O.C. profiles are available on most current ASUS motherboards and may be offered on other brands as well, although the feature is likely called something different due to copyright issues.

Accessing O.C. Profiles

These instructions only pertain to ASUS desktop motherboards. All BIOS's are slightly different, so the layout and wording on your system's BIOS may slightly differ from the screenshots below. Pre-UEFI motherboards in particular will look much different, although the general layout of the BIOS will be similar. If in doubt, you can refer to your motherboard manual for specific instructions on using your BIOS.

Enter the BIOS right after you turn on the machine by pressing "delete".On systems with a UEFI BIOS, you may need to change to Advanced Mode if your screen looks like the above. To do this, select "Exit/Advanced Mode" located at the top-right of the screen...
And select "Advanced Mode" from the selections that come up.Once in the BIOS, navigate to the "Tool" tab by pressing the right arrow key (or by using the mouse on systems with a UEFI BIOS) and selecting "ASUS O.C. Profile". The "Tools" tab is generally the last or second to last option.

Restoring from an O.C. Profile

To get to the O.C. Profile screen, see the section above titled "Accessing O.C. Profiles"

To restore from a previously saved profile, navigate to the "Load from Profile" selection, type in the number for the profile you wish to load and hit "Enter". Some motherboards allow profiles to be nameable making it esaier to know which profile you should restore from. By default, Puget Systems uses the date the profile was created for the profile that was saved when the machine was first built.A confirmation window will come up asking you to verify that you want to load the profile which you will need to select "Yes" on.
When you are done working with the O.C. profiles, navigate to the "Exit" button located at the top-right of the screen and select "Save Changes and Reset" on the window that pops up.

Saving a new O.C. Profile

To get to the O.C. Profile screen, see the section above titled "Accessing O.C. Profiles"

To save a new profile, first navigate to the "Label" selection (if available) and type in the name you would like to save the profile as.Next, navigate to the "Save to Profile" selection and type in the profile number you would like to save to and hit "Enter". On the confirmation window that comes up, select "Yes".
After the profile is saved, the screen will update the list of profiles automatically to show the new profile you just saved.When you are done working with the O.C. profiles, navigate to the "Exit" button located at the top-right of the screen and select "Save Changes and Reset" on the window that pops up.

Conclusion

While the O.C. Profiles can be an excellent tool, there are a few drawbacks to the technology in it's current form. The largest drawback at the moment is that if you update the BIOS, you should avoid using any previously saved O.C. profiles. Often existing profiles are automatically deleted when the BIOS is updated, but this is not always the case.

The reason you should avoid using older profiles is that depending on what was changed, added or removed to the BIOS in the update, the settings saved in the profile may no longer be relevant. While this most often just means that one or more settings are not restored, it could potentially cause the system to not POST if the profile restores a setting that the BIOS no longer sees as being a valid option.

We also high recommend not saving over the profile we at Puget Systems setup for your system unless absolutely necessary. While you may make some hardware changes in the future that require a BIOS change or two, having the original profile gives us a concrete place to start troubleshooting if you ever have a BIOS-related issues.

As always, we offer lifetime support on all Puget Systems, so if you need help with anything relating to the BIOS, just give us a call at (425)458-0273