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Can't enter Bios.

Last response: in Motherboards
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August 25, 2011 8:26:17 AM

I thought I had a problem with my HDD. It seemed to be making noises on boot up. Turns out the settings of my BIOS meant it was looking to the CD-ROM to boot-up first, HDD second. Np, I thought, I'll just change the BIOS settings. Can't get into it.

What happens:

1. Windows boots up fine - there is just a slight pause as the BIOS checks to see if there is a disc in the CD-ROM.
2. When I try the key to get into the BIOS - it instead gives me a list of windows operating systems to load up - at least is seems that way - it's just a list from the command screen saying 'windows 7/vista/xp' and another line the same thing but in safe mode and another line mentioning windows server and another mention something else that has nothing to do with Win 7'
It's like the screen when windows has an unexpected shutdown, but has too many options. Like 12 of them.

With the BIOS I can (not main BIOS) :

1. Select the Boot Menu
2. Select and read the motherboard info.
3. Flash the BIOS, use the utility to save the BIOS to a USB and load one from the USB or other media.
4. Go into the 'core unlocker' settings.

I have tried:

1. Clicking and holding the DEL key, clicking repetitively. (This is the correct key to press to get into my BIOS.)
2. Doing the same as above, but with F1, F2 and F10.
3. Removing the motherboard battery - I could get into my BIOS - but once I put it back in - my changed settings reverted, and again I couldn't gain access to my BIOS.
4. I have tried support for my board (ASUS M4A87TD EVO) - but there was nothing on the problem.
5. I had a backup of the original bios (there's a flash bios facility for the board.) I loaded up the backup and there was no change so it isn't a corrupted BIOS as far as I can see.

Anyway - if anyone can help it would be appreciated. I have tried to give us much info as I can to avoid repeating actions. Thanks in advance.

More about : enter bios

a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2011 8:44:15 AM

Did you try changing f12 to get into boot order menu? I'm not much help but sorry. I hope this simple suggestion will be a step forward to finding your answer :( 
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a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2011 9:45:43 AM

Since you're attempting to perform a function prior to the system booting, power down the system and just disconnect all your potential boot devices so the system simply can't start-up. This way you can just reset the system (without having to wait for Windows to load, shut it down, etc.) should you fail to access the BIOS before the system is prepared to boot.

Does your system start with an ASUS motherboard image, or Splashscreen? If so, You can (usually) use the ESC key to remove the "Splash" and view the "normal" DOS-like display. The "Splash" can be disabled within the BIOS, and doing so should allow you to see all of the initial, DOS-like system start-up. At any time, you should be able to press the "Pause/Break" key and completely halt the system start-up, which should easily give you time to "press DEL" to enter the BIOS.

There's another means to extend the amount of time you have to enter the BIOS. The easiest way is to have the BIOS count/check the memory. Offhand, I can't recall where exactly within the BIOS that option lies, but you should be able to do so by skimming through all its options.

Also, if you have an old floppy drive, installing one usually prolongs the system start-up process by at least a few seconds. (If you connect its data cable backwards, it can prolong start-up for a very long time.)
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August 25, 2011 9:52:27 AM

@ Wintermint :

Thanks for the reply - it's not so much the boot order menu I want to get into - but the main BIOS, or the BIOS setup.

So far the only way I can do it is to remove the motherboard's battery, then go into it when it asks for a BIOS 'change to default settings.'
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August 25, 2011 10:03:25 AM

RazberyBandit said:
Since you're attempting to perform a function prior to the system booting, power down the system and just disconnect all your potential boot devices so the system simply can't start-up. This way you can just reset the system (without having to wait for Windows to load, shut it down, etc.) should you fail to access the BIOS before the system is prepared to boot.

Does your system start with an ASUS motherboard image, or Splashscreen? If so, You can (usually) use the ESC key to remove the "Splash" and view the "normal" DOS-like display. The "Splash" can be disabled within the BIOS, and doing so should allow you to see all of the initial, DOS-like system start-up. At any time, you should be able to press the "Pause/Break" key and completely halt the system start-up, which should easily give you time to "press DEL" to enter the BIOS.

There's another means to extend the amount of time you have to enter the BIOS. The easiest way is to have the BIOS count/check the memory. Offhand, I can't recall where exactly within the BIOS that option lies, but you should be able to do so by skimming through all its options.

Also, if you have an old floppy drive, installing one usually prolongs the system start-up process by at least a few seconds. (If you connect its data cable backwards, it can prolong start-up for a very long time.)


Thanks for the reply - I did indeed disconnect all boot devices - but all that happened was it asked for me to select a boot up device and gave me no chance to enter BIOS.

Yes, my system does start with the ASUS splashcreen. I will try using the ESC key to remove it - that would be awesome - it really bugs me - and I will try the Pause/Break key too, to halt the start-up.

I'm not sure about making the BIOS check the memory, but I will check for it and enable if I can't get into the BIOS without the splashscreen method.

I don't have a floppy drive - good idea though.

I will try these things and get back with results - if any. Thanks again. :) 

Any other ideas anyone (just in case) ?
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a b V Motherboard
August 25, 2011 10:31:48 AM

Other than what I've mentioned, not really... Other than perhaps trying another keyboard or connecting it to a different USB port if the system seems to simply ignore all "DEL" key presses.
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August 25, 2011 6:45:23 PM

Alright - I tried to do the ESC key but it wouldn't work and get rid of the Splashscreen.

I was able to use the pause/break key and was able to spot something I'd otherwise been unable to : "JMicorn Technology Corp. PCI Express to SATA II HOST Controller ROM v1.07.20 Copyright(C) 2005-2009. JMIcron Technology Corp. DETECTING DRIVES; DONE; NO DRIVES FOUND." This popped up between splashscreens - I don't know if it means anything.

There is one change - when I click the DEL key when trying to enter the BIOS - it now goes to the standard boot menu prompt for windows. Very strange - why does the DEL key not put it in the BIOS?

I'm thinking that the motherboard battery needs to be replaced. Possibly. Either that or I have a rare virus in the BIOS.

What does anyone think?
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a b V Motherboard
August 26, 2011 7:37:19 PM

It's normal for controllers to look for connected devices. If you could access the BIOS, you could disable it, as well as change it between IDE, AHCI, and RAID modes.

I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't be able to get into the BIOS... The fact that you can't literally has me scratching my head.
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August 26, 2011 9:27:06 PM

Well, I can get into it if I take out the mobo battery which forces a reset, and allows me to go into it. After, however, when I reboot and what not - I can't get back in. Just when I take out that battery.

Anyway, today I:

Cleared the CMOS
Changed the keyboard port.
Removed the Splashscreen
Changed the boot order
Bought a new mobo battery
Looked through fifteen pages of Google with people with similar problems - turns out it's pretty common, but solutions aren't. Still have a number of things to try out - if I find the solution - I will come back, maybe even do a big post on it. :-)
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2011 1:18:31 AM

Sorry I didn't respond for days. I was away this weekend (in Cape May, NJ of all places). At this point, I'd probably find myself crawling up ASUS tech support's a$$ with a microscope 'til they gave me a working solution or replaced the flippin' board. Just my 2 cents...

Good luck, and I'm sorry I couldn't offer more help.
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August 30, 2011 6:21:36 AM

I wouldn't worry about it - thanks for your help anyways. I still can't find an answer and tbh - I'm so tired of looking at the thing I'm now ignoring it and playing Deus Ex HR instead.

Have a best answer on me. :-)
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