BIOS Setup Page Won't Come Up.

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.

For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
take care of potential bugs.

There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).

I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
bootup.

So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?

Would flashing the bios be a solution?

Thanks for any feedback!!

Regards, John
21 answers Last reply
More about bios setup page
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F keys,
    and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard. Also, try
    a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug) and try a USB
    keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting. Whichever kind of keyboard
    you use, try a second one. The delete key should work.

    Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power DELETE!
    and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually you'll get in.

    There are so many reasons why your system won't fully boot, well... either
    find a tech to work with, or expect to spend a week troubleshooting.

    Dick Silk -- The Computer Tutor
    http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk
    for rates and online chat

    - Are dog biscuits made from collie flour?


    "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >
    > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    > take care of potential bugs.
    >
    > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >
    > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    > bootup.
    >
    > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >
    > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >
    > Thanks for any feedback!!
    >
    > Regards, John
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Every Dell I have owned from the Dimension 8100 to 4550 to 2400 to 8400 has
    used the F2 key to get into the BIOS.

    Del was much older Dells.

    Tom
    "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    news:41abc91d_1@newspeer2.tds.net...
    > First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F
    > keys, and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard.
    > Also, try a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug) and
    > try a USB keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting. Whichever kind
    > of keyboard you use, try a second one. The delete key should work.
    >
    > Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power
    > DELETE! and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually you'll
    > get in.
    >
    > There are so many reasons why your system won't fully boot, well... either
    > find a tech to work with, or expect to spend a week troubleshooting.
    >
    > Dick Silk -- The Computer Tutor
    > http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk
    > for rates and online chat
    >
    > - Are dog biscuits made from collie flour?
    >
    >
    > "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >>I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >>
    >> For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >> machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >> Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >> working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >> apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >> have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >> take care of potential bugs.
    >>
    >> There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >> come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >> would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >>
    >> I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >> to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >> by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >> work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >> F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >> bootup.
    >>
    >> So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >> have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >>
    >> Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >>
    >> Thanks for any feedback!!
    >>
    >> Regards, John
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    Mick
    "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >
    > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    > take care of potential bugs.
    >
    > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >
    > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    > bootup.
    >
    > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >
    > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >
    > Thanks for any feedback!!
    >
    > Regards, John
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I'll buy that. Now that you mention it, I remember them switching to F2
    back around 2001. but that's not "MUCH" older...
    still, the F12 key is also good for pulling up a menu on some systems, along
    with ctrl-D or ctrl-alt-D or some such keystroke.
    I'm not sure if they still do this or not, but there is sometimes a jumper
    on the motherboard that will FORCE the system to boot into bios mode.


    "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    news:xaednSqJmO9ITTbcRVn-rA@comcast.com...
    > Every Dell I have owned from the Dimension 8100 to 4550 to 2400 to 8400
    > has used the F2 key to get into the BIOS.
    >
    > Del was much older Dells.
    >
    > Tom
    > "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    > news:41abc91d_1@newspeer2.tds.net...
    >> First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F
    >> keys, and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard.
    >> Also, try a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug)
    >> and try a USB keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting. Whichever
    >> kind of keyboard you use, try a second one. The delete key should work.
    >>
    >> Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power
    >> DELETE! and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually you'll
    >> get in.
    >>
    >> There are so many reasons why your system won't fully boot, well...
    >> either find a tech to work with, or expect to spend a week
    >> troubleshooting.
    >>
    >> Dick Silk -- The Computer Tutor
    >> http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk
    >> for rates and online chat
    >>
    >> - Are dog biscuits made from collie flour?
    >>
    >>
    >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >>>I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >>>
    >>> For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >>> machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >>> Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >>> working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >>> apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >>> have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >>> take care of potential bugs.
    >>>
    >>> There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >>> come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >>> would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >>>
    >>> I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >>> to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >>> by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >>> work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >>> F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >>> bootup.
    >>>
    >>> So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >>> have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >>>
    >>> Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for any feedback!!
    >>>
    >>> Regards, John
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    We only ever use F2 for the bios and have never been told otherwise by Dell,
    Delete is a possible alternative but not the norm
    "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    news:41ac1599$1_2@newspeer2.tds.net...
    > I'll buy that. Now that you mention it, I remember them switching to F2
    > back around 2001. but that's not "MUCH" older...
    > still, the F12 key is also good for pulling up a menu on some systems,
    > along with ctrl-D or ctrl-alt-D or some such keystroke.
    > I'm not sure if they still do this or not, but there is sometimes a jumper
    > on the motherboard that will FORCE the system to boot into bios mode.
    >
    >
    > "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    > news:xaednSqJmO9ITTbcRVn-rA@comcast.com...
    >> Every Dell I have owned from the Dimension 8100 to 4550 to 2400 to 8400
    >> has used the F2 key to get into the BIOS.
    >>
    >> Del was much older Dells.
    >>
    >> Tom
    >> "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    >> news:41abc91d_1@newspeer2.tds.net...
    >>> First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F
    >>> keys, and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard.
    >>> Also, try a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug)
    >>> and try a USB keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting.
    >>> Whichever kind of keyboard you use, try a second one. The delete key
    >>> should work.
    >>>
    >>> Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power
    >>> DELETE! and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually
    >>> you'll get in.
    >>>
    >>> There are so many reasons why your system won't fully boot, well...
    >>> either find a tech to work with, or expect to spend a week
    >>> troubleshooting.
    >>>
    >>> Dick Silk -- The Computer Tutor
    >>> http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk
    >>> for rates and online chat
    >>>
    >>> - Are dog biscuits made from collie flour?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >>> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >>>>I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >>>>
    >>>> For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >>>> machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >>>> Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >>>> working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >>>> apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >>>> have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >>>> take care of potential bugs.
    >>>>
    >>>> There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >>>> come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >>>> would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >>>>
    >>>> I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >>>> to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >>>> by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >>>> work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >>>> F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >>>> bootup.
    >>>>
    >>>> So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >>>> have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >>>>
    >>>> Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks for any feedback!!
    >>>>
    >>>> Regards, John
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    properly. I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.

    Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    a way to repair it before I take that step.

    Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?

    Thanks again for the help.

    ...John


    "Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    > Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    > the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    > Mick
    > "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    > > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    > >
    > > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    > > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    > > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    > > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    > > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    > > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    > > take care of potential bugs.
    > >
    > > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    > > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    > > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    > >
    > > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    > > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    > > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    > > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    > > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    > > bootup.
    > >
    > > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    > > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    > >
    > > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    > >
    > > Thanks for any feedback!!
    > >
    > > Regards, John
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote:

    >"personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote

    >> First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F
    >> keys, and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard.
    >> Also, try a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug) and
    >> try a USB keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting. Whichever kind
    >> of keyboard you use, try a second one. The delete key should work.
    >>
    >> Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power
    >> DELETE! and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually you'll
    >> get in.

    >Every Dell I have owned from the Dimension 8100 to 4550 to 2400 to 8400 has
    >used the F2 key to get into the BIOS.
    >
    >Del was much older Dells.

    And non-Dells. That aside, though, the Del key has gotten me
    into the BIOS of every "Wintel" computer I've ever owned/used,
    including my current Dimensions, an L733r and a 4400 at home and
    8xxxs at work. Easy to remember over twenty-mumble years of
    DOS/Wintel PCing.
    --
    OJ III
    [Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I really liked the "10 thumbs" approach :-) Reminds me of another way I had
    to crack into a bios once: removing the A: drive. The bios was set to boot
    to it first, and when it couldn't find it, the option to enter was
    presented.
    Yes, replacing the HDD is a valid and (these days) cost-effective method of
    curing the problem. However: there are two types of HDDs with bad sectors:
    those that get worse, and those that simply have bad sectors (and do NOT get
    worse). Booting a system into Win'98 if possible, run SCANDISK /surface
    /autofix /nosave at the C: prompt (or whatever drive is affected) and let
    it complete *at least 3 times* -- this will mark out the bad sectors and
    even try to save data by moving suspect sector data to other locations. I
    spent (literally) a week using this "mercy save" technique for a
    church-friend who was also a "cheapskate". By the time I was finished she
    basically had a brand-new system with all windows updates and antivirus
    updates and office updates. I even managed to rescue her "My Documents"
    folder and write the whole thing to a CDR, which is probably the *best*
    thing that came out of this ordeal.

    I'm interested in knowing how long the drive lasts...

    Dick Silk -- The Computer Tutor
    http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk
    for rates and online chat

    - MONEY TALKS... but all mine ever says is GOODBYE!


    "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:9ea10a2b.0411301405.3b93b089@posting.google.com...
    > Thanks everyone for the feedback.
    >
    > I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    > problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    > and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    > properly. I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    > keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.
    >
    > Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    > on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    > of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    > previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    > a way to repair it before I take that step.
    >
    > Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?
    >
    > Thanks again for the help.
    >
    > ...John
    >
    >
    > "Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message
    > news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    >> Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant
    >> flash
    >> the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty
    >> memory,cpu,mainboard.
    >> Mick
    >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >> > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >> >
    >> > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >> > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >> > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >> > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >> > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >> > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >> > take care of potential bugs.
    >> >
    >> > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >> > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >> > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >> >
    >> > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >> > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >> > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >> > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >> > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >> > bootup.
    >> >
    >> > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >> > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >> >
    >> > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >> >
    >> > Thanks for any feedback!!
    >> >
    >> > Regards, John
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote in message news:<9ea10a2b.0411301405.3b93b089@posting.google.com>...
    > Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    > I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    > problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    > and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    > properly.


    That should read "you have to press another key to make the F keys
    work properly"...

    > I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    > keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.



    > Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    > on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    > of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    > previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    > a way to repair it before I take that step.
    >
    > Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?
    >
    > Thanks again for the help.
    >
    > ...John
    >
    >
    > "Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    > > Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    > > the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    > > Mick
    > > "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > > news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    > > > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    > > >
    > > > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    > > > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    > > > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    > > > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    > > > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    > > > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    > > > take care of potential bugs.
    > > >
    > > > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    > > > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    > > > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    > > >
    > > > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    > > > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    > > > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    > > > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    > > > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    > > > bootup.
    > > >
    > > > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    > > > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    > > >
    > > > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    > > >
    > > > Thanks for any feedback!!
    > > >
    > > > Regards, John
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Then there is the 10-thumbs way of getting into the BIOS:

    Power up the computer and immediately hold down as many keys on the keyboard as
    you can touch, 10 or even more with big fingers and thumbs. This usually
    provokes the motherboard BIOS into detecting a keyboard error and presenting the
    option to enter the BIOS setup to correct it... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 15:16:06 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >"Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote:
    >
    >>"personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote
    >
    >>> First off, the bios button for DIMENSIONS is the DELETE key, not the F
    >>> keys, and if you didn't get into bios, you need to check your keyboard.
    >>> Also, try a PS-2 keyboard (not the Sony game, but the round mini-plug) and
    >>> try a USB keyboard, just for comparison / troubleshooting. Whichever kind
    >>> of keyboard you use, try a second one. The delete key should work.
    >>>
    >>> Power on and IMMEDIATELY start tapping the delete key. like: power
    >>> DELETE! and keep tapping. It may take a few shots, but eventually you'll
    >>> get in.
    >
    >>Every Dell I have owned from the Dimension 8100 to 4550 to 2400 to 8400 has
    >>used the F2 key to get into the BIOS.
    >>
    >>Del was much older Dells.
    >
    >And non-Dells. That aside, though, the Del key has gotten me
    >into the BIOS of every "Wintel" computer I've ever owned/used,
    >including my current Dimensions, an L733r and a 4400 at home and
    >8xxxs at work. Easy to remember over twenty-mumble years of
    >DOS/Wintel PCing.
    >--
    >OJ III
    >[Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    >Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  11. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    If a hard disk has a bad sector(s), it is ready for the scrap heap. Hard disks
    are not repaired nowadays, except for some rare situations involving replacement
    of a defective circuit board when the disk itself is error-free. Hard disks
    with one or more bad sectors are generally replaced, because even one bad sector
    is a sign of more to follow, not quite a healthy environment for ones data and
    programs. Repair of a hard drive disk surface would involve disassembly of the
    disk drive in a clean room, an expensive proposition reserved for computer
    forensic analysis and/or recovery of valuable data. Simply get yourself a
    replacement drive... Ben Myers

    On 30 Nov 2004 14:05:30 -0800, jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote:

    >Thanks everyone for the feedback.
    >
    > I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    >problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    >and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    >properly. I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    >keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.
    >
    > Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    >on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    >of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    >previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    >a way to repair it before I take that step.
    >
    > Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?
    >
    > Thanks again for the help.
    >
    > ...John
    >
    >
    >"Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    >> Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    >> the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    >> Mick
    >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >> > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >> >
    >> > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >> > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >> > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >> > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >> > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >> > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >> > take care of potential bugs.
    >> >
    >> > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >> > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >> > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >> >
    >> > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >> > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >> > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >> > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >> > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >> > bootup.
    >> >
    >> > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >> > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >> >
    >> > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >> >
    >> > Thanks for any feedback!!
    >> >
    >> > Regards, John
  12. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I should say that I'm *assuming* it has a bad sector, since the
    install disc can't find the previous installation of Windows, nor
    identifiy the file system.

    I'm going to keep at it for a while to determine more conclusively
    what is going on. Thanks for the advice.

    ...John


    ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers) wrote in message news:<41acf53a.6215118@nntp.charter.net>...
    > If a hard disk has a bad sector(s), it is ready for the scrap heap. Hard disks
    > are not repaired nowadays, except for some rare situations involving replacement
    > of a defective circuit board when the disk itself is error-free. Hard disks
    > with one or more bad sectors are generally replaced, because even one bad sector
    > is a sign of more to follow, not quite a healthy environment for ones data and
    > programs. Repair of a hard drive disk surface would involve disassembly of the
    > disk drive in a clean room, an expensive proposition reserved for computer
    > forensic analysis and/or recovery of valuable data. Simply get yourself a
    > replacement drive... Ben Myers
    >
    > On 30 Nov 2004 14:05:30 -0800, jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote:
    >
    > >Thanks everyone for the feedback.
    > >
    > > I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    > >problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    > >and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    > >properly. I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    > >keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.
    > >
    > > Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    > >on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    > >of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    > >previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    > >a way to repair it before I take that step.
    > >
    > > Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?
    > >
    > > Thanks again for the help.
    > >
    > > ...John
    > >
    > >
    > >"Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    > >> Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    > >> the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    > >> Mick
    > >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > >> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    > >> > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    > >> >
    > >> > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    > >> > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    > >> > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    > >> > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    > >> > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    > >> > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    > >> > take care of potential bugs.
    > >> >
    > >> > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    > >> > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    > >> > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    > >> >
    > >> > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    > >> > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    > >> > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    > >> > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    > >> > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    > >> > bootup.
    > >> >
    > >> > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    > >> > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    > >> >
    > >> > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    > >> >
    > >> > Thanks for any feedback!!
    > >> >
    > >> > Regards, John
  13. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    John,

    The absolutely best way to determine if a hard drive is defective is to download
    and run the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software. MUCH better than
    scandisk, which depends on Windows to get its job done. Manufacturer's
    diagnostics test a drive as close to the bare iron as possible, unimpeded by
    layer upon layer of software. They are used to recertify drives by the
    manufacturers' themselves... Ben Myers

    On 1 Dec 2004 09:28:25 -0800, jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote:

    >I should say that I'm *assuming* it has a bad sector, since the
    >install disc can't find the previous installation of Windows, nor
    >identifiy the file system.
    >
    > I'm going to keep at it for a while to determine more conclusively
    >what is going on. Thanks for the advice.
    >
    > ...John
    >
    >
    >ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers) wrote in message news:<41acf53a.6215118@nntp.charter.net>...
    >> If a hard disk has a bad sector(s), it is ready for the scrap heap. Hard disks
    >> are not repaired nowadays, except for some rare situations involving replacement
    >> of a defective circuit board when the disk itself is error-free. Hard disks
    >> with one or more bad sectors are generally replaced, because even one bad sector
    >> is a sign of more to follow, not quite a healthy environment for ones data and
    >> programs. Repair of a hard drive disk surface would involve disassembly of the
    >> disk drive in a clean room, an expensive proposition reserved for computer
    >> forensic analysis and/or recovery of valuable data. Simply get yourself a
    >> replacement drive... Ben Myers
    >>
    >> On 30 Nov 2004 14:05:30 -0800, jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote:
    >>
    >> >Thanks everyone for the feedback.
    >> >
    >> > I was finally able to get to the bios set up using F2. The
    >> >problem was that I have this wireless keyboard, which is fairly new,
    >> >and apparently you have to press anothe key make the F keys work
    >> >properly. I discovered this when I decided to try a standard
    >> >keyboard (i.e. the non-wireless kind), and it worked fine.
    >> >
    >> > Above and beyond that, it appears that my problem is a bad sector
    >> >on the hard disk. So much so that I can't even do a repair install
    >> >of WinXP. It wants me to reformat the HD, because it can't find a
    >> >previous installation of Windows. Well, I'd rather see if there is
    >> >a way to repair it before I take that step.
    >> >
    >> > Anyone know of a good way to repair a HD?
    >> >
    >> > Thanks again for the help.
    >> >
    >> > ...John
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >"Mick" <mick@gotout.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41abb579$0$43624$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...
    >> >> Has to be hardware.If you cant enter setup(or get a display)you cant flash
    >> >> the bios(which isnt the answer anyway),suspect faulty memory,cpu,mainboard.
    >> >> Mick
    >> >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> >> news:9ea10a2b.0411291444.42433061@posting.google.com...
    >> >> > I have a Dell Dimension 4300 win WinXP pro.
    >> >> >
    >> >> > For some reason Windows XP Professional will not come up on the
    >> >> > machine. I've tried Normal Mode, Safe Mode, every mode provided, and
    >> >> > Windows always fails to fully load. Note, Windows XP had been
    >> >> > working fine for months, this error cropped up over night for no
    >> >> > apparent reason, i.e. no new applications were recently installed. We
    >> >> > have Norton anti-virus running, two firewalls, and ad ware removers to
    >> >> > take care of potential bugs.
    >> >> >
    >> >> > There is a a short lived error screen that pops up as Windows tries to
    >> >> > come up, but it only flashes for one second, so it's unreadable. (Why
    >> >> > would this be? Shouldn't error messages be readable?).
    >> >> >
    >> >> > I then decided to do a repair install of WinXP. To do this I wanted
    >> >> > to make the DVD drive bootable. So, I attempted to bring up the BIOS
    >> >> > by pressing F2, which should work for Dell dimension. This didn't
    >> >> > work. I tried it several times. I also tried some other keys such as
    >> >> > F1, Del, and F10. In all cases, the BIOS setup wouldn't come up at
    >> >> > bootup.
    >> >> >
    >> >> > So, I'm wondering what sort of problem I've got here. Does anyone
    >> >> > have any ideas? Is it a Windows problem or a hardware problem?
    >> >> >
    >> >> > Would flashing the bios be a solution?
    >> >> >
    >> >> > Thanks for any feedback!!
    >> >> >
    >> >> > Regards, John
  14. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I'll second that motion! Diagnostic utilities are best. I didn't mention
    it because I was uncertain if the OP had the wherewithal to find and
    download the diagnostic software. I figure *at least* half the people who
    post here are NOT techies, otherwise, they wouldn't be posting here.

    <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    news:41ae1081.712807@nntp.charter.net...
    > John,
    >
    > The absolutely best way to determine if a hard drive is defective is to
    > download
    > and run the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software. MUCH better than
    > scandisk, which depends on Windows to get its job done. Manufacturer's
    > diagnostics test a drive as close to the bare iron as possible, unimpeded
    > by
    > layer upon layer of software. They are used to recertify drives by the
    > manufacturers' themselves... Ben Myers
    >
    > On 1 Dec 2004 09:28:25 -0800, jalway@gmail.com (John Alway) wrote:
    >
    >>I should say that I'm *assuming* it has a bad sector, since the
    >>install disc can't find the previous installation of Windows, nor
    >>identifiy the file system.
    >>
    >> I'm going to keep at it for a while to determine more conclusively
    >>what is going on. Thanks for the advice.
    >>
    >> ...John
  15. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote:

    >I'll second that motion! Diagnostic utilities are best. I didn't mention
    >it because I was uncertain if the OP had the wherewithal to find and
    >download the diagnostic software. I figure *at least* half the people who
    >post here are NOT techies, otherwise, they wouldn't be posting here.

    My. Aren't we full of ourself.
    --
    OJ III
    [Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  16. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Ogden Johnson III" <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:d4fsq0pmp8vh6adhm9brrp6rb4km6k17qo@4ax.com...
    > "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote:
    >
    >>I'll second that motion! Diagnostic utilities are best. I didn't mention
    >>it because I was uncertain if the OP had the wherewithal to find and
    >>download the diagnostic software. I figure *at least* half the people who
    >>post here are NOT techies, otherwise, they wouldn't be posting here.
    >
    > My. Aren't we full of ourself.

    On a good day...
  17. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben Myers wrote:
    > John,

    > The absolutely best way to determine if a hard drive is defective is
    to download
    > and run the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software. MUCH better
    than
    > scandisk, which depends on Windows to get its job done.
    Manufacturer's
    > diagnostics test a drive as close to the bare iron as possible,
    unimpeded by
    > layer upon layer of software. They are used to recertify drives by
    the
    > manufacturers' themselves... Ben Myers

    This is a belated response, just to update. I did check the hard
    drive. I used Dell Diagnostics, and IBM diagnostics. Both of them
    were unable to check the drive, i.e. diagnose it. About the only
    thing that seemed to be able to was Magic Partition, which could at
    least identify the file system type for each partition (Windows and
    Linux), but nothing was able to reformat it.


    So, it's clear that the drive, an IBM Desk Star, is toast. So I'm
    going to have to replace it.
    Thanks to all for the feedback.


    ...John
  18. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben Myers wrote:
    > John,

    > The absolutely best way to determine if a hard drive is defective is
    to download
    > and run the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software. MUCH better
    than
    > scandisk, which depends on Windows to get its job done.
    Manufacturer's
    > diagnostics test a drive as close to the bare iron as possible,
    unimpeded by
    > layer upon layer of software. They are used to recertify drives by
    the
    > manufacturers' themselves... Ben Myers

    This is a belated response, just to update. I did check the hard
    drive. I used Dell Diagnostics, and IBM diagnostics. Both of them
    were unable to check the drive, i.e. diagnose it. About the only
    thing that seemed to be able to was Partition Magic, which could at
    least identify the file system type for each partition (Windows and
    Linux), but nothing was able to reformat it.


    So, it's clear that the drive, an IBM Desk Star, is toast. So I'm
    going to have to replace it.
    Thanks to all for the feedback.


    ...John
  19. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1102781404.741495.159400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

    > This is a belated response, just to update. I did check the hard
    > drive. I used Dell Diagnostics, and IBM diagnostics. Both of them
    > were unable to check the drive, i.e. diagnose it. About the only
    > thing that seemed to be able to was Partition Magic, which could at
    > least identify the file system type for each partition (Windows and
    > Linux), but nothing was able to reformat it.
    >
    >
    > So, it's clear that the drive, an IBM Desk Star, is toast. So I'm
    > going to have to replace it.
    > Thanks to all for the feedback.

    wait!!... one last thought, now that you've narrowed it to the drive.
    use the dell debug routine or clean1k.exe from a resource CD or the online
    filelibrary. It will wipe the first 1000 bytes off the drive (this is to
    eliminate master boot sector buggies) then FDISK it.
  20. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    news:41bb3490$1_1@newspeer2.tds.net...
    > "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:1102781404.741495.159400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    >
    >> This is a belated response, just to update. I did check the hard
    >> drive. I used Dell Diagnostics, and IBM diagnostics. Both of them
    >> were unable to check the drive, i.e. diagnose it. About the only
    >> thing that seemed to be able to was Partition Magic, which could at
    >> least identify the file system type for each partition (Windows and
    >> Linux), but nothing was able to reformat it.
    >>
    >>
    >> So, it's clear that the drive, an IBM Desk Star, is toast. So I'm
    >> going to have to replace it.
    >> Thanks to all for the feedback.
    >
    > wait!!... one last thought, now that you've narrowed it to the drive.
    > use the dell debug routine or clean1k.exe from a resource CD or the online
    > filelibrary. It will wipe the first 1000 bytes off the drive (this is to
    > eliminate master boot sector buggies) then FDISK it.
    >
    >
    >
    Yes good idea, if the hard drive in question has Linux and Windows on it,
    it could very well be a corrupt Master Boot Record making problems.
    Linux and Grub/Lilo or some other Linux boot loader has probably caused the
    problem.
    After you use dell debug routine or clean1k.exe from a resource CD or the
    online
    filelibrary. Then boot computer with a boot floppy(win98se) that has FDISK
    on it.
    At the dos prompt type in FDISK /MBR then hit enter.
    Download win98se boot here http://freepctech.com/pc/002/files010.shtml
    Then you should be able to format the hard drive.

    How to remove Linux from a hard drive:
    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000574.htm

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314458

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mosaddique/Dual-Boot%20remove%20Linux%20or%20Windows.html


    Craig
  21. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Craig" <nospam_wanted@on_the_net.com> wrote in message
    news:UAHud.16663$Jk5.5302@lakeread01...
    >
    > "personalpages.tds.net/~rcsilk" <dick_silk@antispam.gov> wrote in message
    > news:41bb3490$1_1@newspeer2.tds.net...
    >> "John Alway" <jalway@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:1102781404.741495.159400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    >>
    >>> This is a belated response, just to update. I did check the hard
    >>> drive. I used Dell Diagnostics, and IBM diagnostics. Both of them
    >>> were unable to check the drive, i.e. diagnose it. About the only
    >>> thing that seemed to be able to was Partition Magic, which could at
    >>> least identify the file system type for each partition (Windows and
    >>> Linux), but nothing was able to reformat it.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> So, it's clear that the drive, an IBM Desk Star, is toast. So I'm
    >>> going to have to replace it.
    >>> Thanks to all for the feedback.
    >>
    >> wait!!... one last thought, now that you've narrowed it to the drive.
    >> use the dell debug routine or clean1k.exe from a resource CD or the
    >> online filelibrary. It will wipe the first 1000 bytes off the drive
    >> (this is to eliminate master boot sector buggies) then FDISK it.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    > Yes good idea, if the hard drive in question has Linux and Windows on it,
    > it could very well be a corrupt Master Boot Record making problems.
    > Linux and Grub/Lilo or some other Linux boot loader has probably caused
    > the problem.
    > After you use dell debug routine or clean1k.exe from a resource CD or the
    > online
    > filelibrary. Then boot computer with a boot floppy(win98se) that has FDISK
    > on it.
    > At the dos prompt type in FDISK /MBR then hit enter.

    right -- however, I just use FDISK and never have to bother with the /MBR.
    But to give it a whirl, you might try the /MBR option *before* you wipe the
    1000 bytes!
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