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cannot access bios setup at all


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18 replies to this topic

#1 lurkynot

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 05:30 PM

I am using Xp and would like to do a complete re-install however when I do a restart or startup the pc goes straight to windows without giving me the F2 or F10 options.

Hence the machine is not seeing the "C" drive upon booting.

Has anyone else experienced this as I have tried everything today with no results.

This is a Gateway fx400 pc.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 05:35 PM

You've tried...hitting the F2 key systematically...once the system starts booting?

What happens if you disconnect the hard drive temporarily?

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 01 January 2011 - 05:35 PM.


#3 lurkynot

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 05:42 PM

yes I have tried fF2 repeatedly without success

it is a bit strange in that it goes straight to windows upon restarting after a bit of a delay.

About unhooking the HDD I have tried restarting without the drives hooked up and the screen shows absolutely nothing.

Are you suggesting unhooking the drives while windows is up and running?

I am perplexed to say the least.

#4 PolaBar

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 06:07 PM

You can try the F1 key instead, some Gateways have either.

#5 somdcomputerguy

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 06:55 PM

Might as well try <ESC> and <DEL> too, while you're at it. Also, you can try holding down the space bar (or any other key probably) continuously while the thing is booting. This might generate a 'keyboard error' message that'll be displayed before the OS loads. A message like this usually has info as to what key gets into the bios setup.
-bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

#6 lurkynot

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 09:05 PM

I have tried everything suggested as well as changing the little battery and still no luck.

If I hold down the F2 key I will hear a steady beep and then nothing happens until I ctrl-alt-delete and the system boots right back to windows without allowing me to check or change the boot sequence.

This has me really stumped.

#7 somdcomputerguy

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

Another shot: disconnect or take out the battery, and leave it out for at least 10 minutes, maybe more. This way, the CMOS data (time and date, types of drives, etc) will drain out and when the pc is turned back on an error message should be displayed before the OS loads.
-bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

#8 lurkynot

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 10:06 PM

I removed the battery for almost a half an hour when I changed it earlier tonight and got the same results.

Perhaps I will remove it overnight if this was not enough time.


Just to further explain what is happening:

When I elect to either restart or power up all I ever see is a black screen for about 2 minute and then the blue Welcome to Windows XP screen appears followed by my desktop.

No other information or options are displayed.

When I elect to either restart or power up and intervene by tapping either F2,F8 or F10 the screen stays black until I do a CTRL-ALT-DELETE and then 2 minutes later the blue Welcome to Windows XP screen appears followed by my desktop.

At the point of tapping F2,F8 or F10 I instead hold either of those keys the motherboards beeps and nothing happens until I do the CTRL-ALT-DELETE and then 2 minutes later the blue Welcome to Windows XP screen appears followed by my desktop.

#9 hamluis

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:55 AM

Taking a new CMOS battery out...has no effect that replacing it should have had.

If you changed the CMOS battery and had the hard drive disconnected...you should have at least received a POST screen.

The hard drive can be erased by connecting it to a different system...but I have no explanation for the actions that take place on your system.

I would have to suspect a more serious hardware issue...to wit, the motherboard. The system is not exactly a new one, but many older systems are still running today. But I would not be surprised by a 5-year-old component failure.

Louis

What made you decide to attempt an O/S reinstall? What problems did you have that led to that decision?

Edited by hamluis, 02 January 2011 - 05:58 AM.


#10 PolaBar

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:39 AM

Some motherboards won't clear the CMOS ram just by taking out the battery, you have to set the CMOS clear jumper on the board to do so.
Look up your motherboard number to find the required proceedure.

You might also try Gateways site and see if they have an updated BIOS, if not try re-flashing the current one.

Since it boots to Windows ok it is recognizing the HD. When you disconnected the hard drive you should have recieved a message that said "no operating system can be found" which leads me to believe your bios has become corrupted.

You should also try and download memtest86 and scan your memory for errors.

Edited by PolaBar, 02 January 2011 - 06:47 AM.


#11 lurkynot

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:49 PM

"What made you decide to attempt an O/S reinstall? What problems did you have that led to that decision?"

Basically the length of time it has been taking to reboot as well as the fact of the way it has been rebooting.

The system is stable however. And could use a fresh install since it has been a year and a half at least since the last reload.

How can I check for a corrupt bios?

I did go to the Gateway support link and my exact bios update revision is not offered it is off by a few #'s.

BIOS: Intel Corp. PB94510J.15A.0173.2005.0831.1214 08/31/2005 is the number in my pc.

BIOS: Intel Corp. PB94510J.15A.0163 is the update closest to the number I have.

#12 PolaBar

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:13 PM

BIOS: Intel Corp. PB94510J.15A.0163 is the update closest to the number I have.


That one is older than the one you have now. Is the one you have now the original or has it been updated?
Do they have any that are newer than the one you have?

#13 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:26 PM

Hey, are you using a usb keyboard?
Maybe the keyboard is not responding in boot mode.
Do you have a ps2 port? Maybe try plugging in an old keyboard and try to access bios.

Just a guess!


Way to check is if caps lock light goes on & off while booting (when you hit capslock key.)

Frank O' The Mountain
Doing more stupid before 5AM than most people do all day.


#14 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:30 PM

If it's taking a long time to boot out of bios, I've found that you need to disable anything on IDE chain that is not being used. (assuming IDE here).

For instance if you have one hard drive on ide #1 (master), and nothing on slave, then you need to disable the slave in bios. Same goes for ide #2.

I know you are having trouble getting to bios...

Hey my kid is 9, and his XP install is over 4 years old. Pretty good for a kid. No virus protection either.
Does that make me a good teacher?

Frank O' The Mountain
Doing more stupid before 5AM than most people do all day.


#15 lurkynot

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:28 PM

Ok back at it with some updates.

First off thanks to all for your responses.

In addition to replacing the cmos battery and disconnecting the hard drives I went to Gateways site and followed their procedures to flash the bios as well as clearing the bios settings by removing the jumper and rebooting.

Disconnecting the drives/reboot and removing the bios jumper/reboot yeilded the same results - zilch.

Upon powering up the system would not boot to windows of course and I let it run all night before replacing the bios jumper and rebooting to the same results.

I am totally stumped.




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