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Cannot access the BIOS on a laptop


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#1 Kerr Avon

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:52 AM

I apologise in advance if this is in the wrong forum (in which case, mods please feel free to move it), but I think the following problem is probably best suited to this forum.
 
A friend has passed me his laptop (an ASUS K52F, running Windows 10) to sort out, as it was running slow (the usual problems, malware, unwanted programs etc). I couldn't use any boot keys to get into the factory restore, so I used Windows itself (via holding down SHIFT when clicking on RESET on the Windows shutdown menu) to get me to the factory reset menu, and the factory reset worked as it should, and now the laptop is running great.
 
But the thing is, I want to know how to access the BIOS and the boot menu (so I can make the laptop boot from a USB stick, DVD-drive, etc). I don't need to know, as the laptop is working now, but I'm curious and I'll probably need to know it for sometime in the future. You can't always rely on Windows running when you need to accessFactory reset, so working boot keys are a must.
 
But the problem is, no matter what keys I press when I turn on the laptop, I can't get into the BIOS or the Boot Device Menu. According to:
 
 
the boot keys for the laptop (ASUS  K52F) are F8 for the boot menu (seems strange, but I've found other sites via Google that confirm the laptop uses the same key as Windows boot) and DEL for the BIOS, but whether I hold down one of these keys, or keep tapping on it when the laptop starts up, then it's as though no key is held down, and Windows 10 boots up. So of course I can't boot from a USB stick or DVD drive. I've tried the other usual suspect too (Esc, F9, F9 + FN, F11, F2 F1, etc) with the same result; Windows just acts like no key has been pressed/held down, and boots up to the Windows desktop.
 
Is it possible that somehow some settings in Windows 10 can cause the boot keys to not work? I wouldn't have though so, as I'd think the BIOS related code (which runs before Windows even starts, surely?) is never altered by Windows. Or is there something else I'm missing?

Thanks for any answers.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:13 AM

The only thing I can think of that would cause your problem is fast startup in Windows 10. Disable fast startup and then open a command prompt and type the following command.

 

shutdown -s

 

This will cause a complete shutdown. Reboot and tap F8 at boot for the boot menu. 

 

Edit: You may be able to get into UEFI settings from within Windows 10 per these steps.

 

http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/access-bios-windows-10

 

Edit: Per this thread the key to tap or press to access BIOS is F2 on the K52F


Edited by JohnC_21, 24 February 2017 - 10:25 AM.


#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:19 AM

These old units can have you tearing your hair out.

HERE is a link to the Asus website that (ostensibly) has manuals for download, your information may be in there. We can hope, anyway. On that page is also contact information for further help, but whether it really helps or not is questionable.

I have run across this many times, and usually if I start with F1 key and reboot my way through them all 1x1,  I strike paydirt. But not always.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#4 Kerr Avon

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:19 AM

The only thing I can think of that would cause your problem is fast startup in Windows 10. Disable fast startup and then open a command prompt and type the following command.

 

You're a genius! Turns out it was Fast Startup (which I'd never heard of before) somehow causing the problem. It's typical of Microsoft to add a new feature with no thought for how it will effect existing users. Fast Startup should either be off by default (so only people who know about it can have it on their systems) or when Fast Startup is booting, a message should say "The Fast Startup system is in operation. The Boot keys will not function unless you go into Windows and disable Fast Startup".

 

And what happens if, say, WIndows gets corrupted and goes into an infinite Fast Startup loop? You can't access the boot keys, so you can't tell the laptop to boot in Safe Mode, or to boot from a USB stick.

 

Anyway, using ESC now allows me to choose what device to boot from, and using F2 enters the BIOS, but F8 is still ignored. But I know that Windows 10 has issues responding to F8, so it's not caused by Fast Startup. I've followed the advice at:
 

http://www.opentechguides.com/how-to/article/windows-10/103/enable-f8-safe-mode.html

 

but pressing F8 when booting doesn't bring up Safe Mode. Do you have any suggestions there, please?

 

 

Ranchhand_, thanks but it's been solved, now. But I'd welcome any advice re: F8 when booting.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:41 AM

The F8 option is not available with Windows 10. You can edit the BCD. F8 is not used but instead a pre-boot screen opens.

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/245175/how-to-add-safe-mode-to-the-windows-8-and-10-boot-menu/

 

Another option to access the Advanced boot menu is using the following steps.

  1. Hold the Power Button for 5 seconds or until the computer completely shuts off.
  2. Press the Power Button to turn the computer on.
  3. As soon as you see the rotating loading circle, press and hold the Power Button until the computer shuts off.
  4. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times until you see the Preparing Automatic Repair screen.
  5. Let the computer boot to the Automatic Repair screen.
  6. Click Advanced Options, and then select Troubleshoot.


#6 Kerr Avon

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for that mate, that method of making Windows bring up the repair screen by stopping Windows from loading is clever sneaky!


Edited by hamluis, 24 February 2017 - 12:44 PM.


#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:40 PM

No problem.

Yeah, accessing Windows 10 advanced boot options is not very intuitive. In fact, I think it's a mess compared to Windows 7.



#8 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 04:41 PM

Yeah, and on systems like mine with fast ssds it's very difficult. If Microsoft made things more intuitive that would be nice

Did that fix it?


Edited by hamluis, 27 February 2017 - 01:12 PM.

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#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 09:54 PM

Not that I know of. Advanced Boot Options is only available using the BCD edit, from within Windows, or by using the power down cycle. Personally, I avoid the fast startup on Windows 10 as this causes a live linux boot disk to access the hard drive as Read Only as the drive is in a type of hybrid shutdown.


Edited by hamluis, 27 February 2017 - 01:12 PM.





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