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Author Topic: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]  (Read 6016 times)

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Offline perknh

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Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]
« on: June 15, 2015, 05:59:53 pm »
Hello friends,

We worked on this old legacy computer last night.  Tonight we have a new adventure.  My neighbor told me that his mouse's cursor was frozen on his screen.  So I thought I'd use the AndyInMokum technique to see if the disc was clean since we had a cold, hard shutdown yesterday afternoon.

We'll I took out our official Peppermint 6 stick and I was surprised to see that no matter what I did, I cannot access this computer's BIOS any longer --F12.

Any ideas of how to access this computer's BIOS menu again?  This is how I installed P5 on this computer in the first place.

Thank you,

perknh

P.S.

Here are the specs for the computer:

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
carl@CurvyLioness ~ $ inxi -F
System:    Host: CurvyLioness Kernel: 3.13.0-55-generic i686 (32 bit) Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Five
Machine:   System: Dell product: Dimension 3000
           Mobo: Dell model: 0TC666 Bios: Dell version: A03 date: 01/05/2006
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium 4 CPU (-UP-) cache: 1024 KB flags: (pae sse sse2 sse3) clocked at 2792.947 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82865G Integrated Graphics Controller
           X.Org: 1.15.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1280x1024@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 865G x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.3 Mesa 10.1.3
Audio:     Card: Intel 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) AC'97 Audio Controller driver: snd_intel8x0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.13.0-55-generic
Network:   Card: Intel 82562EZ 10/100 Ethernet Controller driver: e100
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:13:20:86:65:f9
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 80.0GB (4.6% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD800BB size: 80.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 73G used: 3.5G (5%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 1.07GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
RAID:      No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors:   None detected - is lm-sensors installed and configured?
Info:      Processes: 105 Uptime: 30 min Memory: 401.5/1000.2MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 1.9.17
carl@CurvyLioness ~ $
[close]

« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 08:46:23 am by perknh »
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Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 06:03:40 pm »
Hi perknh, is this a laptop or a desktop machine?
Backup! Backup! Backup! If you're missing any of these -  you ain't Backed Up!
For my system info please L/click HERE.

Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 06:12:31 pm »
Hi perknh, is this a laptop or a desktop machine?


Hello AndyINMokum,

It's a nine-year-old desktop.  And, sorry I didn't put this in the hardware support section --my error.

Thank you,

perknh
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 06:20:59 pm »
What makes you think it's F12 ?

BIOS is usually either F2 or Del on a desktop .. but it could be any key.

What model of Dell ?
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 06:36:23 pm »
What makes you think it's F12 ?

BIOS is usually either F2 or Del on a desktop .. but it could be any key.

What model of Dell ?

Hello PCNetSpec,

It's a Dimension 3000  Dell model: 0TC666 Bios: Dell version: A03 date: 01/05/2006.  I put all the inxi specs in the spoiler of the first post if that helps you with this.  The F2 does something different --but I forget what it does.  Anyway, I can't reboot and access that either.

Thank You,

perknh

P.S.

I see a note that says BIOS revision A03 --whatever that means.  :-\
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 07:31:13 pm by perknh »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 07:00:49 pm »
Power off

remove the power lead from the PC

press the ower ON switch and hold it for a few seconds to discharge any power from the motherboard capacitors

plug it back in

power ON and try access the BIOS
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 07:10:05 pm »
No, nothing --back to Searching for Btrfs file systems!

By the way, F2 says Setup.


Would there be a way to get into this computer's BIOS by the terminal?

Just an idea! ;)

Thank you,

perknh
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 07:29:04 pm by perknh »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 07:42:58 pm »
Setup IS the BIOS  :-\

Have you tried another keyboard in another slot (if USB)

and If it has a PS/2 socket .. try a PS/2 keyboard rather than a USB one.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 07:51:14 pm »
Is there a socket for a PS/2 keyboard on this thing ?

are you using a USB keyboard

Have you ever managed to enter the BIOS with this keyboard before ?
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2015, 07:59:05 pm »
Is there a socket for a PS/2 keyboard on this thing ?

are you using a USB keyboard

Have you ever managed to enter the BIOS with this keyboard before ?

It is the original Dell keyboard that came with the computer.  It is attached with a cord, and, yes, many times I've entered the BIOS with this keyboard.

It's not, however, a USB keyboard.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2015, 08:14:17 pm »
I'm wrong.  It is attached by USB!

Unfortunately, I don't have another keyboard.  Are you thinking that both F12 and F2 are not working on this keyboard any longer?  I'll change ports to see what happens.

No change --no access to the BIOS.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 08:26:49 pm by perknh »
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 08:24:37 pm »
OK, if it won;t let you nto the bios you're gonna have to open the case.

it's likely that some hardware has failed and is causing the system to hang

remove the HDD cable from the mother board, then power on and see it you can access the BIOS

if not, shut down again

remove the CD/DVD cable from the mother board, then power on and see it you can access the BIOS

if not, shut down again

Remove the RAM modules out at a time .. test .. then replace them and remove a different one .. test .. replace

remove any cards such as modem/soundcard/etc .. boot .. test BIOS

until you find the hardware that's locking things up

and last but not least you could try resetting the BIOS with the jumper on the motherboard.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 09:30:11 pm »
Thank you, scifidude79,

I'm afraid we've tried about every trick in the book, and, unfortunately, PCNetSpec has most likely given us the news we were hoping not to hear --that this is an internal hardware problem, and well beyond our pay grade and abilities.

Fortunately, other than not being able to enter either BIOS or the Setup Menu, this computer is still functioning with Peppermint 5 more or less like a champ --as it is doing right now.

I'm afraid that with all of the help we have gotten here, we will still need to abandon this pursuit.

We'd like to say thank you to all who have helped us here.  This problem was extremely difficult to diagnose.  My final thought for a software solution would be this:  Might upgrading the kernel have any positive effect on this kind of problem?  That would be my last software solution I could imagine trying.

If not, we will consider this problem abandoned for now.

Thank you,

Carl (the owner of this computer) and perknh
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 09:53:48 pm »
Nope sorry perknh .. the BIOS is quite independent of the software (including the kernel).

In fact by the time you're at the BIOS screen none of the hardware (HDD's etc.) that the software resides on has even been initialised yet .. so the kernel isn't loaded yet and can have no influence
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:56:10 pm by PCNetSpec »
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 10:07:50 pm »
Nope sorry perknh .. the BIOS is quite independent of the software (including the kernel).

In fact by the time you're at the BIOS screen none of the hardware (HDD's etc.) that the software resides on has even been initialised yet .. so the kernel isn't loaded yet and can have no influence

Thanks so much, PCNetSpec. 

The old computer is still fortunate to have an installation of Peppermint 5 residing inside.  If his computer continues to work. it will remain quite secure for nearly four more years.  That will be an achievement in and of itself!  ;)

perknh
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