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Author Topic: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]  (Read 6134 times)

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Offline VinDSL

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2015, 11:28:37 pm »
Just for shiggles... do you see any odd results, when you type this in CLI?

Code: [Select]
sudo dmidecode -t bios

Offline aagimob

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2015, 12:40:20 am »
Hi! Try to replace batery(inside computer is a small batery like a coin).You must to work but this will reset BIOS.Good lock. :P

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2015, 10:29:20 am »
Removing the CMOS battery rarely resets the BIOS (sometimes I've seen it work, but it really *shouldn't*) .. it resets the real-time clock, but not the BIOS settings which don't require power to remain in the EEPROM.

In any case if the PC is working but you can't enter the BIOS .. DON'T DO IT.

It's highly likely that resetting the clock will cause the boot to fail and prompt you to enter the BIOS to set the clock .. bit of a problem if you can't enter the BIOS ;)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 07:17:27 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2015, 12:23:39 pm »

In any case if the PC is working but you can't enter the BIOS .. DON'T DO IT.

Thank you, gents.  It's an old desktop --no battery.

We're leaving well enough along.  I know it's an issue, and one that would be address in an ideal world, but since the computer has Peppermint 5 installed, and will have security until 2019.  Heck, we can live with things the way they are. That old Dell is still working very, very well.

Peppermint 5, too, is an excellent OS.

Thank you,

perknh
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Offline WallyA

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2015, 09:53:48 pm »
That keyboard doesn't have an F-Lock key by any chance, does it?

Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2015, 11:24:11 pm »
You know, WallyA, that is and interesting question, and the truth is, I don't know.  :-\  But, I'm not aware of one.  Would you know where I would find such an F-Lock key on the keyboard?

Thank you,

perknh

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Offline WallyA

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2015, 10:53:38 pm »
You know, WallyA, that is and interesting question, and the truth is, I don't know.  :-\  But, I'm not aware of one.  Would you know where I would find such an F-Lock key on the keyboard?

Thank you,

perknh

Some have 'em and some don't - and there isn't really a standard location although they are usually labelled F-Lock.   Wreaks havoc if you are using a function key intensive application like a terminal emulator and it gets toggled by accident :-)

Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Abandonado]
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2015, 07:41:31 am »
Some have 'em and some don't - and there isn't really a standard location although they are usually labelled F-Lock.   Wreaks havoc if you are using a function key intensive application like a terminal emulator and it gets toggled by accident :-)

Thanks WallyA,

I'll email the fellow who owns the computer to see if he sees anything resembling an F-Lock on the top row of keys.  I can see how a key like that (if there is one to be found) could get someone into all sorts some mischief if he or she didn't know that it was set to on by mistake.  Fortunately, other than that, Peppermint 5 is working like a charm on that legacy Dell of his.  It looks as if my friend's computer may hang in there for quite some time just the way it is.  If there is no F-Lock key, his computer will one day come to a glorious ending --coddled in the sweet arms of Peppermint 5!  :'(

Thanks for the hint!  ;)

perknh
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Nearly Abandoned]
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2015, 04:08:43 pm »
Just for shiggles... do you see any odd results, when you type this in CLI?

Code: [Select]
sudo dmidecode -t bios

@VinDSL

Sorry, VinDSL, I had missed your question.  Believe it or not, I just discovered it today.  Hey, I'm only a year late and a dollar short getting back to you! ::)

Here's the output to your question:

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
sudo dmidecode -t bios
[sudo] password for *****:
# dmidecode 2.12
SMBIOS 2.3 present.

Handle 0x0000, DMI type 0, 20 bytes
BIOS Information
   Vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
   Version: A03
   Release Date: 01/05/2006
   Address: 0xF0000
   Runtime Size: 64 kB
   ROM Size: 512 kB
   Characteristics:
      PCI is supported
      PNP is supported
      APM is supported
      BIOS is upgradeable
      BIOS shadowing is allowed
      ESCD support is available
      Boot from CD is supported
      Selectable boot is supported
      EDD is supported
      Japanese floppy for Toshiba 1.2 MB is supported (int 13h)
      Print screen service is supported (int 5h)
      8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
      Serial services are supported (int 14h)
      Printer services are supported (int 17h)
      ACPI is supported
      USB legacy is supported
      LS-120 boot is supported
      BIOS boot specification is supported
      Function key-initiated network boot is supported

Handle 0x0D00, DMI type 13, 22 bytes
BIOS Language Information
   Language Description Format: Long
   Installable Languages: 1
      en|US|iso8859-1
   Currently Installed Language: en|US|iso8859-1
[close]


For the record:  Peppermint 5 is still working fine on this legacy computer.  One day I'll try another USB keyboard with this computer to see if that's the reason I can no longer enter into this aging computer's BIOS.  Who knows?  The solution may end up being a simple change of keyboards  --knock on wood!  I'll tell you though, this old computer is really built well.  Even if its specs aren't great, they don't build computers as solid as this old Dell any more.

Thank you,

perknh


« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 07:57:58 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 [Nearly Abandoned]
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2015, 07:18:27 am »
Some old computers didn't respond to USB keyboards until drivers were loaded by the OS .. they required a PS/2 keyboard to access the BIOS, but that was a L-O-N-G time ago.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [Nearly Abandoned]
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2015, 06:17:02 pm »
Some old computers didn't respond to USB keyboards until drivers were loaded by the OS .. they required a PS/2 keyboard to access the BIOS, but that was a L-O-N-G time ago.

Hi PCNetSpec,

This is one those things that I'll just have to keep plugging away at.  Although I do have access to another USB keyboard, driving to another town, bringing it here, and then returning it, is another story altogether --especially when the owner of the computer sharing the USB keyboard needs the keyboard, and the person on whose computer I'm experimenting isn't actually having any problems with Peppermint 5 --except knowing he doesn't have any access to his computer's BIOS right now.

Still, excluding the possibility my having some grave misfortune in the coming months, I do hope to eventually sort this out.

Thank you for your help here, PCNetSpec.

To be continued...  ;)

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 [Nearly Abandoned]
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2015, 06:24:20 pm »
It's more likely you need a PS/2 keyboard, not a USB one.

Does the PC have a PS/2 keyboard connector, but you're using a USB keyboard ?

Here's an image of a PS/2 keyboard socket (the purple one)

« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 06:26:05 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2015, 08:45:50 am »
It's more likely you need a PS/2 keyboard, not a USB one.

Does the PC have a PS/2 keyboard connector, but you're using a USB keyboard ?

Here's an image of a PS/2 keyboard socket (the purple one)


That's it, PCNetSpec --you solved the mystery!  I switched the keyboard connector from one socket to the other, and I now have access to the computer's BIOS.

Wow!  Two pages of posts, and 26 replies, and all I needed to do was move the connector from one plug to the other. ::)

1000 thanks!!! :)

perknh

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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2015, 08:49:42 am »
:) You're welcome :)
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Offline rjm65

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Re: Can't Access BIOS Any Longer On Old Dell Computer [SOLVED]
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2015, 09:23:00 am »
ooops i was watching this thread too I should have chimed in earlier I had a few machines like this in the shop that needed to have the old ps2 keyboard plugged in for bios access...   sorry I didn't think of it sooner...   :(
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