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Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

I have recently become aware that my old Dell OptiPlex GX 110 desktop no longer flashes up the Dell logo and the option to access the BIOS set-up using F2. before it gets down to getting the Windows procedure. This has happened after a batch of updates recently came along which appear to modify a lot of eye candy amongst other things. Now on power-up, the first display is a new Windows log-in and "Windows starting" display.  The operation of all the normal Windows once it is fully loaded seems quite OK. Has anyone out there had the same problem?
I need to check the amount of RAM that is allocated for video and also instal a new driver to get over my display problems, all of which are in the Windows Software Forum. This did not seem to be quite suitable for my query here.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

When the machine first turns on, keep pressing the F2 button a few times a second and see if you get into the bios screen before windows starts.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Tried that with no result, two minds one thought! But thanks.
I resisted putting this topic within Windows software because the problem is before Windows gets going. All the year's of use have not had any problem of this type until now. The initial Dell logo has always been there whatever the updates have thrown at the system until now. All I get now is a blank black screen when I would expect the pre-Windows bits.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

That would suggest it is resuming rather than cold booting.
Check the shutdown options when you shutdown.
Community Veteran
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Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Had a suggestion from Dell Forum. There is an option in User Accounts to choose not to display the welcome screen. It seems that a program called "Client Services for Netware" needs to be uninstalled to allow access to the tick boxes. I have set the search to look for this but it does not find any trace of this,  Any ideas?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

It's not the welcome screen you are missing but the bios screen isn't it?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Surely, displaying the Dell logo is an option in the BIOS?.  Shocked
You may need to open the case to reset the BIOS to correct this. Google "reset bios" followed by the model number!
Geoff,
York.
CX
Grafter
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Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Ensure that the (presumably USB) keyboard is connected directly to a port on the back of the computer, not through a hub or monitor's USB port.
Some Dell BIOS don't give sufficient time for the keyboard to be detected when using a hub. The OS is unaffected, but key presses during POST will be effectively ignored.
Another thing - you may have differing success trying the F2 after a restart vs a shutdown (and also a full power off at the socket shutdown).
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

As it is an old computer, I would be suspecting the non-volatile BIOS settings might be getting lost due to the age of the memory backup battery.

Therefore if it was mine, I would -
Switch everything off, pull out the mains lead, and press the power button for four seconds.
Open the PC case.
Replace the lithium battery (whether it appears to needs replacing or not), as typical CR2032 batteries are only about £0.20.
I would disconnect the hard drive data and power cables.
Power up the PC and see what happens.
Most likely it will complain that the BIOS has been lost and tell you to press a 'Fn' key to enter BIOS.
If that doesn't happen then it might run all the BIOS checks then complain that there is no bootable drive (because you disconnected it !)
Either way, you should now be able to get into the BIOS.
Find the page that allows you to reset the BIOS configuration,
    personally I would choose the option "Load performance settings", but failing that there should be "Load defaults"
Now go through all the settings, ensuring that they are either sensible defaults or are set as you wish.
Check the boot options are as expected, and say "Display press F2 to enter BIOS" - or whatever the equivalent is !
I would then "Save Config and reboot".
It should run up without error until It can't find the bootable drive.
If it still isn't displaying the wanted BIOS boot screens, now is the time to go back in and get it how you want it.
Switch everything off, pull out the mains lead, and press the power button for four seconds.
Now reconnect your hard drive.
Reconnect the mains power.
Power on, and let it boot.
It will probably boot all the way to Windows with no further problems.
If the BIOS complains that the configuration has changed, then go into the BIOS and accept the change, reboot and try again.
Put the PC case back together.
Wink
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

I agree with Hairy Biker, you are not switching off your computer but putting it to sleep (or in hibernation).

  • Windows computers get updates at least once a month.

  • Bad things happen to computers all the time.

  • Therefore some of those bad things happen after a Windows Update.

.
 
Community Veteran
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Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Thanks Purleigh!  The CMOS battery is less than 6 months old, but I will get a spare just in case. Before I do get on with the procedures that you advocate, I would like to explore the ref from the Dell expert (Speed Step) concerning this program that needs to be uninstalled. I found the User Accounts in Control Panel and the two options that need to be altered, but they were greyed out and a panel came up with the info about the unwanted program. At least this seems a direct explanation of the phenomenon.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

@CX  #8
Yes, Keyboard is directly plugged in at back and always has been, it did not like to run via a hub. Several years of use has never shown any reluctance to find keyboard at start-up, the Dell logo and invitation to enter BIOS set-up were always present. I agree that not a lot of time is available to see them.
@ HB #3
The machine is always fully run down and mains removed every day. Windows declares that it is shutting down, sleep or hibernate not used.
@R.R. #10
I understand those sentiments. I am only blaming a Win update because all this occurred when I was surprised to to see a complete change of the Windows opening displays and different colours in many of the usual Windows displays together with the total absence of the normal Dell logo etc., at start-up. It seems that my quest to see a full display at a reasonable  X Y Pixels is not easy!! 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

Quote from: colintivy
Now on power-up, the first display is a new Windows log-in and "Windows starting" display.  

I don't think we established what version of Windows you are using but what exactly do you see and what is new about it?  Windows 8 plays around with the login screens; you have not been experimenting with that , have you?  Did the recent updates include one for your graphics card/adaptor?
The normal (pre-Cool sequence of events is:
BIOS splash screen (optional)
BIOS text messages (sometimes optional, often not present on newer machines)
'Windows is starting up' or similar
Screen goes completely blank as higher level functions of graphics invoked.
Bit more start up
Login screen if appropriate
Welcome message
Desktop loads 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows XP Prof. update removes option for access to BIOS.

I thought the title of the thread was pretty specific and that we were discussing a specific Dell boot screen