|"Floppy diskette seek failure" appears to be a Dell bios ONLY message.|
You get it when the bios is not finding a floppy drive while booting.
It has nothing to do with whether there is a floppy disk in a floppy drive.
Other bios versions have a more accurate message, such as "Floppy drive failure" or similar, for the same situation.
You get that message if a floppy drive is (enabled) in your Boot Order or similar list, and if
- there is no floppy drive connected
- there is a floppy drive connected but....
- there is problem with it's data cable
- it's data cable is connected, there is no problem with it, but it's power connecter is not connected, or it's not connected properly
- the floppy drive is connected properly but it's damaged
hit F2 at start up
arrow down to DRIVES and click enter
arrow down to DISKETTE DRIVE and hit enter
arrow to OFF and enter
Hit ESC key highlight save/exit and enter
"Have you ever replaced the cmos battery in these?"
If your Cmos battery is too weak, the Time and Date in the bios will be set to defaults whenever you boot the computer after having shut down the system.
If the default setting in the bios Boot Order or similar list enables a floppy drive, then that will be set to it's default setting too.
The same thing can happen in that situation if you load bios defaults even when your Cmos battery is okay.
Dell™ Dimension™ 3100/E310 Service Manual