I am unable to get to BIOS by pressing F10.

January 16, 2011 at 13:27:44
Specs: Windows XP Professional, 64-128MB?
I have a Compaq Armada 7400 and have formatted the hard-drive, to install Linux, but cannot get through the installation because it keeps giving me a I/O error regarding the floppy drive. The Laptop doesn't have a Floppy Drive, but the BIOS is set to think it does.

My problem is that the BIOS was apparently on a preDOS partition of the hard-drive rather than on the RAM like it usually is on the newer computers (I know this because Google has finally failed me), so it apparently got wiped out during the format, and now my laptop always boots with F1 to save changes (only supports sdRAM or something to that effect...) and F2 to ignore changes, but the F10 function, to enter BIOS settings is no longer available. How can I get access to the BIOS back in order to deactivate the need for the computer to search for a non-existent Floppy-drive?


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#1
January 16, 2011 at 13:44:58
Found the link below that states the laptop has a removable bay that held a 3.5" floppy drive plug-in module.

That laptop came with Win95 installed so your theory may be wrong.

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/...


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#2
January 16, 2011 at 14:21:20
Thanks, OtheHill... I saw a compartment that I assumed might be for an add-on hard-drive/floppy-drive. My Laptop's just got a plastic cover over it to stop dust from getting in. What I'm talking about is the BIOS access that I used to have before the reinstall, when I got the machine second-hand, I wanted to upgrade from Windows 95 to XP at least... but I guess the fact that I didn't to an upgrade, but did a fresh install instead messed me up.

I'm able to install Windows XP (As I am proving by doing so now), but when I run the Linux installation, it keeps giving me the error regarding the nonexistent floppy-drive, and bombs out before completing the install.


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#3
January 16, 2011 at 14:25:42
You're not going to run XP on that machine. With the max memory being only 256MB, it would run like sh!t. Try a lightweight version of Linux such as Puppy or Quirky.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsuppor...

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...


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Related Solutions

#4
January 16, 2011 at 14:41:18
That's what I've been trying to do... but I cant get any Linux flavours installed, because of the fact that the BIOS keeps wanting to find the floppy-drive that doesn't physically exist.

My problem here is that I can't get into the BIOS to deactivate the problematic BIOS error that keeps causing the Linux installation (DSL, if you're curious) to crash before its completely installed.


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#5
January 16, 2011 at 16:50:57
That laptop is so old that pulling the CMOS battery may reset the BIOS and allow you to access it. Just a thought.

Are you sure the multi-bay is empty?


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#6
January 16, 2011 at 18:50:24
Check the support page for that model. It may show a download for the F10 setup, if that's the problem. But I suspect it has a rom based setup and doesn't depend on the hard drive partition. There may have been a partition containing compaq diagnostics on the hard drive but that's not necessary for bios setup.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#7
January 17, 2011 at 03:50:33
Where do I find the CMOS battery, Othehill? And no, I wasn't sure... turns out that plastic thing was the hard-drive. 1 times 6gig hard-drive present and accounted for.

Thanks, DAVEINCAPS. You just reminded me that I should search for an F10 setup rather than a BIOS setup in Google.


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#8
January 17, 2011 at 05:32:16
the most recent version of dsl is 2.5 years old
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?di...

I'd go with the recommendation in post #3, better chance the sound will work. May also want to try this:
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?di...

I just installed it on a pentium II thinkpad. I have 288 mb of ram, but it only uses 50mb at startup, less than 100mb with the browser open. Even picked up the pcmcia wireless card. Create a swap partition.
also like this
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?di...

larry


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#9
January 17, 2011 at 06:07:52
I don't know, off hand, where the CMOS battery is in that laptop. You may be able to find a schematic for that model by Googling for it.


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