Solved set IDE cables and jumpers to boot CD drive first

May 6, 2014 at 21:01:42
Specs: WindowsXP SP3, Intel 4/ 512 GB
I have a Dell Dimension Desktop that was working like a charm until yesterday. I have upgraded the memory, the power supply, the graphics card and installed all updates and patches for my system at Dell.com. The PC was running Windows XP SP3 flawlessly with AVG Anti Virus, and recently It came to my attention that the OS was acting erratically and missing enough important system files to warrant a clean install. I don't have a ton of files on this PC, I basically just use it for email and web errands, bill pays, etc.
Upon the next boot, it won't access the internet, its missing even more critical system files than before, and I want to begin a reinstall of the OS right away.
I cannot access the BIOS from any of the three keyboards I have tried, ( a USB with drivers installed, a P/S with drivers installed and a brand new plug n play). The P/S did allow me to access the BIOS, but would not allow me to scroll using arrow keys to reconfigure the boot priority. I tried numerous times, no change.
Now I just want to rearrange my IDE cables and drive jumper settings to reflect a boot from the Cd/Rom drive with the OS disc inserted...but I have never done this before. I have a HD, a floppy drive, and two CD drives in my tower, second CD drive is a Cd Rom that writes to disc top drive is a read only drive. What do I do here to mechanically create a boot directly from the OS installation disk?

message edited by Mk202


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✔ Best Answer
May 7, 2014 at 08:12:59
You can depress the start button with the power unplugged and the jumper in the clear position. Probably not necessary in order to actually clear ALL the changeable settings but no harm in doing that as long as you DO NOT try to start the computer with the jumper in the clear position. That can an may well, damage the motherboard.

The idea of depressing the power/start button is to discharge the power supply capacitors. Same reason I suggested waiting 20 seconds if removing the CMOS battery.

When resetting CMOS values you can hit enter to set the BIOS password as none (no password).



#1
May 6, 2014 at 21:38:27
The bios knows where and how the hard drive and optical drives are connected. You can't fool it by swapping things around.

I don't know what you mean when talking of keyboards with drivers installed. A keyboard doesn't need drivers to access the bios.

It sounds like you have more problems than some corrupted windows files. Sometimes bad ram can cause screwy problems like that. You could go here:

http://www.memtest.org/

and download an image file for floppy or cd (probably a floppy version in your case since you can't boot from cdrom) and test the ram. You probably don't need the newest version for an older system like yours.


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#2
May 6, 2014 at 23:32:31
Maybe I have misunderstood what I have seen so far in my searches online about creating this configuration...(?) The answer below was given to someone else with the same problem as me. I may have read too much into it.

You can change which hard drive the computer looks to by changing the order of the drives inside your case. If you use IDE cables (the thick ones) the first drive in the sequence is where it looks first and the second (furthest from the motherboard) is where it looks second. (this only applies if the jumpers on the drives are set to cable select). You can try changing the order here, or just pull out the pin on the back of the drive you want to boot from and plug it in the "master" position. Then change the others to slave. However, it is certainly easier to do this in the BIOS. When the computer first starts up, hit F2, the delete key or the key designated as "setup" (it will say so on the screen.)

I mentioned that the drivers were installed on the P/S and the USB keyboards because when I couldn't affect the BIOS with them, I read elsewhere that wired keyboards sometimes won't talk to the BIOS correctly without current drivers installed.
I will find a floppy around here and try the memtest....Thanks.

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#3
May 7, 2014 at 03:14:20
Whether manipulating the cables depends on the BIOS. Older BIOS when configured to boot from Hard Didk would search the Primary/Master/Slave/Secondary/Master/Slave till it found a disk it could boot from.

Modern BIOS are configured to boot from a specific disk and it will attempt to boot from that disk regardless of where it is in the cabling.

Even then if the BIOS is configure to boot from the hard disk first, it will just ignore a CD/DVD drive if it finds a bootable hard disk.

I read elsewhere that wired keyboards sometimes won't talk to the BIOS correctly without current drivers installed.

How you going to install drivers when all you have is the BIOS? Not possible.

USB and wireless keyboards might be a problem but there is absolutely no reason at all why a PS/2 keyboard will not interact with the BIOS. They have been doing it for the best part of twenty year, no reason why it should change

For computer without PS/2 ports USB is the default. A computer must be able to operate with a keyboard from the BIOS without additional drivers otherwise you would never be able to configure it from new.

Like Dave, I suspect you have something more than a faulty OS going one. Sounds like some serious hardware problem.

Stuart

message edited by StuartS


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#4
May 7, 2014 at 05:54:41
I have full access to Windows, I just cannot access the internet. I am unable to turn on the services necessary to access the web in Administrative options because the files are missing and could not be found in a search of my entire system.
When I read about the possibility of a drivef conflict with the keyboards I had attempted to access the BIOS with, I uninstalled all keyboard drivers and reinstalled the corresponding drivers with the installation discs. Does that seem possible?

I hadn 't said I couldn't boot through to the current OS, it just won't access the internet. When I found the problem in Administrative Options (services needed to logon could not be manually enabled), I realized that my OS was missing critical files. Since I have no significant personal files on this system , I decided to reformat.
I have the Operating System Installation Disc in my CD/ROM drive, but when I access the BIOS, my arrow keys are inoperative. Therefore, I cannot change the boot priority to boot from the disc drive.

message edited by Mk202


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#5
May 7, 2014 at 06:01:10
Driver in windows have absolutely no relevance to the BIOS as all BIOS. Whether the keyboard drivers are installed or not has nothing to do with accessing the BIOS.

If you cannot access the BIOS with a PS/2 keyboard then you have a hardware problem.

Stuart


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#6
May 7, 2014 at 06:09:19
I can access the BIOS with the P/S keyboard...however the arrow keys do not work when I am in the BIOS. Once I allow the system to boot Windows, the arrow keys work fine.

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#7
May 7, 2014 at 06:17:51
Are you sure the arrow keys are the correct keystroke for the option you are trying to change. Page Up/Dn is commonly used too. To change which tab is in use you use the TAB key.

If you are able to enter the BIOS screens at all your keyboard must be seen by the BIOS.

message edited by OtheHill


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#8
May 7, 2014 at 06:23:08
Yes, unfortunately it reads arrow up/ arrow down to select, SPACE, +,- to change, ESC to exit, F1= Help. :(

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#9
May 7, 2014 at 06:26:50
By default, 'System Time' is selected when the BIOS opens, and I cannot even alter the time setting with SPACE, +, or - just to get a response. Its almost like my keyboard 'dies' once the BIOS opens. (?)

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#10
May 7, 2014 at 07:21:44
Sounds like you have a BIOS password installed. You can clear the password by clearing the CMOS settings.

There is a jumper on the motherboard for that purpose. Or you can remove the CMOS battery for 20 seconds or so to clear the CMOS. Move the jumper to the Clr position and then immediately back to the run position. Be sure to have the computer unplugged when performing this operation.

You must immediately enter the BIOS screens upon the next restart to reset the changeable values.


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#11
May 7, 2014 at 07:58:34
Okay, I 'll try it. Thanks :)
My manual says to move the jumper, and try to boot the system/power it off again before replacing the jumper where it belongs, in order to 'clear' any and all system passwords. Would that sequence be what you would do, or should I just tweak the jumper back and forth without power, then get back into the BIOS?

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#12
May 7, 2014 at 08:12:59
✔ Best Answer
You can depress the start button with the power unplugged and the jumper in the clear position. Probably not necessary in order to actually clear ALL the changeable settings but no harm in doing that as long as you DO NOT try to start the computer with the jumper in the clear position. That can an may well, damage the motherboard.

The idea of depressing the power/start button is to discharge the power supply capacitors. Same reason I suggested waiting 20 seconds if removing the CMOS battery.

When resetting CMOS values you can hit enter to set the BIOS password as none (no password).


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#13
May 7, 2014 at 09:05:18
I'll give it a go, Thanks :)

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#14
May 7, 2014 at 09:32:41
You Rule!
Keyboard is now fully functional in the BIOS. I did it exactly as you said first, and there was no change-But I figured what the hell, if this doesn't work, I'm pretty much 'done' with it anyway, so I tried the same steps with a power up in between the resetting of the jumper and as soon as I replaced the jumper and plugged the tower back in, it went through an IDE configuration and let me right into the BIOS with F2, with fully functional keyboard. ThankYouThankYouThankYou! :)

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#15
May 7, 2014 at 11:56:39
Windows just finished reinstalling...I'm all better now, Thanks :)

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#16
May 7, 2014 at 15:21:01
Mark your selection for best answer so the thread will be marked as solved.

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#17
May 7, 2014 at 20:59:17
I'm glad it worked out. There have been a few similar threads where a keyboard wouldn't work in bios setup but I couldn't find any that had a solution. We'll have to remember this one.

Also, USB keyboards often don't work in bios setup on older systems unless dos or legacy USB support is enabled there. That's probably why only the PS/2 keyboard worked for you.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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