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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Michigan USA
    Search Comp PM
    Hi guys!

    I am trying to help someone who was just given an 'old' work laptop.
    It is a Dell Vostro 1500, circa 2010, the .pdf instruction manual covers both XP & Vista.
    According to the manual it has 1 gig of Ram and a 200 gig HD (mostly empty).

    It appears in like new-condition, with minimal software on it, not even antivirus; but at some point somebody has installed Windows 7 Home Premium over the original Vista Basic.

    Apparently this has screwed with the proprietary Dell 'System Settings' software, as neither the F2 (Bios) nor F12 (one-time BIOS) keys work as the manual describes; instead they take you to what appears to be an OS bootloader with only one entry: Windows 7.

    All I want to do is move the optical disc in front of the hard drive in boot order, so that I can try the Ubuntu LiveCD on this machine.

    The machine doesn't have any original MS discs with it.

    Any advice on how to get directly to the old-fashioned BIOS page?

    Much thanks!
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    I do not see how installing an OS can over-ride BIOS startup.

    Have you tried hitting the 'Del' key a few times as soon as you power-up ?
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  3. Member johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
    Search Comp PM
    Make sure you are tapping on the key cause if you press once it might skip the bios.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  4. Originally Posted by johns0 View Post
    Make sure you are tapping on the key cause if you press once it might skip the bios.
    Yes, there can be a very short window between the time the keyboard is initialized (before then the keystrokes won't register) and the hard drive starts booting (after which you can't go to the BIOS). You must hit the key during that period. Don't hold it down, just tap it over and over again quickly. Usually, the keyboard LEDs flash just after the keyboard is initialized -- use that as a guide if you can.
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  5. Tap the F2 key
    I am not responsible, and it's been proven over and over again.
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  6. Member ahhaa's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Michigan USA
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks, guys; you were right! I found the best method was to be pressing the F12 before pressing the power button.
    F2 for real entry, F12 for one time exception.
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