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rowdy1025 07-19-2007 05:03 PM

Can't boot from CD or Access BIOS after UBUNTU Install
 
Hi Forum,

I've recently worked through a number of issues (many with the help of this forum) installing linux on a Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop. In the process, I've installed Fedora Core 7, 6 and Ubuntu 7. I resolved my problems (not necessarily due to the distro changes), and have been plugging away happily on Ubuntu for several weeks now. After some experimenting getting things the way i wanted, i decided i wanted to start over with a fresh install. That's when I encountered this latest problem.

I can no longer boot from CD. I've tried multiple different boot CDs, so it can't be the disk. It almost seems like Grub is loading before the CD has a chance to spin up. Usually, the disk won't really start spinning until the Grub menu is already loaded. I know the boot sequence is set to boot from CD first, but just to make sure, I tried to use F2 to get to the BIOS menu. If i hit it enough / hard enough, it beeps at me, so I know its not the keyboard. It just won't load the bios settings.

I've seen other posts where this has happened, but have not seen any solutions other than to boot from a floppy and then boot from the CD. Unfortunately, I don't have a floppy drive. I've seen suggestions to boot from USB, but I know that's not set in my BIOS now. Is it possible to boot from the CD from Grub?

I checked Dell's site, and there is a BIOS update, i've just read that its a crap shoot to use. this is my only home computer now, so can't really afford to fry it. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks

Michael

pljvaldez 07-19-2007 05:22 PM

Unplug your drive, enter the bios, make and save all adjustments, exit the bios and reboot. When it fails to load an OS, turn off the machine and then plug the drive back in and see if the changes work.

SlowCoder 07-19-2007 08:16 PM

Your lack of ability to access your BIOS has nothing to do with your OS, as the BIOS starts before the OS. You can't blame Linux for this problem.

Have you tested the CDROM drive itself for problems?
It is also possible that you DO have a bad keyboard. I have replaced numerous Dell laptop keyboards for malfunctioning keys. Your F2 key could be returning a different code that it is supposed to.

+1, also, to pljvaldez's recommendation. Remove the hard drive, as well as disconnect any other removable equipment from your PC that you don't need to get it to boot. There could be some sort of conflict.

syg00 07-19-2007 08:23 PM

Try using F12 to pull up a device boot list - regardless of the BIOS settings.

rowdy1025 07-20-2007 04:52 PM

Hey,

Sorry, wasn't trying to step on anyone's toes by implying that linux caused the problems. Was just trying to say that I know that my laptop booted from CD recently, as I was using that function to install distros. I don't know what changed.

I have tried hitting F2, F8, F12, and anything else I can think of.

I tried the suggestion to remove the hard drive. When I removed the hard drive and powered up the computer, it did boot from the live cd in the cdrom drive. However, I still could not get to any BIOS settings between the time I powered the computer on and the time that it booted from the CD drive. This puzzles me, as i know the boot sequence was CD then hard drive before. So, whatever problem I am having must have changed my boot sequence and done something to prevent me from accessing the hard drive at all.

What would happen if I booted from the live cd and then inserted my hard drive? I'd probably either fry myself or my hard drive, huh?

Should I risk it and apply the bios update?

Thanks,

Michael

rowdy1025 07-20-2007 04:55 PM

oh, one other thing. I know that its not a bad CDROM drive, as it did boot when i removed the hard drive. I also know that the keyboard as a whole works, as I'm using it to type this now. As for the F2 key, I just hit Ctl - Alt - F2, and it took me to the tty2 terminal. Is that an indication that it is working?

syg00 07-20-2007 06:53 PM

*Don't* go dicking around with live equipment.
With the (slightly older) Dell laptops I use, you need to hit F12 when the (Dell) splash screen comes up. The timing is important.

Personally I don'tmind flashing BIOS, but try to have a backup handy.

SlowCoder 07-20-2007 07:56 PM

Did a -little- research for you and found:
http://www.dellcommunity.com/support...en&cs=19&s=dhs

It pretty much states the same as what we've said; remove all extra hardware, etc. Most notably, it recommends that you let your laptop sit for a few minutes to see if it errors or allows you to press F2.

rowdy1025 07-22-2007 10:55 AM

Thanks again for the responses.

I've tried removing everything that i can easily remove from the back of the laptop along with the hard drive. It will boot from disk without the hard drive, but I still can't access the bios. I've tried every posible way to rapid fire press F2, F8, F12 to get it. It used to not be that hard to get into the BIOS window.

Anyway, I'm probably going to be getting a new machine in a few weeks with the tax holiday. Once I get everything important off here, I may get more adventurous with the fix attempts, and maybe try the bios upgrade. In the meantime, I've got everything dual-booting and working well, so i'll leave alone for a while and not press my luck.

Thanks again for the help. It is much appreciated.

Michael

dbr39 07-31-2007 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rowdy1025
Thanks again for the responses.

I've tried removing everything that i can easily remove from the back of the laptop along with the hard drive. It will boot from disk without the hard drive, but I still can't access the bios. I've tried every posible way to rapid fire press F2, F8, F12 to get it. It used to not be that hard to get into the BIOS window.

Anyway, I'm probably going to be getting a new machine in a few weeks with the tax holiday. Once I get everything important off here, I may get more adventurous with the fix attempts, and maybe try the bios upgrade. In the meantime, I've got everything dual-booting and working well, so i'll leave alone for a while and not press my luck.

Thanks again for the help. It is much appreciated.

Michael

hey i have the same EXACT problem. I'm also using a dell laptop. have you found a solution?

mperedithe 08-11-2007 01:28 AM

Hey everyone,
I gotta say that even though the bios loads prior to the os I too cannot access my cmos setup after installing Ubuntu. I also have a Fedora 7 pc but haven't had the need to go into bios. My pc is an older gateway w/pentium 4.

mperedithe 08-11-2007 01:54 AM

Okay-I'm an idiot. disregard my last post.

The answer to being unable to access your bios or cmos setup is so simple it's ridiculous. You cannot access bios if you are using a hyped-up keyboard such as a wireless and/or usb because these features don't start to function until it's too late. If you plug in a simple PS/2 keyboard I think you'll find you can access it just fine.


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