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Old 07-31-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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How to get to the BIOS through GRUB

Hi all.

I now have Ubuntu and Winxp on my pc. Actually I have two ubuntus, and a winxp. The first Ubuntu was installed via WUBI; the second UBUNTU is a standalone version of the WUBI install. It got this complicated because my pc could not read the ubuntu livecd properly, and Winxp could.

I know it's a roundabout way of installing ubuntu as a dual boot with a winxp. By the way I also used Super Grub.

I am posting because I need to get to the BIOS. I have been pressing F1, F8, ESC -- all the usual keys -- to interrupt the boot process. I can interrupt it, but it does not get me to the BIOS. I want to enable the parallel port using the BIOS, as I cannot print right now.

Is the BIOS completely hidden from me now, now that GRUB is in control of the boot process?
Old 07-31-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Grub shouldn't hide BIOS at all. Make sure you do a *cold* boot from power off.
Old 07-31-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Completely turn of your computer. Now turn it on. What will happen is that first the BIOS is loaded which will then in turn load the bootloader. A bootloader (in this case Grub) will now boot (read = start) the operating system. So because the BIOS is started first, and bootloader starts after the BIOS is finished doing it's job, Grub cannot hide the BIOS from you. So this leads me to the conclusion that you are doing something wrong. Have you tried the F2, F12 and DEL key? Do not press the keys at the same time. Maybe you will find that one of those three keys might be the key to the boot sequencer instead of the BIOS menu. A boot sequencer is a menu which let's you decide what medium the PC is booting from (harddisk, USB, CD, DVD, etc)
Old 07-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Maybe it is just that your screen doesn't display the starting information because it's warming up or someting. In that case just try powering up the machine, and pressing the Pause key untill you see the boot up screen (hopefully).

How to figure out how to get to BIOS?
You should look up the way of geting inside BIOS in your mainboard's manual. If you don't have it, you can most likely download it from the manufacturer's website if you know its model.

If you don't know the model (happens all the time), there are few wys to figure it out, that I know of:
  1. should be printed at the top left corner of the boot up screen (during P.O.S.T.)
  2. can be identified using the long string of characters at the bottom of the boot up screen
  3. should be printed on the mainboard's package box if you still have it
  4. sometimes it is printed on the mainboard itself, but do not open the computer's case if it's warranty-sealed, and the warranty is still valid or you might void it
  5. some software is capable of identifying the hardware for you
Old 07-31-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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Some of the different systems I have worked on have used F1 F2 F10 Del to get to the BIOS.

Or if your pc bios is set to error on no mouse try unpluging the mouse or the ribbon cable for the A drive if you have one and sometimes that will pause the system and show you what Hot Key to press for settup.

Last edited by mrrangerman; 07-31-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: add info
Old 07-31-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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The screen telling you which hotkey to use flashes by when you turn the computer on - just before grub is loaded.
Make sure you do a cold boot (from power off) - a reboot will not always work (on some thinkpad notebooks for example).
Sometimes you got to be really quick.

Last edited by jomen; 07-31-2008 at 04:07 PM.
Old 08-01-2008, 12:20 AM   #7
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If you press and hold a key (any key) the system will show a keyboard error. You can then get the BIOS information to see what hot key to use for setup entry. Just enter the BIOS information (found on the BIOS boot screen) in 'google' along with 'setup' as a search keyword. You should now have the means to enter the setup. Some BIOS use the 'TAB' key to enable BIOS boot screen viewing.

My bet is on 'del', 'F1', or 'F2' as the hot key to enter setup. Some systems did use the 'esc' but not that many newer BIOS.
Old 08-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #8
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How to get to the BIOS through GRUB

Thanks everyone. I have been able to change my BIOS settings.


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