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Dell BIOS Secrets
While the machine is POST'ing, the screen displays the word ""DELL"" in extremely large blue letters. Press Ctrl - Alt - D to fire off the builtin disk diagnostics. The PC I was working on only had IDE drives, so I do not know if this will do anything useful on SCSI systems. The hard drive I was diagnosing passed these tests twice even though it was eventually determined to be bad. Some CD-ROM drives will give an error here, this should be expected, as they can't really be tested the same way as a hard drive.
Inside the BIOS
The technician had me perform the following steps in this order:
- Turn on NumLock, CapsLock, ScrollLock
- Press Alt - E
- Press Alt - F
- Press Alt - B
The Alt - E command tells the system to explicitly redetect the IDE devices during boot.
During my conversation with the technician, he stated ""that must be the defualts now,"" so I believe Alt - F is the BIOS hard default reset command.
The last command I was given was Alt - B. Immediately upon pressing it, the machine rebooted. I don't know if it had any other affect.
None of this information is warranted or guaranteed in any way. Use at your own risk. The commands are acurate only insofar as my interpretation of the results of my being instructed to enter them. If you break it, remember, you broke it.