Have you checked the boot order to make sure Legacy Lan isn't listed. Also try disabling the option for Boot Other Device. Both those options are listed under the Boot Device Configuration sub-menu.
Yep, unfortunately I've tried that already. My boot order is as follows:
First Boot Device: [CDROM]
Second Boot Device: [Hard Disk]
Third Boot Device: [Disabled]
Boot Other Device: [Disabled]
I don't have a Legacy LAN option but I do have something called IBA GE Slot 00C8 v as an available boot device. It's not enabled, though.
The only other thing I can think of is check the Remote Wake Up option and try turning it Off. That option can be found under the Power Management Setup menu of the BIOS. It's a long shot, but maybe it's having an effect on the boot up.
I was doing some thinking, which can be dangerous on my part and I thought of a few other things to try or check.
First, go into the system and make sure the hard drive is plugged into the SATA 0 port. Since you had someone working on the system, he or she may have plugged the SATA drive into another port besides 0. If so, this maybe causing the system to have a delay in finding the drive on another port so the Intel Boot Agent is then kicking in. Click here <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> for a diagram of your system's motherboard from the on-line Service Manual. The diagram notes the location of Port 0. The motherboard should also be labeled accordingly in small print.
Secondly, try changing the mode of the USB Device Setting option in the BIOS. That option can be found under the Integrated Peripherals menu. Try another setting besides High Speed. My reasoning is that system maybe hanging on a USB device during boot up thus causing the Intel Boot Agent to kick in.
Thirdly, try clearing the CMOS. It's possible there was a option set in the BIOS prior to the motherboard being placed in your system that your system doesn't like. Click here <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> for instructions on how to clear the CMOS. Chances are if you call tech support they will have to do it anyways.
Keep in mind that clearing the CMOS will default all your BIOS options back to their factory recommended settings. Not really a big deal since you're probably using most of the factory settings anyways. The defaulting will require you to re-enter the time/date, re-adjust your boot order if you have made any changes, re-adjust your power management options if you have changed them, etc. In otherwords settings that were changed to your personal liking will have to be re-set. If your system doesn't have a floppy drive the defaulting will turn on the floppy drive controller. If this happens and you get a Diskette Drive error on boot up then simply go into the BIOS and turn off the option for the Diskette Drive. The error message will be gone on the next reboot.
Lastly, if there is such a word, I would try a BIOS update. Although there isn't anything listed in the file description related to a fix for your problem, it is not uncommon for a BIOS update to have undocumented fixes and improvements. If anything the BIOS update will help rule out an out of date BIOS as being the cause. Prior to doing the update you should closed out all unneeded Window applications and unplug all unneeded USB devices. This will lessen the chance of the update hanging during the reboot phase of the upgrade.
The Intel Boot Agent is tied into the BIOS so there is no setting in Windows to eliminate the problem. Intel does offer a utility to disable the Boot Agent, but from reading the utility's description it doesn't apply to your system. With a system like yours, Boot Agent must be configured in the BIOS. You can click here for the Intel Utility I am referring to.
As for the Dell logo splash screen, your model's BIOS doesn't offer any options to disable Fast Boot or Quick Boot so that the BIOS boot up screens will appear. A few things to try....... on the older Dell systems, if you pressed the ESC key during boot up it would minimize the Dell logo so that you could see the boot up display. Give it a try. Not sure if it will work on the newer models. Secondly, try tapping the PAUSE key when the screen displays the error message about something not installed. On a lot of systems the PAUSE key will stop the boot process and allow you to see the boot display screen. Once paused, just press any key to continue the boot process. Thirdly, you could also try changing the option for Halt On that should be listed in the Standard CMOS Features sub-menu of the BIOS Setup. There is one setting for halting on all errors that may display the error message.
What PCI cards do you have in the system? My thought is something maybe causing a boot delay so that the Intel Boot Agent kicks in. Try booting without any cards installed.
You mentioned two SATA hard drives, are these setup as a RAID operation? Are all the drives shown in the BIOS setup and the SATA HDD Auto-Detection option set to Auto. If you don't have a floppy drive then make sure the Onboard FDC Controller is disabled.
Ah, you maybe on to something. :smileyhappy:
Go into your BIOS Setup and look in the Integrate Peripheral sub-menu. There is an option for SATA Mode. Check to see that this is set for IDE.