Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

XPS 420 safe mode/boot menu?

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Hi all,

I have a Dell XPS 420 4gigs with the E6850 core 2 duo processor. a while back I had a no start problem and thought it was me mother board so I replaced it but still no go. It turned out it was my Nvida 8800gt card that went bad. I replaced it(for now) with the 9500gt card. Anyway I mentioned the above because of the removal of all components on my system for testing to see what was bad on my system and then the cleaning of all.

All is working now, but my system now starts when I push the monitor power button which starts my computer also. I wanted to see if I could change this to how it was before where as I had to push the power button on both the monitor and computer to get it started.

I tried to get into safe mode(not sure if that term is correct) by continuely tapping on the F2 button when first powering up the computer or the boot menu(again not sure if that is the right term) by continuely tapping the F12 button. I have entered these many times before with no problems, but since my computer problems and repair I have not been able to enter the start ( F2 ) or boot ( F12 ) screens?? I have a bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse, same setup as before I had my problem and was able to enter those menus, but now it seems like my keyboard does not activate until its to late to use the F2/F12 keys to enter those menus.

Is there something I can change so as to be able to enter this menus?? I have no plug-in keyboard to try. All my system drivers are updated and the Dell BIOS is as it was before my problem with Dell's last Bios update of A07

Thanks for any info/help



All Replies
  • Hi Ron,

    You should be tapping the F2 key when you see the blue Dell logo. You should see a prompt on the screen for this. If you do not, the sure fire way to get into the BIOS is to disconnect your hard drive. Then the system will not see a boot drive and you should get the "F1 to continue, F2 to enter system setup" prompt.

    I'm guessing your BIOS defaults were reset.

  • Thanks for the reply OSPREY4,

    I'll unplug both?? the power and sata plugs of the main HDD and give that a try a bit later to see if I can enter the setup/boot menu's and will report back.

    Do you know if I'll also be able to change my power "on" situation, i.e. now only having to power the monitor, which also starts the computer without me having to push the computer start button? This is really no problem, I just wanted to know why/how this was in this mode now and to see if I could change it.


    Thanks again


  • Hey osprey4,

    Well I just tried disconnecting the main HDD. I got the screen to continue or go to setup but again it seems that my keyboard is not active at that point so I could not get anywhere. Not sure what to do now. I was hoping that I could somehow change the priority of my keyboard from the control panel so as to have it load sooner.  Well still trying to find a way to get into my setup/boot menus with out getting a plug-in type keyboard, I guess that would work as my usb gaming mouse lights up even though both wireless keyboard/mouse does not at that point of bootup..

    Thanks again