"Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility" revisited...

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"Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility" revisited...

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I read through what must have been a dozen other people with similar problems, but not exactly my problem.

I have a Dimension 4600C. Bios ver A04. The computer was working okay. We got all our valuable info off it and wiped it using DBAN because we are about to put it up for sale. I did this with my other desktop a few weeks ago w/ no issues. This time however; after the DBAN wipe (went fine), I go to install windows from the disk and after the Dell splash screen I get the "strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility" message.

I've reset the bios (Caps, Num Lock, Scroll Lock on, Alt-tab E,F,B method) and, although it reset successfully, it didn't fix the problem. I tried setting the SATA to auto (the only option besides "off") and that didn't work. I've ran the IDE diagnostics utility from the F12 menu, but everything passed. Trying to think if I'm missing anything. I know the windows disk is okay, as I installed from it a couple weeks ago.

My only other thought is that maybe there's a problem with the disk drive (not the hard drive). When we were trying to put the DBAN utility on the disk, it kept running in to errors with the burn. Also, it couldn't read a disk that already had DBAN on it. However, it read a disk full of pictures, so I don't know. Anyway, we ended up booting the DBAN utility from a USB drive and that worked fine. I'm just thinking there may be some issue where the computer won't read the Windows disk. Is this the type of error message I would get in that case? How could I test the disk drive somehow?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

All Replies
  • What version of Windows are you trying to install?

    What type of hard drive (SATA or IDE) are you trying to install Windows on?

    Are you sure it's booting from the Windows CD, and not from the hard drive? (Go into BIOS setup and change the boot sequence to put CD drive FIRST).

    If you're installing XP, this model has the OS Install Mode option which you should set to ON, save the change, and boot from the XP CD. After the install is complete, and during the first reboot, go back into BIOS setup and change OS Install Mode to OFF.  

    Note: When OS Install Mode is ON, you may get a warning about it being on and about a limit of 256 MB of RAM. That's  ok. Just run the install and turn off OS Install Mode during the first reboot.

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • The hard drive is a Maxtor 6Y080L0 (IDE). I'm installing Windows XP Pro. I've been doing this all with the install mode set to ON, and I have the CD drive set to first place in the boot sequence. Also, I've tried to boot from disk from the F12 menu, but got the same results.

  • What color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on rear of the tower when you have the problem? If not all green, look up codes here. And what happens if you strike F1 at that prompt?

    You could try clearing BIOS:

    Power off and unplug

    Press/hold power button for ~15 sec

    Open the case and remove motherboard battery

    Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec

    Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!)  and see what happens when you boot now.

    NOTE: When you remove the battery, all BIOS settings will reset to factory defaults. So things like OS Install Mode will revert to OFF and you'll have to go back into setup to change things again in order to run the XP installation.

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Hi

    I have same issue that I am fixing someone pc

    Dell  Dimension E521

    win xp

    1gb ram 2x 512mb

    Following are the setting I have done after I replaced cmos battrey

    Boot Sequence 1. bootable hard drive ONLY

    HDD Boot seqence

    1. SATA 0: WDCWD1600JS - 75NCB3

    2. Bootable Add-in cards

    Drivers

    Diskette drive - Internal

    Drive 0: SATA-0 ON

    SATA 1,2,3 all are OFF

    SATA Operation RAID OFF

    SMART reporting OFF

    HDD Acoustic Mode = BYPASS

    BIOS 1.1.6

    I have try everything and as I explaned I did replaced the CMOS battrey and restart. Try again by setting to factory setting and switching off what I do not have. every time I turn on the PC I have to press F1 to access OS

    Any other suggestion what I have to do to fix this?

    Thanks in advance

  • Hi

    I finaly found what in BIOS causing this

    I missed one section that is need it to switch off deskette drive. this will switch off all floppy drivers

  • I have a Dimension 3000 Series. I shut down the computer normally, however, when I turned it back on, "strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility" What do i do now?? 

  • MsToppin

    I have a Dimension 3000 Series. I shut down the computer normally, however, when I turned it back on, "strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility" What do i do now?? 

     MsToppin

    Is the power button LED, solid green, blinking green, solid amber, blinking amber, or off?

    Check the sequence of the four Diagnostic Lights on the back panel of the case.

    The Dimension 3000 Troubleshooter and Diagnostic Guide is HERE

    Are there any 'Beeps'?

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • The power button is solid. All lights in the back are lit: ABC (yellow) D (amber). It does beep.

  • The screen reads, "Diskette drive 0 seek failure. Primary hard disk drive 0 failure"

  • MsToppin

    The power button is solid. All lights in the back are lit: ABC (yellow) D (amber). It does beep.

    MsToppin

    Have you read the Dimension 3000 Troubleshooting guide, I posted the link to? 

    Power button = What colour, is it blinking, or Solid?

    How many 'Beeps'?

    The four diagnostic lights, are coloured Green and Yellow, do you mean ABC [Green] and D [Yellow]?

    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • MsToppin

    The screen reads, "Diskette drive 0 seek failure. Primary hard disk drive 0 failure"

     
     MsToppin
     
    Try checking the System Setup [F2 on Start up] to see if the hard drive, listed in the 'Drives 0 through 3' section, is recognized.
     
    Also, if you don't have a floppy disk drive installed, check that the 'Diskette Drive' is set to 'off'?
     
    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • The power button is solid. It will beep once. And yes, I guess ABC Green and D Yellow.

  • MsToppin

    The power button is solid. It will beep once. And yes, I guess ABC Green and D Yellow.

     
    MsToppin

    What is the colour of the power button?

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • It is green. I do not see an option for the drives. I am not literate when it comes to this end of computers.

  • MsToppin

    It is green. I do not see an option for the drives. I am not literate when it comes to this end of computers.

    MsToppin

    You need to enter the computer's System Setup, to see if the IDE hard drive is recognized, all the procedures for using the system setup can be found in the Dimension 3000 Troubleshooter link, I have already posted

    Also, try to run the Dell Diagnostics from the Drivers and Utilities disk, that was shipped with the computer package.

    Insert the Drivers and Utilities disc.
    Shut down and restart the computer.
    When the DELL logo appears, press F12 immediately.

    NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop, then shut down your computer and try again.

    NOTE: The next steps change the boot sequence for one time only. On the next start-up, the computer boots according to the devices specified in the system setup program.

    When the boot device list appears, highlight CD/DVD/CD-RW and press <Enter>.
    Select the Boot from CD-ROM option from the menu that appears and press <Enter>.
    Type 1 to start the CD menu and press <Enter> to proceed.
    Select Run the 32 Bit Dell Diagnostics from the numbered list. If multiple versions are listed, select the version appropriate for your computer.
    When the Dell Diagnostics Main Menu appears, select the test you want to run.

    If you get to the diagnostics and don't see the hard drive, then it's toast.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell