Dell F2 BIOS Setup fails

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mgtf55dy

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When I boot my Dell Inspiron 530S running Windows 10, I get a black screen with a blinking cursor after the Dell BIOS screen. If I interrupt the boot and press F2 in the Dell BIOS screen, instead of going to the BIOS SETUP, I get the following error, "AHCI BIOS not installed" and the system hangs. I am trying to add the USB Flash Drive to the boot options and make it the first device in the boot options. The BIOS is 1.0.13.

I have created a Windows 10 Recovery Drive on my second computer and am trying to use that.
 

flavallee

Frank
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Dell Inspiron 530s (support site)
This is a very old model desktop which was designed for and has driver support only for Windows XP and Windows Vista.

The last BIOS update for it is version 1.0.18 which was released in March 2009.
If it's currently running Windows 10 Home or Pro 32-bit or 64-bit, I seriously doubt it'll allow the BIOS to be updated.

--------------------------------------------------------------
 

mgtf55dy

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Regardless of the age of the computer or the version of the BIOS, when the Dell logo screen says to select F2 for Setup or F12 for the Boot menu, it should respond appropriately. When I press F12, it takes me to the Boot Menu, but the Boot Menu does not have a USB Memory Stick as one of the options.

When I press F2, it should go into BIOS Setup. However, it does not. All that happens is the screen displays "AHCI BIOS not installed" and the system locks.
 

flavallee

Frank
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First remove the USB thumb drive, then restart that Dell.
If I'm correct, you now should be able to access the BIOS.

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Triple6

Rob
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If you disconnect you internal hard drive does it allow you to access the BIOS?
 

mgtf55dy

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I disconnected the internal hard drive and I still cannot access the BIOS. I also created a Recovery Drive on a CD and selected th CDROM from the BIOS Menu and the computer is not booting from the CDROM.
 

managed

Allan
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How did you install 10 onto it ? Was 10 working properly ?
 

mgtf55dy

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I downloaded Windows 10 during the free update period and it was working just fine until this happened. I use the computer several times every day. The black screen with blinking cursor happened a few hours after I had used it. When I powered off and then back on, I gor the black screen with blinking cursor after the Dell logo screen. At the Dell logo screen, F2 (Setup) and F12 (BIOS Menu) are available but, as I stated, F2 will not go into Setup. F12 has several options but there is no option to boot from a USB Thumb drive. I have replaced the CMOS battery.
 

mgtf55dy

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I reset the BIOS by:
1. Disconnecting the Power cord
2. Removing the CMOS battery
3. Pressing the Power button for 10 seconds
4. Reseating the CMOS battery

I then reconnected the Power cord and booted the system.
At the Dell logo screen I pressed F2 (Setup). The system displays "Entering Setup" but does not go to setup. Instead "AHCI BIOS not installed" is displayed and I cannot exit that screen.
However, I can hear the CDROM spinning. Note: I had previous disconnected the hard drive and the third option in the BIOS Menu is CDROM. As stated previously, I created a Recovery Drive on a CD and it is still in the drive. I can hear the CD spinning for a minute or two and then it stops and nothing more happens, even after a couple of hours.

At that point, I power off the system.
 

crjdriver

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I checked the specs on your system. You do not have a ps2 port; only usb ports for keyboard/mouse. Try your keyboard in a different slot AND try your keyboard on a known working system. If your keyboard works, a part on the motherboard has failed ie usb fuse, bios chip, etc.
 

Triple6

Rob
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I reset the BIOS by:
1. Disconnecting the Power cord
2. Removing the CMOS battery
3. Pressing the Power button for 10 seconds
4. Reseating the CMOS battery

I then reconnected the Power cord and booted the system.
At the Dell logo screen I pressed F2 (Setup). The system displays "Entering Setup" but does not go to setup. Instead "AHCI BIOS not installed" is displayed and I cannot exit that screen.
However, I can hear the CDROM spinning. Note: I had previous disconnected the hard drive and the third option in the BIOS Menu is CDROM. As stated previously, I created a Recovery Drive on a CD and it is still in the drive. I can hear the CD spinning for a minute or two and then it stops and nothing more happens, even after a couple of hours.

At that point, I power off the system.
On Dell's it's important to use jumper procedure they describe in the link I provided.
 

mgtf55dy

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Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
On my computer, I have three pins, instead of two, for both the password connector and the CMOS jumper. I tried several methods to reset the BIOS to default values. in all cases, I turned off the power, moved the jumpers, turned the power back on for at lease 10 seconds, turned the power off, moved the jumpers back to their original positions, turned the power back on, pressed F2 on the Dell logo screen. The system displayed "Entering BIOS Setup" but did not enter BIOS Setup. Below are the different thing that I did.
1. I moved both jumpers from pins 1 and 2 to pins 2 and 3, turned on the power for 10 seconds, turned the power off and reset both jumpers to pins 1 and 2.
2. I removed the password connector and used it to jump the CMOS jumper.
a. placed the jumper from the password connector on CMOS pins 1 and 2, turned power on for 10 seconds, etc.
b. placed the jumper from the password connector on CMOS pins 2 and 3, turned power on for 10 seconds, etc.

Again, when I booted the computer and pressed F2 on the Dell logo screen, "Entering BIOS Setup" was displayed but the system did not go to BIOS setup. Instead, "AHCI BIOS not installed" was displayed and the only way out of that was to Power Off.
Note: I mentioned that I have two identical computers except for the hard drive. When I boot the other computer and press F2 Setup on the Dell logo screen. "Entering BIOS Setup", "AHCI BIOS not installed" flashes very briefly on the screen and the system then goes into BIOS Setup.
 

Triple6

Rob
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OK, keep disconnecting things, disconnect all the hard drives, CD\DVD drives, USB sticks or drives, disconnect all external devices excluding the monitor and keyboard but including all other USB connected devices including printers and the mouse. You can even swap the keyboard with the other computer.
If the computer has more than one stick of RAM, remove all but one and try again.
 
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