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In IBM PC Compatible computers, the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), also known as the System BIOS, is a de facto standard defining a firmware interface.

The BIOS has different POST codes, which can give indications to problems with a computer. Wikipedia has an article on the POST, including some of the codes it can give.

How to enter the BIOS[]

Different models of computers have different key combinations for entering the BIOS. They can be very handy to use if you need to guide a non-technical user over the phone.

The majority of computers use F2 or Del to enter the BIOS on boot-up but other keys are sometimes used, including alphanumeric keys.

Other options on boot-up include F12 to show the boot order and F8 (on Windows, after the BIOS) to open the boot menu (Safe mode can be booted from this menu).

BIOS Brands[]

Award Modular BIOS' use Del to enter setup.

IBM BIOS' ("300" series PCs) use F1 to enter setup. If you get a restricted menu, you'll have to switch off and on.


SCSI BIOS[]

Some servers come installed with two SCSI BIOS.

IBM eSeries (P3s) Ctrl-A for Adaptec, Ctrl-I for IBM.

Dell PERC Controllers Ctrl-M up to 4 series or Ctrl-C for 5 and later

Acer[]

  • TravelMate 3220 - F2 for setup, F12 for boot order

Dell[]

Most Dell computers - F2 for setup, F12 for boot order

HP[]

Some HP computers use F1 to both enter boot order and BIOS setup.

HP Proliant ML110 G5 use F10

Pavillion dv6824eo[]

  • Esc to enable startup message
  • F1 to enter system information
  • F2 to startup check
  • F9 to change boot device order
    • Which also gives the option to enter the BIOS setup
  • F10 to enter setup
  • F11 to system recovery

ProLiant ML110[]

  • Esc - Summary and boot progress
  • F2 - Setup
  • F4 - Boot menu
  • F12 - Network boot

ProLiant ML110 G4[]

  • Esc - Summary and boot progress
  • F7 - Boot menu
  • F10 - Setup
  • F12 - Network boot

ProLiant DL380 G5[]

  • F9 - Setup

ProLiant DL120 G5[]

  • F9 - Setup
  • F8 - Embedded SATA RAID Configuration Utility

IBM[]

Older IBM computers (P2s and P3s of the "300" series) - F1 for setup

A few may require power Off and On, otherwise you'll get a minimal BIOS menu.

On some IBM computers, press the blue ThinkVantage button to get a menu where you can select the BIOS, which device to boot from, etc. You can also press F12 for the boot menu.

RM[]

RM notebooks use F2 to enter BIOS

Samsung[]

Samsung notebooks use F2 to enter BIOS


F4 system recovery

F10 boot select option 

F12 network boot

Stone Computers[]

Stone Computers notebooks and desktop machines use F2 to enter BIOS

VMWare[]

VMWare guests use F2 to enter setup, F12 for network boot and ESC for boot menu

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