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Alan_B

Broken BIOS - forgets Boot/Disk Order - any fix ?

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My BIOS is American Megatrends version 2202.

 

I want to boot from a Flash Drive because :-

mini O/S loads much faster from a Flash Drive than a CD

and a Flash drive can be updated whilst my re-writable CD has gone missing.

 

I plug a Boot Flash in and power up and have to disrupt booting by entering the BIOS.

 

I never have to fix the Boot Order because I fixed it weeks ago and it stays fixed - sort off :angry:

The Boot Order always commences with

"Removable Device"

"CD"

"*$!&*&!$" :wacko:

Unfortunately "*$!&*&!$" is something I cannot control under Boot Order,

it is in fact the name of the first physical HDD/SSD/Flash Drives in the list of Hard Drives.

 

I have to enter the list of HDD/SSD/Flash Drives and make the flash drive(s) first in the list.

Then I can use the F10 key to save the BIOS settings and exit,

and then the computer will restart and the BIOS will not find the removable device and not find the CD but finds the FLASH which appears below the CD

and then my Flash Drive is loaded and whatever mini O/S is present can run.

 

Unfortunately the order of physical HDD/SSD/Flash Drives is not preserved for very long,

and after the FLASH are unplugged the HDD/SSD sequence are naturally shifted up,

and when a Flash is plugged in again it appears LAST in the list of HDD/SSD/Flash Drives

So I cannot Boot into the flash again until I boot up into the BIOS and fix the forgotten physical sequence.

 

Am I doing something wrong ?

Is there a simple solution ?

Is this something that needs a BIOS update (an experience I have never had and was hoping to avoid)

 

Regards

Alan

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Do you get a not get ''press any key to boot from external device' when booting with you flash drive in?

 

Some will only do it that way.

 

Do you always use the same usb port for the flash drive? If so try another.

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If it's any help Alan, my bios is also American Megatrends but version 3.08, and I don't even get an option in the BIOS to boot from a USB drive.

 

It's no real problem as with a Flash Drive or USB Hard Drive plugged in I simply press the Escape Key as soon as the boot sequence starts and I get a simple boot options screen with the USB drive included ...

 

 

 

I'm so accustomed to that simple and quick operation that it just isn't a problem. Is that boot options screen available on your computer?

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Do you get a not get ''press any key to boot from external device' when booting with you flash drive in?

 

Some will only do it that way.

 

Do you always use the same usb port for the flash drive? If so try another.

I have never seen any such option on this desktop.

I have the same problem with both USB ports on the top of my desktop.

I have a difficult to reach port at the back I will try, but I have little hope.

 

When I switch on power it takes 16 seconds before the BIOS reports on the monitor,

suggesting the "DEL" key for Boot configuration options,

and then for 7 seconds showing what it is doing.

 

Then it concludes by detecting whether any USB Flash drives are present,

and if any are present then identification takes a few more seconds.

 

After this it allows Boot Configuration if I had struck DEL quickly enough,

otherwise it proceeds to work through the Boot Priority list and boots the first thing with an active partition.

 

Regards

Alan

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On one computer here, tapping escape as soon as possible brings up the "Boot Menu Screen", not the same thing as entering the bios.

 

The Boot Menu Screen offers choices to boot from ... one of them is "Hard Disk". No clue that this option might lead to something else is visible.

 

If there a bootable USB stick plugged in when I power up, it will show when I select "Hard Disk", but if there is not, only the main HD shows, and there is no clue that plugging in a USB stick would make it show up and be bootable.

 

I read quite a bit and don't think that was ever mentioned. If I boot from a USB stick that way, there is no need to change the order of anything in the BIOS, and the next time I boot everything is just like it was.

 

Alan, & Dennis please excuse if you already knew that, but I don't think I ever saw it spelled out quite that way.

 

Edit: That BIOS is a Phoenix Award, set up to accomodate floppy disks (old computer) but the USB thing works on my newer one also.

 

'nuther edit: I was typing when you posted the above. Didn't see yours. Your post sounds much like mine. But for the longest time I didn't realize that the USB ports were "behind" the "Hard Drive" option, and that they would not show unless there was a USB stick in the port.

 

Does that make any sense at all, or am I adrift?

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If it's any help Alan, my bios is also American Megatrends but version 3.08, and I don't even get an option in the BIOS to boot from a USB drive.

 

It's no real problem as with a Flash Drive or USB Hard Drive plugged in I simply press the Escape Key as soon as the boot sequence starts and I get a simple boot options screen with the USB drive included ...

 

 

 

I'm so accustomed to that simple and quick operation that it just isn't a problem. Is that boot options screen available on your computer?

When I hit DEL and enter the BIOS then I have various Menu options.

One menu is BOOT and this has two sub-menus :-

Boot Priority

HDD/SSD/Flash Order

 

Your image looks like my HDD/SSD/Flash Order sub-menu.

 

When I select a Boot CD I need think no more.

I plug it into the player and switch on and with no further intervention from me it (eventually) boots into whatever I have selected.

 

When I select a Flash Drive I have to stay focused upon :-

waiting for 16 seconds after powering up;

waiting a further 1 second for the USB system to be configured

and then within the next 6 seconds hitting the correct key to enter BIOS configuration so I may alter the HDD/SSD/Flash Order,

Then hit the Function F10 key to save settings and exit out,

and then wait for the system to close down and then spend another 24 seconds booting up and using my chosen Flash Drive.

Staying focused is difficult when the wife has a question needing an instant response :rolleyes:

 

After a month of not using a Boot Flash Drive I have forgotten that "DEL" is the magic key,

and 6 Seconds is too short to read a long scrolling message and then "hunt and peck" the correct key,

so I have to restart.

 

I am sorry to burden you with reading this long tedious grumble,

but perhaps you may sympathize with what I suffered :-

 

Yesterday was especially difficult with many failures even when I had done everything correctly.

The problems turned out to a a result of using a brand new but defective 8 GB Flash drive made by HP.

Problems were :-

It took approx 6 seconds to signal its presence,

so that often (especially when I was not looking) it was not detected and booted from.

It never ever booted when it should have;

Suspecting a change in the configuration of the program that created the latest boot code,

I cloned from a different make of 8 GB Flash with earlier boot code that never failed me,

and then when it was detected it almost completed loading of the WinPE system but then reported a missing file.

"Windows\System32 \Boot\Winload.exe"

and crash.

Comparing all files on the two flash drives I found that the 144 MB file Boot.WIM was different.

I again copied Boot.WIM and this time they matched.

After this I was eventually able, on the occasions when it was detected, to place it first in the HDD/SSD/Flash Order,

and then when it responded quick enough to the BIOS I eventually had a successful launch.

 

NB I have since created the latest Boot code on my original 8 GB drive and also a 1 GB drive,

and they both boot beautifully, but only after configuring HDD/SSD/FLASH Order.

 

Inspecting the dud HP Flash under Windows I find that sometimes it is NOT detected when plugged in,

and after waiting 20 seconds I unplug and plug in again and then it may happen.

When it is seen by Windows it may successfully load,

or alternatively Windows reports that a driver failed to instal.

 

Regards

Alan

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The BIOS startup lists, I think, two special keys.

one is the DEL,

I forget what the other one is and have never noticed what it would do for me because I knew that Boot Priority was the only "magic" needed for a CD and expected it to handle FLASH as well.

I am about to close down and have a meal and then observe what alternative options are available in that 6 second window,

and then I will report back.

I may be some time :)

 

Regards

Alan

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Try unplugging any harddrives other than the one you boot from and plug that one into the first SATA/IDE port.

 

If you haven't tried already, resetting the CMOS and/or motherboard jumper will give you a fresh start.

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What happens if you start tapping the "esc" key immediately at power up? Different BIOS I know, but what happens?

 

Here the "esc" key opens the boot menu screen, then

- waits for me to navigate to a selection and click it.

- It will wait a long time.

- Doesn't do anything till I select a boot device.

- Will boot from the selected device when I click it, no need to change anything.

 

If I miss the "esc" timing, it is very quick, I go to the HP logo screen for a few seconds. It offers "F1" which opens the BIOS and :"F10" which starts the system recovery option.

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Thanks everyone

 

The 7 second window offers not only DEL for Boot configuration,

It also offers Function key F8 for

"Popup BBS"

 

In desperation I hit F8 expecting some Bulletin Board Software,

and instead my dreams were answered.

Almost exactly what Dennis has from the Escape key, and having made my choice it instantly launches without a restart/reboot.

 

Regards

Alan

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Pleased you've sorted it Alan.

 

Computers are so much fun. banghead.gif

The HP Flash deserves a jolly good head banging,

But it is now safely wrapped up in the jiffy bag it came in and is traveling back to maker via snail mail.

 

I am thankful to have discovered that "Popup BBS" was what I needed,

but I wonder what sort of weed the developers were on when they selected that name :wacko:

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I can think of an explanation for the BS part of that name, but the initial B escapes me. :)

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Glad you got it fixed, Alan.

 

Edit: BBS is Badly Bollixed Software, maybe? :P

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Yeah the bootup device selection screen varies from bios to bios. Some are invoked taping ESC key; others using some function key: F8 (Asus), F12 (my Gigabyte), F11 (Asrock). They are probably a plethora of combinations. Some bios even doesn't acknowledge the existence of a shortcut for bringing out the BBS menu.

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Some while ago I discovered that one of the Palemoon features I never had with Firefox was a pre-installed set of ready to use search options.

Not just Google but others including Duck Duck Go and even the English Wikipedia.

I decided last night to try BBS on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBS

Top Result was

"Bulletin Board System",

which dates from 1970 - I am surprised that I remembered so far back :)

The third result was

"Blum Blum Shub", a pseudorandom number generator

That was my favorite definition until I saw

Edit: BBS is Badly Bollixed Software, maybe? :P

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