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boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

 
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17 Replies

Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Sorry about the empty post.

I am having problems with my hard drive. I have seen others post with similar problems; I am trying to start a new discussion thread here. Anyone who has experienced these same problems, please post and let us know what you have done and if you are still having the problem. I want to figure this thing out!

Dimsension 4300 purchased 9/01 running Windows ME, Maxtor 40GB hard drive, BIOS A02

This problem occurs upon power up, when I hear two beeps followed by the message:

       Strike F1 to retry reboot; F2 for setup utility

When I go into setup, I see the following:

Primary Drive 0 Unknown Device (my hard drive)

Primary Drive 1 Off

Secondary Drive 0 Unknown Device (a CD-RW)

Secondary Drive 1 Off

Usually, all it takes is a power off/power on to get the computer to boot. Eventually, though it won't boot at all, so I have to reseat the cables to the hard drive - at the hard drive and at the motherboard (I've done this 3 times starting Jan 03). Then everything works. Just today when it wouldn't boot, I jiggled the power cord to the hard drive - didn't take it completely out and voila! everything works (didn't touch the IDE cable). What is this problem? It is so intermittent that I can't mess around with it a lot - the last time I reseated the cables was a month ago. And it is annoying.

I have also run scandisk, defrag, full computer virus scan, dell diagnostics - all OK.

I have also had problems coming out of hiberation and standby (I assume it can't wake the hdd). And while the computer was idle, I came back to find the message:

Primary hard disk drive 0 failure

Press the F1 key to continue, F2 to run setup

This only happened once.

Please share your stories - if ANYONE has made this go away, I would love to hear about it.

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ceri sheeran
Platinum

Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Hi,

Try a new IDE cable and also connect the hard disk up to a different power connector.

Hibernation and standby are intended only for laptops, desktops can have problems when trying to use these. If you need power managment then use the monitor off and hard disk shut down features.

The hard disk waring messages give serious cause for concern indicating possible hard disk failure coming up.  Back up all data on the hard disk not already saved on another source ( or two ) as soon as you can.

Then run the Dell hard disk diagnostics and phone Dell regarding a replacement drive.

hth

Ceri

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jaystarter
Bronze

Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

I had the same warning message 2 weeks ago, but for some reason everything seems ok now. Does this mean my HDD is still likely to fail? And where do I find the Dell Diagnostics disk?.

Dimension 4300. pent 4 . 1.7  128 ram . maxtor 5TO60H6.  XPhome SP1

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redberri
Bronze

Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

I have the same problem with Win XP Professional. I also got an error code [cMPt]. Does any one know what this means?
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Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

jaystarter-

     I have been receiving this error msg ever since I purchased my computer in Nov '01.  My hard drive has yet to fail.  I really don't think the drive itself is going to fail - but there is something screwy going on that I have yet to figure out.  I will get this msg intermittently when all I have to do is power off/power on and it goes away.  Eventually, though it doesn't go away and that is when I have reseated the IDE cables.

     The Dell Diagnostics disk came with my computer.  I had to set the BIOS up to boot from a CD instead of the hard drive.  Follow the menu options to run diagnostics.

     Good luck and let us know if this goes away for you and what you did.

swallowtail88

 

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Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Dell diagnostics are actually found on the Dell Dimension Resource CD - oops

 

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jaystarter
Bronze

Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Hi Swallowtail.  First of all I have to say everything is running fine as I post this but.... why did it happen? like you I want to know! I first got this message after I upgraded to AOL 8 over AOL 7 which I assumed caused a conflict so did a system restore to get rid of it (back to original AOL 7) still got the message for couple of days with creaking noise occassionaly from HDD and everything noticeably slower. Then it went away but last week I couldnt get connected to AOL at all from their startup screen. Phone support sorted that by explaining to delete the Cache ..something about using too much memory...and that worked. I'm wondering if this lies behind it all because I also had 2 beeps which I have searched for meaning of (go to BIOS message 21343) and this relates to memory. The more you search for answers the more complicated it gets!   Any other ideas welcome. 
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Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Previously working as a Dell Technician. Here is what we did to resolve the issue.

-Strip all the PCI cards from the system.

-Unlplug all IDE cables. (cdrom, hard drive, etc.)

-Power system up. Clear NVRAM/Reset defaults in BIOS (Clear NVRAM using ALT-E and ALT-F on a 4300 while in system setup/BIOS.. Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll lock all must be turned on.)

-After clearing NVRAM/Resetting defaults. Power system down. Plug in only the hard drive. Reboot system. Let hard drive be detected automatically. Other devices will not be detected. Go back into BIOS. Clear NVRAM/Reset defaults.

-Power system back down. Plug in cdrom, let it detect with hard drive. (should see performing automatic IDE configuration)

-Basically what it amounts to is plugging in only one IDE device at a time and clearing NVRAM/Resetting defaults after each item is plugged in.

Im not exactly sure how long this lasted. I know it worked effectively and it was the way we were required to perform it. However, if it reoccurs within a month or two.. That I couldn't tell ya.

Also if you want to check the hard drive functionality -the easiest and most backed by Dell process is to run a 90/90.  The drive has to be detected in BIOS in order to work effectively. If it is detected, you should be able to hit Control-Alt-D (at the same time) during post or right as you see the Dell splash. This will take you to a black screen and show -performing automatic IDE diagnostics.  It will take a few minutes depending on drive size. It will return a pass / fail on the screen after complete. If there is a failure it will give a return code. In that instance you know what needs to be done next.

Message Edited by -Xstinguish- on 07-20-2003 01:20 PM

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Re: boot error - F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup

Xstinguish-

    Thank you for your post!  So from what you said I assume this is a *known* problem?  Dell tech support had me both clear NVRAM and reseat the IDE cables, but not as you describe it.  I will only hope that this will provide me with a permanent solution, because I do not think there is anything wrong with my hdd, my IDE cables, etc.

    The part about the PCI cards.  Do I just take them out, then perform all the magic with the IDE devices, then put them back in?  What part do they play?

Thanks again

jaystarter-

    You mention the part about the two beeps and memory.  Yes, in my documentation it says that "memory parity cannot be reset."  A little misleading, I think.  If you ever get this message again (God forbid), check the diagnostic lights on the back of your computer.  Mine were YGGY which means "IDE bus failure has occurred."  More to the point.

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