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November 29th, 2023 05:35

Unable to access bios with eithe F2 or F12

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Was attempting to do a clean install of windows 11 on xps8700 using same USB that just used to update a dell inspirion 3520.  
for some stupid reason i followed a web post to switch to legacy boot.  This turned in to a disasters can no longer boot into my OS and can not get back in to Bios to change it back.  Looks like I may need to reset the bios somehow

Symptoms are

When booting regardless of hitting F2 or F12 it goes to a screen for Intel with info a Raid volumes and then goes to a second screen for Ethernet controller then goes to reboot system. which goes back to the first screen and cycles over again continuously.

this is an apparent boot failure as does not see the F2 (and F12 does the same thing).  I have used two known working keyboards (USB)


Twice have seen a momentary support assist screen with option to go to bios setup with Alt B or B but have never been able to get it back and do not know how I caused it to appear.

Can I reset BIOS to default somehow?

Any suggestion or guidance appreciated.  

2 Intern

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1.7K Posts

November 29th, 2023 13:04

The XPS8700 does NOT have the TPM chip. You can't install Win11 to it, well, not unless you try some work-arounds (Google for them).

Assuming you can BOOT from the USB port or DVD, I'd get the MS Media Creation tool and the W10 deliverable onto a Flash drive of DVD/CD and see if that will install.

Otherwise, you might need to clear the BIOS? From the manual:

I am not sure if that would work, nor what the state of the BIOS would be though. Another possibility would be to remove the Coin Cell battery and let it sit until it loses any settings.

Still, no matter what, you'd be better off putting W10 on it.

1 Rookie

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24 Posts

November 29th, 2023 16:54

Sorry had pulled model number from Dell my Products.  What I actually have is an XPS8930 which does have TPM chip.

Can not  get to bios to setup usb boot.  Just tried one of my keyboards on my laptop and it functions fine BUT will NOT interupt boot with f2 or f12 keys.  Do I need a physically wired keyboard to get into the bios or should my USB dongle keyboards (one Dell and one Logitec) work.  Thought they did and no longer have a wired keyboard, if someone can verify i will get one if needed.

10 Elder

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43.3K Posts

November 29th, 2023 20:06

A wired USB keyboard might help...

What type video port are you using on PC and what type on monitor? Is monitor connected to an add-in video card or to an onboard Intel Graphics port? If you have an add-in video card, the monitor should be connected there.

Can you try different type video port on PC and monitor? Or remove add-in video card, if any, and connect monitor to an onboard Intel Graphics port.  Then see if you can get into BIOS now...

I wouldn't force-reset BIOS to its defaults, either using the jumper or by removing motherboard battery. The default SATA mode setting is AHCI, but Dell ships PCs with both BIOS and Windows configured for RAID. So resetting BIOS to AHCI will prevent it from booting, and may even corrupt Windows to the point where you'd have to do a complete reinstall, possibly losing all personal files.

I'd try this first:

Power PC on and immediately power off by pressing/holding PC's power button when you see Dell splash screen.

Repeat the power on/off cycles, and after 3rd (or possibly 4th) power on, the Windows Recovery Environment should open.  Find/select Troubleshooting>Startup Repair and see if it can fix the boot problem.

FWIW, I've set BIOS to Legacy enabled, and then back to Legacy disabled, without any issues on my XPS 8930, with BIOS set to RAID.

1 Rookie

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24 Posts

December 15th, 2023 19:21

Just to close this off my entire problem was that I required a PHYSCIAL keyboard connection.
I would have bet money that I had used a wireless keyboard before without problem but no longer have that keyboard so will never know

Got in trouble by using Recovery to get into Bios and change to Legacy boot , perhaps this is how I go into the bios previously with the other wireless keyboard

10 Elder

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43.3K Posts

December 15th, 2023 20:38

@dnorcott - Glad you got it solved.

I did suggest trying a wired keyboard... ;o))

2 Intern

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1.7K Posts

December 16th, 2023 11:02

@dnorcott​ 

For what it is worth, I've got a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse from Logitech, using its Unifying receiver into a USB port. All are XPS's with different mouse/keyboard combinations, but all are Logitech.

Never had that problem on any of them I believe, but I do sort of recall it once where a wired keyboard was required, but I don't think it was on an XPS?

Possible there was a connection issue? I'll assume the wired keyboard went into a USB port, and without a PS2 to USB adapter? Did it use the same USB port as the wireless keyboard's receiver went into? If not, you might have a port problem?

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