[sf-lug] ignore that text

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jun 21 11:52:22 PDT 2011

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> I am at a conf, and my boss's Inspiron notebook is not booting into setup or
> boot options.  I tried to hit F2, and it starts to boot into setup, but then
> hangs.  

If it hangs going into BIOS Setup, then your boss's Dell Inspiron has
bigger problems than inability to boot a Linux live CD.  This argues
either fundamental hardware problems or corrupted data in the Setup

The latter problem, if present, can be dealt with by clearing the CMOS 
contents, but that's generally a hardware operation, i.e., opening the
case and removing for several seconds a three-pin CLEAR CMOS jumper
(move jumper from pins 1&2 to 2&3, wait five seconds, move jumper back).
_However_, on some Inspirons, you can clear CMOS contents (restoring
defaults) as follows:  Power up, hit <F2> when the BIOS splash screen
appears.  When the System Setup screen appears, press <Alt> + <F>.
Then, press the <Esc> key.  Then, press the <Enter> key to save changes
and exit.  Other Inspiron models will clear CMOS upon being given a
master password that you can request by telephone from Dell Technical
Support.  It is a good idea to call during the warranty period to get
the password then, as it's doubtful they'll help afterwards.

I don't know that *I* would be brave enough to attempt any such things
on the boss's laptop, though, as the Pottery Barn Rule would tend to
apply.  Moreover:

> He doesn't even know what model Inspiron it is, but it is very new.

Then, why in Gehenna aren't you simply telephoning Dell?  (800)

And by the way, for gosh sakes, the model number is on the case.
As is the Service Tag and Express Service Code that Dell Technical
Support will ask for.

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