I can't get into my BIOS.. no setup options!

TechieMom used Ask the Experts™
I have a used Gateway Solo 2000 with an Intel Pentium 133mhz with a SystemSoft bios, Opti Viper 557/558 version .921.01 (2450-03)  and  I can't get into it.
The first thing that comes up on it is that there was no OS found on the hard disk, run BiosXXX to restore or hit F1 to continue.  If I hit F1 I boot up.  The next thing that comes up is the bios name and version and the memory test.  It says nothing about entering setup. I don't get a POS beep (not sure if laptops do this)
but I have trie hitting esc, F1, F2, control+alt+shift, del and just shift.   I am trying to change my boot options.  I formatted my HD and copied over system files and CD drivers mscdex.exe and oakcdrom.sys, but it won't recognize the CD drive.  The CD rom and Floppy are interchangable so I can onlu have one in there at a time and I don't know what to do! Help!
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What OS are you attempting to install? If it is WinXP then you should be able to boot from the CD, I am not sure but I think all OS after Win98 are bootable from CD. If I am wrong about the OS you are attempting to load then you should be able to create a bootable cd with a  CD-R or CD-RW drive and Easy CD creator or Nero burning software. Other burning software should have this feature as well.

If you haven't entered the BIOS then you should have the option of booting from CD already I would think, as the factory had to have some way of loading the OS. They may have installed the OS on another machine and then installed the HD into to the laptop. The BIOS of your machine may not offer the option to boot to CD, in which case then the same process as mentioned above may have to be used.

You may be able to use the model number to search Gateway and download a manual which may clear up how to get to BIOS setup and whether or not you can boot to CD.

Here is a link to users guides maybe you can find the laptop here, as I didn't see the "2000" model listed. There was a 2150, and 2500 etc. but not a 2000 model.

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WakeupSpecialist 1

singlpop,  well the issue looks like she can't boot to the CD...If she has the older version of windows 98....Or win98 upgrade.  It is not bootable.  If she has Win98SE, that is bootable.

So techiemom, what are you trying to install?

Wakeup, only for clarification as to why I suggested attempting to boot to the CD. As I read the question, there was an attempt to load the CD drivers from floppy which wouldn't work if the CD drive wasn't installed and no drive was found. There can only be either the floppy or the CD drive, and my suggestion is to install the CD drive an attempt to boot to a bootable CD install disk or a bootable cd with cd rom drivers.

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Wakeup's F10 key may work.  The BIOS described was also on Compaq laptops.

TechieMom, if you don't have the system restore disk and you manage to load an OS then you will need to find and get the MB drivers, and sound and modem drivers etc.. the best thing if possible would be to have the restore disk and this should be bootable. If you have the restore disk then try creating the bootable cd and see if the drive is recognized. Just copying the files to the hard drive isn't enough to get the drive recognized. You need to modify the autoexec.bat and config.sys to load the drivers. This is not necessary if you have a bootable cd.
The following was designed to provide you with basic assistance only in handling motherboard Bios related issues. For more detailed instructions, see either our Award(http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios/bioshelp.htm) or AMI (http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios/bioshelp.htm)Bios pages.

You should only enter the BIOS during the boot process of the computer and never from within an operating system (i.e. Windows). On some computers you can still enter the BIOS from a DOS prompt.There are several  ways can be used to enter the BIOS/CMOS, and the video monitor will usually indicate the method or key to use (but not always) at the bottom of the screen just as the computer is turned on.

To enter the BIOS during boot up hold down or tap one of the following keys:
·     Hold down the <Del> key (AMI and Award)
·       Hold down the <F1> key
·       Hold down the <F10> key To enter the BIOS from a DOS prompt...( ...NOT from inside windows)
<Cntrl> <Alt> <A>
<Cntrl> <Alt> <S>
Some manufacturers have their own way for entering BIOS as shown below:
·     Acer - Ctrl+Alt+Esc
·     AST, Advantage, Award, Tandon - Ctrl + Alt + Esc
·     Compaq - F10 (When the square is in the top right hand corner of screen)
·     Dell - F1 or Del.
·     Dells - Some require pressing reset twice
·     Dells - Ctrl + Alt + Enter
·     Gateway 2000 - F1
·     Hewlett Packard - F1
·     IBM o     Older Models - In order to get into the configuration of the IBM setup screen (CMOS) screen you need to hold down both mouse buttons during boot-up.
o     Aptiva - Press F1
·     IBM PS/2 with reference partition - Press Ins during boot
·     Some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90 - Ctrl Alt ?
·     Some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen - Ctrl + Ins
·     Leading Edge
o     Fortiva 5000 - <Cntrl> <Alt> <A> or <Cntrl> <Alt> <S>
·     NEC - F2
·     Packard Bell - F1 or F2
·     Phoenix - Ctrl Alt S
·     Phoenix - Ctrl S
·     Phoenix - Ctrl Alt Ins
·     Sharp Laptop 9020 - F2
·     Sony - F3, then F2, or F1
·     Tandon computers - Hold down the <Esc> key after turning on power
·     Tandon - Ctrl + Shift + Esc
·     Toshiba Laptops - Toshiba Utility
·     Toshiba - Press Esc during boot
·     Toshiba, Phoenix, late model PS/1 Value Point and 330s - Press F1 during boot
·     Olivetti PC Pro - Shift Ctrl Alt + Num Pad del
·     Miscellaneous PC's - Ctrl + Esc or Ctrl and Alt and +
·     Zenith - Ctrl Alt Ins

I believe one of these configurations will get you into your BIOS.

Good luck and have a nice day.

In all the manuals I have looked at for the gateway at the link below,


there is a recurring theme and that is that the restore cd is needed and then you can select to boot to the CD drive.

This may be by design, they may not allow you to load an OS without the restore disk, and even if you do then you will need there drivers. If I am way off base, then I am sure that one of the experts will, jump all over me with zeal maybe some more than others, but I hope this info helps.

Here is an example, the instructions don't change whether you are using a DOCKING STATION or not.


To reinstall Windows 2000 and the device drivers:
1 Insert the red Drivers CD into the CD-RW, DVD, or combination
DVD/CD-RW drive on your docking station.
2 Restart the computer.
3 Select Option 2. Boot from CD-ROM.
4 Follow the on-screen instructions. The on-screen instructions step you
through the operating system installation.
Important If the drive you want to use is not in the docking station
bay, you will need to swap modules to use it. For more
information about swapping modules, see “Changing
drives” on page 166.
Try booting the computer up without a keyboard, most manufacturers have their BIOS setting set-up in such a way that you will get a popup message telling you to pust F1 to contimue or ___ to enter setup.

This is a laptop, I guess. KB permanently attached.

The BIOS may have some dependency on "external" functions, like the Comapq "hidden partition" sort of thing, which makes life a bit more complicated if you get disk errors etc. In short, you may really need to get a bios setup program from the manufacturer.

Dave PuseyIT Support Specialist

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this question.

I will leave the following recommendation in the Cleanup topic area:

Accept comment from WBaldwin

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


Dave Pusey
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