Dell Optiplex flaky on boot - will boot from CD but not from floppy and intermittently from hard drive
Posted on 2006-05-21
I have a Dell Optiplex GX260 Pentium-4 at 1.4 GHz. It has Windows XP Pro SP2 installed on the hard drive. When I try to boot from the hard drive or a bootable floppy, I get a message from the BIOS that it can't boot (F1 to retry boot or F2 to enter setup program). If I insert a bootable CD, it will boot from the CD. I have flashed the BIOS with the latest from the Dell website and checked all the cables. There is no "Select Default settings" in the BIOS, but it's set to a normal set of choices.
If I put in a Windows 98 bootable install CD, the CD gives a choice 1. Boot from hard drive or 2. Boot from CD drive. If I select "Boot from hard drive", it boots from the HD, but if I try to boot directly from the HD, the BIOS gives an error message. If I insert a bootable floppy, the BIOS doesn't even try to boot from it (no noise from the floppy during the bootup process), it just complains F1 to retry boot or F2 to enter setup program.
Does anyone have an idea what is causing this and how to fix it? Otherwise, I just have to leave a copy of the Windows 98 install CD in the CD drive an always use it to boot. I hat to do such a kludge on a nice almost-new machine!