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masterbakerFlag for United States of America

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Dell Inspiron 600m prompts for "strike the f1 key to continue ..." at every bootup

Hi all,

I have a very annoying problem with an Inspiron 600m laptop.  Every time it boots up I get the message "Strike the F1 key to continue or press F2 to enter the setup utility'.  I have hit F2 to edit the BIOS settings and change just about everything in there.  I also set the system to factory defaults, but that didn't help either.  

As a side note, the laptop also appears to have problems with the onboard LAN.  I can't install the Broadcom 57xx software for the LAN adapter.  The system detects the hardware as a "PCI Device" and never accepts the correct drivers.  I have even installed the latest drivers from Dell's website, but it never actually installs the drivers for this hardware component.  Is it possible that the onboard LAN fried and is now causing the BIOS message to appear at every bootup?

I did also run the latest (v1257.2) 32bit diagnostics from Dell and everything passed!  How crazy...

Thanks all,

Avatar of Mark Poirier
Mark Poirier
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Try disabling the onboard lan in the bios. It may be the root of the problem. Other possibilities are the lan did some damage to the motherboard and causes this resetting of he bios. If the CMOS battery is dead you will ge this F1 message if you remove all power from the laptop.
It will usually provide more information above or before the f1 f2 error, what does it show? for the lan driver make sure the dell notebook system software and the chipset driver have been installed.
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To sparkmaker:
I tried disabling the onboard LAN and the "strike F1..." still appears.

To jaimetoner:
I don't get any additional text above or below the message.  The screen is cleared after the BIOS posts and then I get this message by itself.  I also have installed the latest notebook system software and chipset drivers.

Any other ideas?
In many cases I have found it very useful to boot a problem machine with a live non-windows CD, like Knoppix, to investigate suspected hardware malfunction. Since a totally different set of drivers and other software will be active, a driver or software issue will be bypassed and such problems will disappear, while hardware problems will not. This is what I'd do to learn more about the LAN adapter issue.

As for the BIOS message, I think you might search any Dell FAQ or knowledge-base for similar problems. In this case it may also be relevant to look for BIOS updates and the problems adressed by them. Even a re-flash of the BIOS might be considered, but NOT until you have tried a CMOS reset. I suppose the proper procedure is described in the manual, otherwise you may have to remove the CMOS/RTC battery for 15 minutes or so.
Also don't forget to check whether this PC still has warranty. If it does, get it fixed by Dell.
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To rid:
That's a good suggestion about using a bootable CD based OS.  I do have Knoppix, as well as UBCD4Win.  I'll give those a try to see if they detect the NIC.  I have flashed the BIOS to the latest version, but I haven't tried a CMOS reset.  I'll check that out too.

To rindi:
Nope, that was one of the first things I checked.  I'd love to make this Dell's problem so I can work on other things. :)

I'll yank the power cord and battery to see if the BIOS resets.  If it does then it might just be the battery like you thought.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Lastly, I tried both of those drivers and the NIC still never worked.

Thanks all!  I'll report the results when I get another chance to tear into this PC.  It is being used here and there in our lab with a USB based NIC right now.

@ masterbaker--> what was the results, was it the driver or the cmos battery? Others who read this afterwards will wonder if the problem was resolved.