How can I bypass the F1 prompt during post?

Posted on 2008-11-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

I'm working on getting a print server up and running.  I have one SCSI drive installed and it is running Microsoft Server 2003 Std R2.  The problem is during POST.  After the "Press Ctrl A for SCSISelect Utility" prompt, it tells me to either Press F1 to continue or F2 to run the setup utility.  I know on other servers, usually HP ones, that you can turn this prompt off within BIOS.  I am not seeing this option available.  Any ideas?  My concern is that if the server needs to reboot, no one will be around to hit the F1 key to get it up and running.  And yes, the server is off site.  

Question by:GHMNE
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    If the server has ROM Based Setup:

    Press the F10 key to access BIOS Configuration Utility as the System Boots.

    Select the Advanced menu.

    Select the F1 Prompt option.

    Press the right or left arrow to disable F1 Prompt.

    In all other cases use the following steps:

    Reboot the server.

    Press the F10 key to access System Configuration Utility.

    Press any key to continue.

    Press CTRL A from the Main Menu.

    Press Enter.

    Choose System Configuration.

    Choose Configure Hardware.

    Choose Review or Modify Hardware Settings.

    Choose View or Edit Details.

    Press the arrow down to Advanced Features, highlight F1 Boot Prompt, and press Enter.

    Select Disable - skip prompt.

    Press the F10 key to complete the selection.

    Save and Exit.

    NOTE: The F1 prompt feature is commonly disabled in server environments because it pauses the POST process during the next reboot after a POST error has occurred, allowing the operator to view the error then press F1 to continue booting. If the F1 prompt is disabled, the POST errors can still be viewed after POST using Insight Manager, the Inspect Utility (part of Server Diagnostics), the Survey Utility or the Integrated Management Log. Errors can also be seen by attaching to the optional HP Remote Insight Board via modem or LAN cable, or the optional Remote Insight Lights-Out Edition controller via LAN cable and by running the appropriate client software
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    A Dell server doesn't prompt for an F1 unless there is a reason. I would investigate the cause of the F1 prompt instead of simply turning it off.

    Author Comment

    Ok, after hitting F10, I get the error "Utility Partition not available".  Is this something that I can download from the Dell site or elsewhere?  I have checked the threads you posted and one mentions a Smart Start CD for a Compaq box.  Is there one available for Dell?
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    You cannot install the utility partition without reformatting your primary disk. The utility partition is a small partition that sits at the front end of your boot drive and contains the diagnostics. You can, however, run the same tools off the 32-bit diagnostics disc. You can find that here:

    Author Comment

    Tried the utility, didn't realize is was only a diagnostic tool.  Is my best way to install the System Config Utility before I install the server OS?  I'm just not sure what the issue could be why it's prompting for F1 or F2.

    Author Comment

    Ok, I figured out that I need the BIOS System Config Utility.  I'm just searching for it on Dell's site.  After that, I'm just going to reimage and install that first.

    Expert Comment

    I disabled the PXE boot and it worked....

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