Windows Legacy OS forum


Can't access Start Menu, BIOS, Task Manager, etc

I have an old HP machine and when I turn it on it does not indicate that
windows is loading or even give me the option of pressing ESC or F10 to
get to the BIOS. It goes straight to the desktop but I can't see the
Start Menu or access programs. If I hit Ctrl, Alt, Delete, nothing happens. Any thoughts as to how I could get to the BIOS? I'd like to load LINUX on it, probably SUSE since it's an older machine.

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All Answers

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Tried The F1 or F2 Keys?

In reply to: Can't access Start Menu, BIOS, Task Manager, etc

If you're going to load a different operating system, do you really need to access Windows at all? Why not simply wipe the drive with something like Dban, then install Linux? Of course, knowing the actual model number of the HP machine might help but many of those older HPs used F1 or F2 to access the BIOS.(Sometimes "Esc, or the "Delete" key were used also.) Start pressing the correct access key immediately upon startup, no waiting.

Hope this helps.


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I'll keep trying

In reply to: Tried The F1 or F2 Keys?

I'll try the F1 and F2 keys. The problem is the computer doesn't seem to boot the cd-rom. I've never used Dban, but I'll give it a whirl.

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If It Won't Boot From CD Drive, Two Possibilities

In reply to: I'll keep trying

1. The drive is failing or the disc isn't readable.

2. The BIOS still isn't set correctly to boot from the CD drive first.

Hope this helps.


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F1 & F2 didn't work.

In reply to: If It Won't Boot From CD Drive, Two Possibilities

I believe it's #2 and I don't know how to get to the BIOS. If it was #1 then my desktop background wouldn't appear.

Could I remove the hard drive and hook it up to my other computer and load a new OS on it?

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Safe Mode?

In reply to: F1 & F2 didn't work.

If you can see the Desktop Background then have you tried Safe Mode? Reboot, and just before Windows begins to load, start pressing the F8 key gently, once a second.

Try all of those Safe Mode options.

If you still want to load another OS, tell us what happened when you tried F1 or F2 to access the BIOS. "Didn't work" doesn't tell us much.


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That's the problem: Windows does not load

In reply to: Safe Mode?

I booted up the machine and gently pressed F8 once per second. The screen remained black and nothing ever came on the screen.

I booted up the machine and gently pressed F1 once per second. The screen remained black and nothing ever came on the screen.

I booted up the machine and gently pressed F2 once per second. The background picture for my desktop loaded, but there are no desktop items or start menu button.

If I power up the machine it goes from black to the desktop picture. Nothing on screen ever indicates that windows is loading or that I can press esc or any one of the F keys to interrupt windows loading.

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It seems terminal

In reply to: That's the problem: Windows does not load

We still don't know the HP model number, but from what you tell us, this is the story so far;

1] BIOS inaccessible

2] No Safe Mode

3] Windows loads, but you only see the Desktop background image.

When it gets to this stage all we can say is, 'It's dead Jim'.

However, some thoughts.

Is the keyboard working? If not and if this is a Desktop PC, (we still don't know), try a PS/2 keyboard and/or another keyboard.

Is the mouse working? If not, try a PS/2 mouse and/or some other mouse.

When the computer is first turned on, the BIOS performs a POST, (Power On, Self Test), sequence and this is usually accompanied by messages on screen, showing the hardware checks. If any hardware fails, the BIOS POST halts with an error message. We DON'T KNOW what you are seeing.

However, some systems, (my Packard Bell EasyNote Butterfly-m for example), have Splash Screens that appear within a couple of seconds of power up. These Splash Screens often hide the POST messages. But even then, there is usually an option somewhere on screen to bypass the splash screen and enter the BIOS. My PB says "Press <F2> to enter Setup". If I press F2, I then get a choice of entering the BIOS or entering Recovery Mode.

If you see nothing at all, then it's dead.


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similar problem

In reply to: It seems terminal

I am in kind of the same boat. I have an old Dell inspiron e1505 (laptop), with windows xp. I can't get into the bios menu, or back into windows. After turning the computer on, I get a black screen and then a message about not being able to find the nvrd32.sys and pressing any key to reboot the computer.

a second problem is that the laptop doesn't work so I have to connect it to my tv (the only monitor I have), which means I can't see if the bios post screen appears, but I have tried a number of key pressing combos as the computer turns on, f12, del, ...

any help would be greatly appreciated!

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If the laptop screen display doesn't work

In reply to: similar problem

then you need to get that fixed. Seems like a repair job to me.


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