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How to enable CD/DVD drive in Dell BIOS?

by medfaith / May 11, 2010 1:23 PM PDT

I made the mistake of offering help to a friend who owns a Dell Dimension B110 PC. Wow, a socialist BIOS! Not much freedom for controlling your PC. I "successfully" registered at Dell's "Community" and forums for help, but there is no way to post a message there. Now I don't own a Dell, but I already dislike the company.

Well, my friend got whacked by the Nuqel.E virus that tries to force you into buying bogus "Spyware Soft." The infection disabled his antivirus program! So much for AVG. His password won't work to access Windows (but Safe Mode works). I want to re-write his MBR, or at least write zeros to the HDD and rebuild it. But the optical drive fails. I hooked up a floppy drive, and it too is inaccessible. I tested the floppy and CD-ROM drives on another system, and they work fine.

Is there a hidden setting in the BIOS that may allow me in? If I could boot to a CD or DVD I might be able to rebuild his HDD. Any suggestions will be most appreciated.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 11, 2010 9:35 PM PDT

The BIOS settings may be preventing booting from the CD-ROM.

If you press F2 as soon as the BIOS posts, you should be able to access the BIOS control panel.

Some older Dell computers use an alternate key sequence instead of <F2> to enter System Setup. These key sequences include:

* <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Enter>
* <Delete>
* <Fn>+<F1> (laptop computers only)
* <Fn>+<Esc> (laptop computers only)

You are looking for Boot Order, or similar, and you need to move the CD-Rom up to the top. No mouse controls here, it's all keyboard controls.


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I fixed it...yay!
by medfaith / May 12, 2010 1:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Yep.

Thanks for the response.

Sorry for not being clear: I had no difficulty accessing the BIOS. The problem is that Dell's BIOS settings on the B110/1100 offer no option to reset to default settings or to manually configure drives. Clearly, Dell does not want you to manage your PC. The company wants you to take it to a Dell service center or call their so-called "Support" center to get more of your $$$. Hopefully, Dell will follow Packard-Bell into oblivion.

I learned that by pressing CTRL + F11 -> RESTORE -> RESTORE (Symantec's Ghost) -> CONFIRM -> ENTER -> FINISH you can restore the system to its original setup. But then you need to remove all the tialware that is loaded, including AOL crapware (I regard anything from AOL equivalent to infection). I think a better name for Dell would be Hell.

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So why not?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 12, 2010 9:53 PM PDT

Pull the drive and write to it on another machine? If you are into PC repair you learn to not limit your options to just what a machine offers.

If you are not into PC repair I can see why you would not like machines made by Dell, Sony, HP, Apple and the rest.

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by medfaith / May 20, 2010 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: So why not?

Thanks for your reply, Bob.

I solved the problem, using the recovery option in the backup partition, which necessitated removal of all the crapware ("free" offers). Apparently the infection my friend had disabled all the ports except one to the bogus website. Maybe Dell has another BIOS level that is only avalaible to Dell's techies, but not being permitted to manually configure a drive is alien to me; and I've built quite a few PCs in my time. Like driving a car, one gets a feel for the way something operates; and I do not like the restrictions Dell imposes. I guess I've been spoiled by working with non-proprietary systems and mobos. Regards.

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