How come I cannot get into my BIOS?

by on March 1, 2010

Q: My problem is I cannot access my BIOS (I have to press Del). To cut a long story I got hit big time with a virus so after many unsuccessful attempts to clean it I decided to format and reinstall Windows XP. This went bad as I either made a mistake copying the registration number when it came to entering I could not pass the reg stage.

Now no matter what I do all I can get is the winfast screen then a list of hardware and instructions telling me to press del to enter bios or f1 to continue but nothing happens. I have just purchases a new copy of XP home but cannot get it to load.

5 Responses to “How come I cannot get into my BIOS?”

    I’d like to make sure that I understand correctly. Is the following statement an accurate summary of the problem:

    “When you press the DEL key as instructed at start up, your bios menu doesn’t come up at all, it just sits at the “Press DEL or F1 to continue message”? ”

    If the above statement is accurate, are there any other error or warning messages stated on the screen? Does anything happen at all if you press F1?

    I suggest you remove and reconnect your keyboard to make sure it’s plugged in correctly. Also the make and model of your PC would be helpful.


    Hello Mark,I have removed and reconnected many times.Noyhing happens when i press F1 either,I have also removed cmos battery ,restarted with the hard drive removed all of the little ideas when you start to Google the problem, as regards the make and model it was originally a Time machine but has had every part bar the harddrive replaced over the years. it is a winfast motherboard with award bios.Only other message is CMOS checksum error-Defaults loaded, this started after I removed the battery and disconnected from the power over night.
    Would it work if I removed the hard drive and placed it into another pc then loaded the new XP then return to original.or is that just another daft idea of mine.
    Thank you for your help it is very appreciated.


    Doing anything with the harddrive won’t make a difference.

    At this point in the startup of the PC, it is just working off the BIOS/CMOS. The harddrive hasn’t been accessed yet.

    Either the keyboard isn’t plugged in correctly, or there is a problem with your keyboard port, or you’re using a USB Keyboard. Older motherboards don’t support USB keyboards at system start up. You’ll need to plug it in with either a usb to ps/2 adapter or borrow someone’s ps/2 keyboard.


    hello Mark, I just borrowed another(mine was also ps/2) ps/2 keyboard and now I can access bios, but when I set to boot from cd it goes fine but then the aborted install of xp restarts and goes as far as enter cd key, It will not accept the cd key on the new version I bought and I have spent the last hour googling xp product keys to see if any will work so that I can install it and then reformat my harddrive to remove it and install the new version
    When it starts it continues with the xp installation askes me to install the old disc will not accept new disc,get as far as installing windows enter product key there I am stuck. Is there any way to abort installation and reformat??
    Thank you and apologies for being such an idiot,


    First, make sure that it is booting from the CD, and not from the partially installed harddrive. (Make sure the cd drive is the first thing in the boot order on the bios)

    You’ll probably see a ‘press any key to boot from cd…’ message at system startup. And you’ll see the cd-drive get accessed as it loads off the cd.

    If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it. To bypass the repair, press ESC. You should then be able to re-format the drive and start over.

    Microsoft has a long winded write up here:

    If all that fails miserably you can make yourself an Ultimate Boot Cd: and then boot from and and wipe the drive.