How to enter the BIOS on an old Dell?

Hello,

Someone gave me an old Dell.

When I tried to start it,  the BIOS required a password, which I
didn't know.  The usual backdoor passwords didn't get any resuults, so
I removed and replaced the CMOS battery.  That got me past the
password, but now the BIOS has forgotten everything else it's supposed
to do, also.

How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine?  It's
looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?

I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
enter the setup.  Nothing happens.

Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.

= = = = = =

PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10

Dell Dimension XPS T800r
BIOS Version A09

SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.

Press <Del> to enter SETUP.

= = = = = =

(Please don't tell me just to get a new computer.  That's not the
question.)

Thank you!

Ted Shoemaker
0
Ted
9/11/2010 8:41:29 PM
windowsxp.general 3897 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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On Sep 11, 9:41=A0pm, Ted Shoemaker <shoemaker...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Someone gave me an old Dell.
>
> When I tried to start it, =A0the BIOS required a password, which I
> didn't know. =A0The usual backdoor passwords didn't get any resuults, so
> I removed and replaced the CMOS battery. =A0That got me past the
> password, but now the BIOS has forgotten everything else it's supposed
> to do, also.
>
> How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine? =A0It's
> looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?
>
> I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
> enter the setup. =A0Nothing happens.
>
> Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.
>
> =3D =3D =3D =3D =3D =3D
>
> PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
> 4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10
>
> Dell Dimension XPS T800r
> BIOS Version A09
>
> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.
>
> Press <Del> to enter SETUP.
>
> =3D =3D =3D =3D =3D =3D
>
> (Please don't tell me just to get a new computer. =A0That's not the
> question.)
>
> Thank you!
>
> Ted Shoemaker

I would suggest you try a different keyboard.

The on screen message suggests it is struggling to identify a serial
device, which could well be a USB keyboard.

BIOS of that era did not have good USB support. If you have a PS2
keyboard, try that.

The setup is accessed using the DEL key, but it sounds like, at
present, the machine is not responding to any key presses from your
current keyboard.

Alister
0
Alister
9/11/2010 9:17:29 PM
"Ted Shoemaker" <shoemakerted@yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:2276915e-4b33-4e56-b9c1-b5d80555f56f@n7g2000vbo.googlegroups.com...
> Hello,
>
> Someone gave me an old Dell.
>
> When I tried to start it,  the BIOS required a password, which I
> didn't know.  The usual backdoor passwords didn't get any resuults, so
> I removed and replaced the CMOS battery.  That got me past the
> password, but now the BIOS has forgotten everything else it's supposed
> to do, also.
>
> How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine?  It's
> looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?
>
> I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
> enter the setup.  Nothing happens.
>
> Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.
>
> = = = = = =
>
> PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
> 4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10
>
> Dell Dimension XPS T800r
> BIOS Version A09
>
> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.
>
> Press <Del> to enter SETUP.
>
> = = = = = =
>
> (Please don't tell me just to get a new computer.  That's not the
> question.)
>
> Thank you!
>
> Ted Shoemaker

Hi Ted,

Just a quick question.

Does the keyboard show signs of life when you boot the machine? Example: 
Does pressing the Num Lock key light up the LED on the keyboard? 


0
Hello
9/11/2010 9:23:23 PM
From the startup screen it clearly states that the Delete Key is required to get you into the BIO 
Settings.

The error message is indicating that it has a serious problem with memory sticks or the memory 
access circuit.

This model Dell uses PC100 memory sticks (which are older technology and more expensive) and you 
might try replacing the memory sticks that are now in the computer.

"Ted Shoemaker" <shoemakerted@yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:2276915e-4b33-4e56-b9c1-b5d80555f56f@n7g2000vbo.googlegroups.com...
> Hello,
>
> Someone gave me an old Dell.
>
> When I tried to start it,  the BIOS required a password, which I
> didn't know.  The usual backdoor passwords didn't get any resuults, so
> I removed and replaced the CMOS battery.  That got me past the
> password, but now the BIOS has forgotten everything else it's supposed
> to do, also.
>
> How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine?  It's
> looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?
>
> I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
> enter the setup.  Nothing happens.
>
> Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.
>
> = = = = = =
>
> PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
> 4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10
>
> Dell Dimension XPS T800r
> BIOS Version A09
>
> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.
>
> Press <Del> to enter SETUP.
>
> = = = = = =
>
> (Please don't tell me just to get a new computer.  That's not the
> question.)
>
> Thank you!
>
> Ted Shoemaker 


0
Richard
9/11/2010 9:39:23 PM
Ted Shoemaker wrote:
> Hello,
> 
> Someone gave me an old Dell.
> 
> When I tried to start it,  the BIOS required a password, which I
> didn't know.  The usual backdoor passwords didn't get any resuults, so
> I removed and replaced the CMOS battery.  That got me past the
> password, but now the BIOS has forgotten everything else it's supposed
> to do, also.
> 
> How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine?  It's
> looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?
> 
> I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
> enter the setup.  Nothing happens.
> 
> Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.
> 
> = = = = = =
> 
> PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
> 4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10
> 
> Dell Dimension XPS T800r
> BIOS Version A09
> 
> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.
> 
> Press <Del> to enter SETUP.
> 
> = = = = = =
> 
> (Please don't tell me just to get a new computer.  That's not the
> question.)
> 
> Thank you!
> 
> Ted Shoemaker

"SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive"

SPD is a chip on each memory DIMM, which carries timing information.
It is read via the SMBUS, by the BIOS, and the BIOS must have programmed
*some* timing info into the Northbridge, or otherwise the screen could
not have been rendered with that information. The fact you can
see the screen, means it "got past" that issue.

The small 8 pin chip, near the notch on this DIMM, is the SPD chip.
It tells the computer what tRAS, tCAS, tRCD and the like, should
be used when talking to the memory.

http://img.article.pchome.net//00/12/79/27/clip_image009_0000.jpg

Your machine uses SDRAM, from the PC100 or PC133 era. And those
can come with an SPD chip on them.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=Dimension%20XPS%20T%20Series

In a fit of desperation, I would:

1) Power down and unplug the computer.

2) Pull the RAM modules (all of them)

3) Start the machine with no RAM. It should beep.

4) After waiting a few seconds, for the BIOS to make any records
    it wants, power off and unplug again. Install one or more
    of the RAM sticks, in the same sockets they were in
    originally.

5) Power up, and try pressing <DEL> again.

Sometimes, power cycling with DIMMs removed, knocks a little
sense into the BIOS. It may have to do with DMI/ESCD, not sure.

Otherwise, you'll be playing "keyboard roulette", until something
changes. Try another keyboard, etc. Make sure the keyboard, is
plugged to the keyboard connector.

HTH,
      Paul
0
Paul
9/11/2010 9:39:34 PM
Paul wrote:

> Ted Shoemaker wrote:
>>
>> How do I get into the setup, so as to start using the machine?  It's
>> looking for something particular (details below); what do I tell it?
>> 

>> I've pressed <Del>, <F2>, <Esc>, and a lot of other keys, trying to
>> enter the setup.  Nothing happens.
>>
>> Following is the relevant information from the startup screen.
>>

>>
>> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.
>>
>> Press <Del> to enter SETUP.
>>

As it says, press the [Delete]-key, but you tried that.

The computer does not not seem to acknowledge that the 
[Delete]-key is pressed during bootup. Can it be a PS2 vs. USB 
keyboard-connector thing?


> 
> "SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive"
> 
> SPD is a chip on each memory DIMM, which carries timing information.
> It is read via the SMBUS, by the BIOS, and the BIOS must have programmed
> *some* timing info into the Northbridge, or otherwise the screen could
> not have been rendered with that information. The fact you can
> see the screen, means it "got past" that issue.
> 
> The small 8 pin chip, near the notch on this DIMM, is the SPD chip.
> It tells the computer what tRAS, tCAS, tRCD and the like, should
> be used when talking to the memory.
> 
> http://img.article.pchome.net//00/12/79/27/clip_image009_0000.jpg
> 
> Your machine uses SDRAM, from the PC100 or PC133 era. And those
> can come with an SPD chip on them.
> 

So if the RAM-stick(s) lack SPD chip, then this might merely be 
informational and not necessarily that the RAM is defective, �Right?


-- 
" Well, your railroad gate, you know i just can't jump it"

0
Etal
9/12/2010 2:48:57 AM
11 Sep 2010,Ted Shoemaker <shoemakerted@yahoo.com> in news:2276915e-
4b33-4e56-b9c1-b5d80555f56f@n7g2000vbo.googlegroups.com:

> PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6.0
> 4S4EB2X0.10A.0032.P10
> 
> Dell Dimension XPS T800r
> BIOS Version A09
> 
> SERIAL PRESENCE DETECT (SPD) device data missing or inconclusive.

some interesting replies. somewhat related: are the keyboard and ram the same 
as when the pc last operated correctly?

http://www.google.com/search?site%
3Asupport.dell.com+xps+txxxr+documentation
example:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dkub/codemess.htm



http://www.google.com/search?q=+site%3Adell.com+XPS+T800r+mhz
800mhz p3, not bad with 512mb or more.

some of this may be interesting
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Adell.com+xps+|+txxxr+|+txxxr+|+t800
+|+t500r+phoenix+|+a09



i'd like to read the outcome. 
0
8os
9/12/2010 8:22:58 PM
Reply:

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