Can't boot into setup to install FreeBSD 6

Benjamin Sher delphi123 at
Tue Mar 7 21:10:36 UTC 2006

Dear Miguel:

Thank you so very much for trying to help. My answers below:

Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos wrote:
>> From: Benjamin Sher <sher07 at>
>> Subject: Can't boot into setup to install FreeBSD 6
>> Dear friends:
>> Just downloaded the two FreeBSD CD's from the web and I would like to 
>> install them on my second hard drive. But I've discovered that I cannot 
>> boot up into my Setup (F2, as clearly indicated on my Dell 8200 
>> Dimension during bootup). I have never had this kind of problem before. 
>> I have two 40GB hard drives and wanted to install Linux into my second 
>> hard drive, but to do this I have to be able to go into my Bios and 
>> change the boot sequence. I have done this several times before with the 
>> same computer and the same Win XP OS. But now there is something wrong. 
>> In fact, I even tried to insert my Windows XP CD and tried to click on 
>> F2. But, once again, all that happened is that I was taken immediately 
>> to Windows XP. How do I regain entry to my Setup?
>> One last thing: I searched for the boot.ini file (making sure that the 
>> search included all hidden and system files). It's under C:\boot.ini
>> [boot loader]
>> timeout=30
>> default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
>> [operating systems]
>> multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP 
>> Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
>> I called Dell and asked for their help. Unfortunately, they are now 
>> charging $99 per incident, which is way beyond what I and my family 
>> (being Katrina refugees) can afford. But they did let me explain the 
>> problem, and the lady said that in her opinion this is a software issue. 
>> I tend to agree since I have never had a single hardware problem with my 
>> Dell computer in the six years I have had it. If so, may I ask if 
>> someone on the FreeBSD list would be kind enough to help me resolve 
>> this. We would very much appreciate it.
>> Thank you so much.
>> Benjamin Sher
>> 865-690-3898
> I think this is a bit off-topic on this list, but of course I'd like to help.
> I don't think this can be a 'software issue', this must be the BIOS (firmware).
> 1- Did you change your keyboard, or is your keyboard not well connected?
>    I once had a keyboard which had a long reset time and sometimes was not
>    detected. Try different keyboards, check the plugs.
First, my thanks for explaining that this is a BIOS issue. Does this 
mean that it is a HARDWARE issue?

I did change my keyboard some months ago. I changed my keyboard from a 
Belkin ergonomic keyboard to a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard when I 
arrived in Knoxville. But I had this problem before in New Orleans with 
my old keyboard. The Setup got jammed sometimes last fall for some 
inexplicable reason and has never worked right since.

> 2- Are you pressing F2 at the right time? Try keeping F2 pressed as soon as
>    you power on, keep it pressed.

Believe me, I press F2 the moment boot starts and keep hitting it 
throughout the boot process. On the other hand, I can stop the boot 
process with F12.

> 3- Did you update your BIOS?
> I don't think removing the CMOS battery can help in this case. Your problem
> seems surreal.
No, I have not updated my BIOS since I purchased the Dell.

Thank you again.


> Miguel

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