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Old 12th August 2006, 11:37 PM
msie02 Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 24
Unable to enter BIOS after upgrade from FC4->FC5 - Grub issue?

A couple of months ago i upgraded from FC4->FC5. I recently tried to enter the BIOS for the first time since the upgrade - without success.

When I turn on the computer F2 is pressed to enter the BIOS, and the text "Press F2 to enter System Configuration Utility" is substituted by "Entering System Configuration Utility, please wait". However, the Grub menu appears and the BIOS is not entered. I use a dual boot configuration next to WinXP on a Zepto 2414w laptop, and have pasted in the grub.conf below since I suppose this is a Grub issue? Does anyone have an idea of a way to enter the BIOS?

Best regards

[msie02@dhcppc0 ~]$ sudo cat /etc/grub.conf
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You do not have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.
# root (hd0,4)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda5
# initrd /boot/initrd-version.img
#title Fedora Core (2.6.13-1.1532_FC4)
# root (hd0,4)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.13-1.1532_FC4 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
# initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.13-1.1532_FC4.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.16-1.2080_FC5)
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet vga=794
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.15-1.2054_FC5)
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet resume=/dev/hda6 vga=794
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.15-1.2054_FC5.img
title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
[msie02@dhcppc0 ~]$
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Old 12th August 2006, 11:42 PM
Seve Offline
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I don't believe it is a grub issue as gaining access to your BIOS should happen well in advance of the OS boot process?
I would check the laptop user instructions or web-site.
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Old 13th August 2006, 09:11 AM
msie02 Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 24
That is what I thought as well, so I wrote an email to the manufacturer. However, a bit of googling revealed that other people have had issues regarding Grub and the BIOS, for instance.


Together with the fact that it worked under FC4, I thought I'd better consult the experts :-)

Thanks for your reply
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Old 14th August 2006, 12:04 AM
Dan Offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 24,099

I agree with Seve. Grub is third in line in the boot process. However, I've got an idea for you to try. It may help you troubleshoot.

If you have a copy of the gparted live CD, (or any other live CD) stab it into the CD drive and then try booting as you normally would, following the proper procedure to access your BIOS. The BIOS should hand control off to the CD drive before it loads GRUB. If that doesn't work, I'd check the functioning of the F2 key on the keyboard.

Hope it helps.


EDIT: I was just sitting here thinking about this, and a vague memory drifted through the fog. 4 or 5 years ago, I was working on a Compaq desktop (pre HP merger) and it gave me fits getting into the BIOS. I tried everything I knew, and finally contacted the manufacturer. They asked me to download a special tool and look for a utility partition on the HDD. Turns out, the client had re-installed the OS from a store bought disk. The Windows (98) retail install couldn't see it, but there indeed was a utility partition there... until the re-install blew it into magnetic chaos. I don't know if this relates, but it's worth asking the manufacturer if the BIOS access program was on a special HDD partition. Stranger things have been done.



Last edited by TangledWeb; 14th August 2006 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 15th August 2006, 09:09 PM
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grub should be independent of bios, in fact pretty much anything you do with your OS shouldn't affect bios.
1st: make sure your hitting the F2 at right time, sometimes to early there will be a keyboard error and bios will ignore it
and hitting it too late will not do anything
if anything boot from windows rescue and do:
fixmbr <hard disk>
that will erase grub, fedora instalation and file will still be intact, but you wont be able to boot from them
try getting into bios
to get back fedora and grub,
boot fedora rescue, automount, do:
grub-install <hard drive>

hopefully the above is not the case because that's retarded, bios should not attempt to rely on hard disk partition or whatnot, then again, ive never heard of a zepto laptop..
for the future i recommend sticking to more widely use products, Asus, Acer, Dell
how old is laptop?
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Old 15th August 2006, 09:21 PM
Dan Offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 24,099
Hi Steve,

hopefully the above is not the case because that's retarded, bios should not attempt to rely on hard disk partition or whatnot,
That's what I told the Compaq people at the time. They didn't have a good response, so I left 'em with an earfull of good advice, and hung up. Then they merged with HP. Glad they killed off that end of the business! BTW, I looked in my old CD archives last night, and I still have that servicepaq.

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Old 15th August 2006, 09:41 PM
bob Offline
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One other thing to try - there will be a way to reset your BIOS to defaults, either by a jumper or by removing the mobo battery (oh yeah, this is a lappy - can be a bit tough!). But, to me, this looks like a loop where F2 attempts to switch to the BIOS and is failing, which then defaults to the next process in line, Grub. Since the BIOS is completely apart from the OS and should not be affected by it, getting back to a default setting may resolve your problem.
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bios, enter, fc4>fc5, grub, unable, upgrade

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