Laptop will only bootup through the F12 boot order

By joshuakmbl ·
When I turn on this laptop (Dell Latitude L400)it shows the BIOS screen then the screen is black and shows a blinking curson in the top corner and stays that way until I ctrl-alt-del it to reboot. I entered into the BIOS to make sure the boot order is set to bootup from hard drive first but the options are all greyed out and on the side states that none of these options can be changed in user mode, please contact your administrator. 1. is set to External Device and 2. is set to Hard Drive. We have about 30 of the exact model and they all have the same boot order. I can get it to load Windows(XP) only when I press F12 at the BIOS screen and tell it to boot from option 2. Hard Drive. I tried replacing the BIOS battery but that did not help. Also this is a 12in computer with no floppy and no cd. Help please.

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Re: Laptop will only bootup through the F12 boot order.

This is simulsr to a Apple Mac computer.
To load on the software cd you have to press keys on the keyboard instead of going through the "bios". Different but at least you can not balls up the bios.
Nice computer though.

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re: bootup through F12

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Laptop will only bootup t ...

It appears as if this problem is by design. At the DELL support forums, people who complained about the same thing have posted this as a resolution for the problem as of 2002. There may be a more recent update though. Of course, this is for the Euopean DELL. There may be a different link for your area if you search DELL for it.

I have finally managed to sort this problem out!

It's pretty simple and I'm a annoyed with myself that I didn't think of this before, but anyway here is what I did to solve this problem.

I flashed the BIOS! It's as simple as that!

To do this click this link which will take you to the Dell support website -***%2Fen%2Fhome%2Easp&segment=BSD

Then do the following -

Enter your Service Tag number
Click through to the Downloads section
Click 'Go' to the Search For Files by System option
In the 'Downloads for Your System by Operating System' select BIOS
You will need to download the last option, or the L400_A08.exe file and then follow the instructions with the download.

When I had finished this the laptop would no longer hang or stop booting, it would proceed to start up my O/S.

By the way... the link in that post no longer works. You'll have to search DELL for the proper support page for your model. Also, the documentation for that model says you enter the BIOS the F2 key and then using F5/F6 to change the boot order.

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How do I flash BIOS w/o floppy or cd?

by joshuakmbl In reply to re: bootup through F12

Thank you for the reply Thumbsup2. I went to dell to get the latest BIOS update but it needs me to boot through a floppy and this laptop will not respond to my usb floppy or usb cd for a boot device.

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Same issue with Lattitude C610

by ggirl In reply to re: bootup through F12

I installed a new hard drive and had the same issue. I was sure I checked everything in the set up right, until I noticed that even though the drive is found on the first set up screen in the second screen I needed to ENABLE all the devices in the correct boot order. I had set the boot order but I did not ENABLE them.

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