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Working Dell 4550 displays F1 to retry, F2 for setup message at bootup

By gormley ·
Hi, all!

I've got a Dell Dimension 4550 running Windows XP Professional 2002, SP 3. Whenever I shut down and restart the machine, it beeps twice and gives the error message "Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility".

If I press F1 immediately the message comes up on the screen again. However, if I wait 30 seconds or so and press F1, the computer starts up normally.

I've not been able to come up with a solution. Since I can start the computer up, it's really more of an annoyance, but it's a drag coming in in the morning after a Windows Update and having to press F1 before being able to enter the password.

Thanks to all!

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All Answers

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Beeps During POST

by cypher.msix In reply to Working Dell 4550 display ...

Anytime a computer 'beeps' during a POST, it means that something is wrong. Two beeps is often an indication of memory issues, but you would have to check the motherboard's documentation to find out what it really means; which I did for you:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4550/advanced.htm#1211312

According to the documentation I found there, 2 Beep Codes during POST indicates "Memory parity cannot be reset". They suggest that you reseat the memory modules.

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All you need to do is to go into the BIOS..

And select "load default settings", then "save and exit", fully shutdown, wait 15 seconds and then re-boot.
Why wait 15 seconds?
A) The time wait is to clear the voltage from the memory chips and in doing so clears anything relating to any bad code so that the boot up goes without error.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks

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Working Dell 4550 displays message at bootup

by Quaint_Data In reply to Working Dell 4550 display ...

F1 is the bios access, if you don't have sata drivers installed,this new sp3 may have added new options, the bios maybe set to offer you to install sata/ or raid setup.
There is known issues with sp3 and AMD mainboards. The bios may need to be updated.
I'd also check the boot.ini and remove any extra text.
look in the start-up group go to run type in msconfig (enter) then custom and then start-up.
You may be interested in this sp3 article.
http://msinfluentials.com/blogs/jesper/archive/2008/05/08/does-your-amd-based-computer-boot-after-installing-xp-sp3.aspx

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Beep code

by mjd420nova In reply to Working Dell 4550 display ...

As already suggested, two beeps indicates a memory fault and reseating the memory could clear the problem. Be careful with the hold down clips as they are fragile and if one gets cracked or broken you'll need to replace it or the motherboard.

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