Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Comprehensive List of How (Key to Press) to Access BIOS for Various OEM and Computer Systems

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a firmware code that run by an PC when first powered on to identify and initiate component hardware (such as hard disk, floppy and optical disk drives), and then run bootstrapping or booting up process to load or execute and let operating system taking control of the computer machine.

Most OEM PC or custom-built clone PC using third-party motherboard (MOBO) allows user to configure various settings in BIOS (CMOS setup) in order to enable or disable devices or ports available, and more commonly, boot device priority or sequence. Some advanced settings also allow user to tweak computer performance, such as CPU clock speed multiplier and CPU front side bus (FSB) rate for overclocking, chipset features, DRAM parity, speed and timing, etc.

To access BIOS configuration screen, user need to press and invoke a specific hotkey or keys combination during the initial BIOS load screen (usually right after the computer is powered on). Here’s a list of the ways and keys to press to access BIOS on variety of computers. Note that some BIOS or computer systems may have more than one method of accessing BIOS.

AMI, Award BIOS: Press [Delete] During Boot
AST Advantage, AwardBIOS: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] During Boot
Compaq: Press [F10] When Blinking Cursor Jumps To Top Right Corner of Screen
Compaq: Press [F10] When Logo Screen Is Displayed
Dell (Older 486 Models): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Enter] During Boot
Dell: Press Reset Button Twice (i.e. Power Reset Button)
Dell Dimension L566cx System: Press [Del]
EISA Computer: Press the Reset button on the Front of the Computer, then Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] immediately when the memory count begins or Press [Crtl]+[Alt]+[S].
eMachines: Press [Tab] During Boot
Gateway Using Phoenix BIOS: Press [F1]
HP: Press [F2]
Hewlett-Parkard (Pentium Models): Press [F1] Upon Startup or Bootup
IBM ThinkPad using IBM BIOS (Early Models): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] When Cursor Is At Upper-Right Corner of Screen
IBM ThinkPad using IBM BIOS (Later Models): Press and Hold [F1] When Powering Up Laptop
IBM ThinkPad using Phoenix BIOS: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F11] from DOS Prompt
IBM PS/1 (Late Models), PS/ValuePoint and 330s: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[?]
IBM PS/2 with Reference Partition: Press [Insert] During Boot
IBM PS/2: Press [Ctrl]+[Ins] When Pointer Is At Top Right of Screen
IBM PS/2: Need Reference Disk and ADF Disk for Setup
IBM PS/2 75 and 90: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[?]
NEC: Press [F2] During Boot
NEC Versa Notebook: Press and Hold Down [F1] Upon Startup or Bootup
Olivetti PC Pro: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift]+[Del](in Num Pad) During Boot
Packard Bell (Early 386 and 486 Dodels): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S] Sequence
Phoenix: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S] During Boot
Phoenix: Press [Ctrl]+[S] During Boot
Sony Vaio 320 Series: Press [F2] During Boot
Tandon 386: press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]
Tandon: press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]
Toshiba: Press [Esc] During Boot
Toshiba, Phoenix: Press [F1] during boot
Zenith, Phoenix: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] During Boot

Miscellaneous and Other Common BIOS Key Sequences

[Ctrl]+[Esc]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[+]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Enter]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc]
[F1]
[F10]

Note that for some older system with Phoenix BIOS, the following steps are required to get to BIOS setup screen:

  1. Exit or boot up to DOS.
  2. Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] to enter setup screen.
  3. If hot key sequence above doesn’t work due to changes or problems been made on the system, then try to use the key to lock the keyboard while leaving computer switched on.
  4. Press the Reset button on the front of the computer. A message will appear asking user to unlock the keyboard.
  5. Unlock the keyboard and press [F2] to run the CMOS setup.
  6. Press [Del] to bring up the CMOS setup program.