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After partitioning a Dell Precision 490 workstation, it did not start up again.

The symptoms are as follows:

  • I saw the DELL logo screen with the F2 and F12 text
  • The next screen passes very quicly showing the following message:

    Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A04
    Copyright 1985-1988 Phoenix Technologies Ltd
    Copyright 1990-2006 Dell Inc.
    All Rights Recerved
    Dell System Precision WorkStation 490 Series
    BIOS version A04
    Performing automatic IDE configuration...
  • Then, the next screen hangs with the following message:

    Serial ATA AHCI BIOS, Version iSrc 1.02.23 11212006
    Copyright (c) 2003-2006 Intel Corporation
    Controller Bus#00, Device#1F, Function#02: 05 Ports, 02 Devices
  • The underscore keeps blinking, and the fan sounds as if the computer works

  • On the startup screen, if I press F12 nothing happens
  • On the startup screen, if I press F2, the text turns into Entering setup, but the previous message appears again on the screen and and the computer hangs, so, I can not get access to BIOS setup
  • I already reset the system board, as the manual says
  • The computer has two hard drives
  • It is connected to a 24 inches monitor through a DVI-D cable

What can be happening?

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migrated from Mar 28 '11 at 23:31

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Likely an issue with your drives. Disconnect them and see if your system boots, if so, your drives are either improperly connected or defective.

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If you have more than one module of ram, remove all but one, see if it will boot, if it does not, swap in a different module, see if it will boot.

If it does boot you have a bad memory module.

If no joy, disconnect both hard drives and see if you get a no hard drive or no OS error or other message.

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It's possibly a faulty boot drive, or it's booting from the wrong drive - I had a similar response from another Dell that had a drive with no OS installed.

Try selecting the other drive as default from the BIOS to see if it helps (just start mashing F2 from the moment the system starts to boot up) or unplugging the non-boot drive. If that fails then try booting with a live CD or USB to see if that works.

If so, it's definitely the boot drive, and you need to look at recovering the data from the drive and reinstalling or replacing the drive.

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I know this is an old post but for anyone like me looking for a solution and comes here this is what worked for me (Dell OptiPlex 775); it should be the same for most DELL products.

  • Disconnect all SATA Cables you have connected to your MoBo and restart this will allow you to enter BIOS.
  • Once in BIOS change the configuration.
  • Under Drives>SATA operation Change the setting from AHCI to ATA
  • Connect SATA cables and restart.

To be safe I made sure my boot drive was connected to SATA-0. I hope this helps anyone looking for an answer

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