My BIOS used to let me press a key (F8) which I could press during the POST to have it present a list (figure 1) of all detected storage devices so that I can choose which one to boot from (also, when the key was pressed, it would show a message like
F8 pressed, showing boot menu... until the POST finished).
I have used that feature a few times since I got this motherboard (P4P800) a couple of years ago, but it seems to be missing now. Pressing Del to access the BIOS config program still works (and still shows the
Entering setup... message until the POST is finished), but the other keys no longer seem to work.
I don’t know when this behavior started because I use the boot-selection menu infrequently, but the only significant changes to the system since the last time it worked was to add some RAM to the system so that I can use dual-channel mode (and change the AGP Aperture to 4MB to maximize available RAM on a 32-bit system), and to add my old card-reader (it just plugs into a USB port on the backplane).
I have tried changing the settings to default (through the BIOS function) but that did not fix it. I also checked the BIOS for any and all related settings without success: I tried changing the boot device and priority settings through every permutation I could, enabled/disabled the quick-boot setting and the fullscreen logo. Not surprisingly, none of these affected it since they were not changed since it last worked…
The last step I can think of is to re-flash the BIOS (it’s already the last version) and clear the setting via the motherboard jumpers. I doubt that would work because there is no reason that it should have changed (short of some virus or gamma ray or something that somehow managed to get through the router and software and alter the BIOS of an old motherboard for some reason).
I could find pretty much no pages where this issue is mentioned. The closest I could find was the opposite, where some people complaining that the menu is popping up and asking how to stop that.
One page referenced the keyboard as a possible cause which reminded me that my previous keyboard was wireless so, the F-Lock function was always on, but my new one is wired, and the F-Lock key always resets to off when I turn the system on, making the function-keys behave differently. Of course I have already tried turning it before pressing F8 repeatedly, so that is not the problem. I also tried connecting a USB keyboard and a PS/2 keyboard and had the same results.
Has anybody seen this (BIOS keys/boot-menu go missing)? Does anybody have any ideas?
Figure 1: Boot-device selection menu