I am running a Windows XP computer, and I have a bootable USB with an operating system saved onto it. When I turn my computer on, it does not say what key I need to press on the loading screen. I pressed F1-F12, escape, delete, and others but no BIOS menu opens. Does anybody know what key I need to use, and if not, a way that I could find it out using some system information? (I don't have a motherboard instruction book or anything as this was a computer that we received from a long time ago)

  • Can you open the computer up and see what motherboard is in there ? Or alternatively, when it's booting up and doing the ram test, hit pause, and write down the numbers and letters that are on the bottom left hand corner of the screen, and post those up. – Lawrence Nov 22 '13 at 0:36
  • All it does when booting up is this: Flashes a white underscore at the top left of the screen with a black background for about 3 seconds, then pauses a while, then the windows logo and a loading bar, and then the user selection screen. Where could I find the numbers in the bottom left hand of the screen? – Zach Brantmeier Nov 22 '13 at 0:38
  • What sort of computer is this ? – Lawrence Nov 22 '13 at 0:39
  • Would Windows XP be the right answer? Or are you asking more about hardware? – Zach Brantmeier Nov 22 '13 at 0:40
  • Hardware wise. Is it a prebuilt Dell ? HP ? Or does it look like a generic case ? Perhaps this tool will help - hwinfo.com – Lawrence Nov 22 '13 at 0:43

BIOS Acess keys for IBM - PC, XT, AT

  • Press F1 immediately after powering on the computer.
  • Older IBM computers (including some laptops) may utilize the F2 key for BIOS entry.

Lenovo (formerly IBM) - ThinkPad, IdeaPad, 3000 Series, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation

  • Press F1 or F2 after powering on the computer.
  • Older Lenovo products allow access to BIOS using Ctrl+Alt+F3, Ctrl+Alt+Ins, or Fn+F1.

Source: BIOS Setup Utility Access Keys for Popular Computer Systems

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  • Thanks, I tried it before and it didn't work, but the F1 works if I spam it very quickly seconds after the computer turns on. – Zach Brantmeier Nov 22 '13 at 1:31
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    For other people, I've encountered quite a few that use the "Delete" key. Most of them have been PCs with an American Megatrends BIOS. I've also noticed a trend in BIOS these days to hide the text instructing you on which key to press, until you press any key. – BeowulfNode42 Mar 17 '14 at 17:46

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