I get the keyboard failure message with press f1 to retry or f2
of course pressing f1 just gives the same error, nothing in f2 or f12 has helped, can't get f-8 to work,nothing else seems to work, can't boot bootable repair disk from the cd on start up either, very frustrated, looking at the window contimplating throwing it out to see gravity work
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once in the setup (F2 at boot) turn on Caps Lock, NumLock and Scroll Lock (all 3 keyboard lights on)
Press ALT + E (system should beep once)
Press ALT + F (System should beep once)
Press ALT + B (System should reboot and re-detect drives)
you need to go to cmos or bios setup, set all the date and time and proper boot setting there save and exit, it is a cmos or bios failure that causes these problems try replacing the cmos battery if the message still continues
If you have it available, boot to the Dell DImension Resource CD and run the diagnostics on the hard drive. From the description of you problem, you may have a failing hard drive.
Other things to check:
1. Ensure the system BIOS (F2 at boot) sees the hard drive and has the correct date and time. If the motherboard battery is failing, the time and date will not be retained when system is powered off.
2. If you are able to format the hard drive, but the windows XP installation process gives you file copy errors, then you may have a bad RAM module. If the system has 2 or more modules, take out all but 1, retry the install. If you get file copy errors again, try a different module.
3. If the Hard drive passes dieagnostics, but fails to complete a format, replace the hard drive.