Question about Compaq Presario 5240 (353200-003) PC Desktop

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I can't get into the BIOS settings

I am a begining programming student, and at this point extremely frustrated. At first when POST checked the RAM all numbers were white, now all of them are yellow? I need to get into BIOS to boot from CD to install an OS. I have tried all that I know to do, with the exception of placing the tower under the back tire of my truck and destroying it, but that doesn't accomplish what I'm trying to do.

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You should be able to get into the BIOS on a Compaq PC by tapping F1 as your turn on the computer. From there, you can reorganize the boot devices. Press the right arrow to select Boot. Press the down arrow key to select the CD-ROM. Press the + (plus) key to move the CD-ROM up until it is the first item in the list.

For the RAM issue, If you have 2 or more RAM sticks in your PC, pull one, boot, and if everything works, then the pulled stick is bad RAM. If not, replace stick #1 and pull stick #2, etc.
In general, make sure that your RAM is seated properly and locked into place, and that you discharge any static electricity before getting close to the RAM/MoBo, etc. (I usually touch the Power Supply Unit PSU as soon as I open the case to discharge through the ground on the power cable - keep it plugged it).
If you can't get anything to work, see if you can boot up with a live Linux CD or USB. I personally use Backtrack 3 
http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack_download.html
But systemrescuecd is pretty much the standard: http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
Use imgburn to burn the downloaded .iso file. http://www.imgburn.com/
I have recovered data from dozens of 'fried' PCs with Live Linux CDs - much better than paying geek squad a few hundred bucks to do the same thing. It'll also help you verify hardware issues (ie, if the RAM gives you trouble in both XP and Linux, then it's a hardware issue, not a software issue).
Hope this helps!

Posted on Jun 07, 2008

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