Getting into the BIOS               2003 Sep 30


The BIOS is the fixed program ( usually in FLASH memory ) that starts up the computer.

Each BIOS has its own way of getting into its Setup program – this is part of the BIOS that allows you to change how the computer starts up.

It is often has a blue background, and uses the arrow keys, PageUp, PageDown and Enter keys to change the settings.

Once you have “got into” or “accessed” the BIOS, you can change the boot order settings so that the floppy disk is checked first to see if it contains a bootable program.


There is usually a message telling you how to enter the BIOS setup program as the computer starts up, such as “Press F2 for Setup” .

Some computers ( e.g. HP, Dell, Gateway ) display a company logo which hides this message. Press the Esc or Tab key to remove it when it appears.


If your computer or BIOS type is listed below, you can use the corresponding keys to run the BIOS Setup program.


Computer or BIOS    Keys to press                                                                     .

Acer                             Ctrl-Alt-Esc

ALR PC                        Ctrl-Alt-Esc or F2

AMI BIOS                     Del or F1 or F2

Aptiva                           F1

AST, Advantage Ctrl-Alt-Esc

Award BIOS                 Del or Ctrl-Alt-Esc

Compaq                        F10 ( when the cursor is blinking in the top right corner of the screen)

Dell                               F1 or Del or Ctrl-Alt-Enter (Some require pressing reset twice )

DTK BIOS                     Esc

Gateway 2000               F1

Hewlett Packard            F1

IBM Older models                                                          hold down both mouse buttons

IBM PS/1 late model Value Point and 330s                      F1

IBM PS/2                                                                      Ctrl-Alt-Ins

IBM PS/2 with reference partition                         Ins

IBM Some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90                              Ctrl-Alt

IBM Some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen         Ctrl-Ins

Fortiva 5000                   Ctrl-Alt-A

NEC                             F2

Packard Bell                  F1 or F2

Phoenix BIOS              F1 or F2 or Ctrl-Alt-Esc or Ctrl-Alt-S or Ctrl-S or Ctrl-Alt-Ins

Sharp Laptop 9020         F2

Sony                             F3 while you are starting the PC, then F2 or F1

Tandon                          Ctrl-Shift-Esc or Ctrl-Alt-Esc

Toshiba Laptops            Toshiba Utility

Toshiba                         Esc or F1

Olivetti PC Pro               Shift-Ctrl-Alt + “NumericPadDel”

Miscellaneous PC's        Ctrl-Esc or Ctrl-Alt and +

Zenith                           Ctrl-Alt-Ins


NOTE: Some new motherboard designs have a jumper that disables access to the BIOS. Please read the motherboard manual to find out how to enable access to the BIOS.


With thanks to :


Setting up the BIOS to boot from the floppy disc first


Example : AMIBIOS


Press the F2 key repeatedly as the computer is starting up :


Select Advanced CMOS Setup and press <enter>

Select 1st Boot Device , press PageUp or PageDown repeatedly to select Floppy

Select CDROM and IDE-0 for 2nd and 3rd boot devices using PageUp or PageDown

Press ESC F10 Y <enter> to save these new settings and exit the BIOS Setup program.