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Computer Software => Windows 10 => Topic started by: tiffy on January 26, 2019, 03:05:48 PM

Title: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 26, 2019, 03:05:48 PM
Currently setting up a brand new Dell desktop i5, Win 10 PC for a neighbour, purchased directly from Dell UK, uses a SSD/HD combination for op. system/bulk storage respectively.

Have encountered a strange issue which I think may be Windows related, was suspicious of the latest Win 1809 major upgrade which installed as part of the initial setup, however, probably not as my HP i5 Win 10 laptop has the upgrade and does not exibit the same issue.

The problem is, while being able to access the startup options by all normal means (except using any of the function keys @ re-boot), choosing any of the options results in a re-start attempt which never happens, only way to recover from this is forcing a power down / re-start back to normal Win 10.
This first came to light after making a recovery SSB drive as per Dell's recommendations & following their procedure, the produced USB drive would not boot although proved to be bootable in another PC..

Bottom line, can't get into BIOS, safe mode or any of the other startup options, in the event of a boot issue with the PC would be stuck !
Otherwise the PC is performing completely to expectation, just very reluctant to accept the current issue on a brand new PC directly from Dell which cost 599.

Obviously, the PC has 1 year support from Dell who are not available at the weekend, have tried the Dell forum but no records of such an issue and no replies to my post to date, will get on the ball to them on Monday morning.

Still believe it could be a Windows configuration issue but what ?
Could be a BIOS issue I suppose but can't get into that to check.

Any suggestion before Dell re-opens for business greatly appreciated otherwise will hopefully post a solution from Dell on Monday for members future reference. 
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 26, 2019, 04:01:29 PM
Have you tried rapidly hitting F2 (could also be delete) continuously during boot up?  It can be quite difficult to get the timing right. Windows won't affect access to the BIOS.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 26, 2019, 04:58:05 PM
Quote
Have you tried rapidly hitting F2 (could also be delete) continuously during boot up?  It can be quite difficult to get the timing right. Windows won't affect access to the BIOS.

Yes, I know that F2 should be the correct startup option key for Win 10, as previously stated, have tried all combinations, doesn't really matter what method I use to access the startup options, holding shift/re-start etc., just won't proceed with any option I select other than normal boot to Windows.

Unfortunately, the worst has now happened, used an admin. command line re-boot command aimed at directly accessing the UEFI on boot, as suspected this resulted in blank screen, no re-start, however, the command seems to be binding so now stuck in limbo, can't get back to Win 10, can't access startup options (as was always the case), looks very much like it's a return to base job now, what a pain !

I have a Macrium Reflect image of the SSD on the HDD, unfortunately can't restore that either as the SSD is not a standard SATA connection, it's mounted directly on the mother board and has much smaller connections than a standard 3.5" drive module.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: burakkucat on January 26, 2019, 05:03:38 PM
The key-press required to access the system BIOS, on Dell hardware, could be either <Fn2>, <Fn12> or <ESC> in my experience.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 26, 2019, 05:17:48 PM
I suggest you turn off the PC, turn it back on and straight away rapidly hit the F2 key* and continue doing that, don't hold it down but repeatedly press it quickly. I've found it can be quite hard hitting the key at the right moment and this seems to work for me when I get a tricky one. This is for getting into the BIOS not the Windows boot options.

* This states it is F2 but it could possibly be a different key https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln143038/access-uefi-bios-system-setup-from-windows-on-your-dell-system?lang=en

PS. The SSD will be an NVME drive.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 26, 2019, 05:53:35 PM
Thanks to both for replies:

As stated in original post, can actually access the startup options using eitherWindows method but never by any function key, however, once a startup option is chosen (other than boot to Windows) PC shuts down but never re-boots in any mode, this includes choosing USB disk recovery option from a device that has been confirmed to be bootable.

I was of the opinion that the admin, command line instigated re-boot I applied would not be persistant and I could easily revert to Win 10 at next re-boot, obviously not the case so now stuck in limbo which was always going to be the case if normal boot stopped working by virtue of the original issue.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: burakkucat on January 26, 2019, 06:03:44 PM
Take a step back and pause. Have a mug of tea . . . or something.

Now forget about the OS that is on the disk. Your first task is to successfully access the BIOS. That is normally possible by pressing the "magic key" as the hardware completes its POST. If you are unable to access the BIOS, then there is something wrong with the hardware.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 26, 2019, 07:16:55 PM
@b*cat:

Thanks for your further reply & support.

Can't really see a way out of this, having previously established (when Windows was available) that even after accessing the startup menu and chosing an option could not get any further, what I am now seeing (most likely resulting from what turned out to be persistant command I applied having changed a registry entry) is the system trying to re-boot to BIOS (or UEFI as it is now) when I know this was never possible by any means as per the originally reported issue, catch 22 situation now !

Will go through the motions with Dell support on Monday but I'am sure the PC will have to go back to base.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: burakkucat on January 26, 2019, 08:47:49 PM
Will go through the motions with Dell support on Monday but I'am sure the PC will have to go back to base.

  :(
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: j0hn on January 26, 2019, 09:24:04 PM
If you are going to have another look tomorrow then disconnect everything except a keyboard, and rattle F2 like there's no tomorrow.
If it won't boot in to the BIOS the device is borked, but it shouldn't boot in to Windows without the BIOS so the fact Windows was working suggests BIOS should be available.

Quote
Most Dell systems built after 2012 have the ability to be updated from the F12 One-Time Boot Menu. This process can be executed if you have a USB memory stick formatted to the FAT32 file system and the BIOS executable file that you downloaded from the Dell Support Website and copied to the root of the USB key

So F12 should open a separate "one time boot menu".
I believe that has an option to go directly to the BIOS.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: parkdale on January 27, 2019, 11:34:06 AM
After reading the above, are you using a wired or wireless keyboard?, if the latter get a wired keyboard and connect using the usb port (next to the ps/2 connector....not on newer Dell's!)
I have had issues in the past getting into Bios on some Pc's and it (nearly) always comes down to using a wired keyboard in the right usb port...

Hope this helps
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 27, 2019, 01:11:52 PM
@j0hn:

Have eventually got back to normal Windows 10 again but only by constantly attempting starts & stopping, I think the situation with the F12 function key may hopefully become clearer in my reply to parkdale below.

Quote
After reading the above, are you using a wired or wireless keyboard?, if the latter get a wired keyboard and connect using the usb port (next to the ps/2 connector....not on newer Dell's!)
I have had issues in the past getting into Bios on some Pc's and it (nearly) always comes down to using a wired keyboard in the right usb port...

@parkdale:

Many thanks for your input most appreciated.
This is the latest Dell PC and does not have PS2 ports (as you said), has 4 USB-2 ports at the rear and 2 USB-3 ports at the front, the keyboard is wired, USB, as supplied.
I believe your comments are indeed relevent as by changing keyboard USB port I can now produce the "re-boot lock up situation" with F12 key as per any other attempt to execute startup functions so does now work as such.
I probably have not explained the anomaly with this PC very well so will try to clarify:

I could always access the startup options menu through Windows, holding shift & restarting or via "Setting/Recovery/Restart Now", however, any option chosen such as "boot to USB", "Advanced Options/UEFI (BIOS), Command Prompt" involve a restart to implement, this restart never completes, the PC does shutdown but remains frozen in that state until the power button is pressed which activates a complete shutdown.
The PC (usually) can then be restarted normally to Windows.

What I believe is happening, is that pressing F12 @ boot is now actually working but immediatly taking the PC to the "frozen state" as described above where only recovery option is power down & restart to Windows.

Very relieved that the PC is again back in a running state (especially as it's not my own) and will try to get some resolution from Dell support tomorrow.
Even though Windows is fully operational I am not at all happy with the situation as recover from any boot issue is currently impossible on this PC should the need ever arise, hopefully Dell will be able to provide a solution without the need to return the unit to base.
 
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2019, 01:38:29 PM
Have you checked to see if there are any updates for the BIOS?
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 27, 2019, 02:01:21 PM
Have you checked to see if there are any updates for the BIOS?

What's the best way of doing that, remember, I can't get into the BIOS (UEFI) at present.

I had considered completely resetting the BIOS (UEFI) by removing the battery for a time period but was afraid that I might end up getting completely locked out of Windows.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2019, 03:00:29 PM
You should be able to put the serial number into Dell's website and see what updates are available. The current BIOS version would normally show during the POST, if you can't get into the BIOS during POST then I'm not sure, some PC's have a utility to reboot from Windows into the BIOS.

Probably best to wait and see what Dell says tomorrow.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 27, 2019, 03:47:07 PM
You should be able to put the serial number into Dell's website and see what updates are available. The current BIOS version would normally show during the POST, if you can't get into the BIOS during POST then I'm not sure, some PC's have a utility to reboot from Windows into the BIOS.

Probably best to wait and see what Dell says tomorrow.

Thanks for your interest and suggestions.

Yes, did find out that the BIOS was in fact 2 versions out of date and managed to update using the Dell utility, the web site is really excellent, also updated quite a number of drivers and carried out a hardware test all without issues.

Unfortunately, the original issue is still the same, PC won't recover after any startup menu option is chosen, hopefully the Dell live support tomorrow will be as good as their web site and they can come up with a solution, really hope that return to base is not required, a lot of hassle.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 27, 2019, 05:23:27 PM
Will be interesting to hear what the issue is, perhaps it is some sort of Windows issue.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 27, 2019, 07:22:31 PM
Will be interesting to hear what the issue is, perhaps it is some sort of Windows issue.

Yes indeed, hopefully a solution will be forthcoming from Dell, can really only be Windows or BIOS (UEFI), there's no indication that Dell have performed a "lock out" as all their web information relative to recovery etc. still describes envoking the "one time restart" routine to implement changes.

Certainly have had more support on this forum with the issue than from the Dell members forum, zero response over 2 days accepting of course that the staff are not active over the weekend.
Will certainly keep this post updated and again thanks to all who offered support to date.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 28, 2019, 11:42:05 AM
Very long session on the phone with Dell support this morning, thankfully an 0800 number, usual language difficulties but after much repetition finally convinced support tech. that there was indeed an issue with the PC..

Although only the basic warranty (return to base) was taken out at purchase, due to the PC having just been delivered and still in the throws of initial commissioning, the support tech. offered to dispatch an engineer under instruction to replace the mother board, promised within 48 hours.

Really not convinced that there is a hardware issue, the Dell short & long diagnostic tests complete without errors, still think that the issue is more likely to be BIOS or Windows related, I'am sure the Dell engineer will be in a much better position to rule on this, I will certainly demonstrate the issue to him before he sets about mother board replacement.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: burakkucat on January 28, 2019, 04:45:04 PM
Thank you for the latest update. It does seem to be a rather peculiar situation . . . and one that will, hopefully, be resolved.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 28, 2019, 07:04:05 PM
I'd be most surprised if it is the motherboard, hopefully the engineer will resolve the issue  :fingers:
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 28, 2019, 07:46:31 PM
I'd be most surprised if it is the motherboard, hopefully the engineer will resolve the issue  :fingers:

Yes, my feelings exactly, I will make a point of demonstrating the issue to the engineer tomorrow before he launches into the mother board change out, I'am sure he will be keen to avoid any unnecessary work if at all possible and may perhaps have other remedial suggestions, will be sure to keep him happy, well lubricated and fed.

I have always made the assumption that the CMOS (UEFI) configuration was stored on the mother board on battery backed up RAM, hence the button cell, so at least that should be completely replaced with the new mother board and eliminate one possible source of the issue with respect to CMOS..

The operating system is on a mother board mounted SSD so I would imagine that will be retained and fitted to the new mother board so in theory if it is a Windows issue it will still be there with the new mother board.

Certainly can't fault Dell support (provided they turn up tomorrow) I have been receiving very frequent e-mail updates all day the latest advising that the material is on hand and ready for engineer pick up tomorrow.

Next episode of the saga hopefully tomorrow.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 30, 2019, 04:39:28 PM
Thought the promised Dell home service visit time scale was too good to be true, yesterday (and most of today) gone with no appearance of engineer, last communication from Dell was a text at 08:00 hrs. yesterday advising that the replacement mother board was dispatched (from where to where unknown), yesterdays appointment was not cancelled.

Contacted Dell service this afternoon via chat line, very ill informed tech., thought the issue had been resolved then advised that the engineers visit would be today.
The weather at my location could well be an issue now for a few days, certainly won't help.

Will get back on to Dell service chat line tomorrow again and keep annoying them if no further communication is received.
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 31, 2019, 02:52:36 PM
"Mr Dell" finally arrived this morning complete with replacement mother board, pleasent chap, didn't mind silly questions or someone looking over his shoulder, perhaps the coffee & biscuits helped !

Made sure he observed the issue before launching into MB replacement, he certainly had not seen this fault before and neither of us believed that it was a hardware issue, however, for want of any other suggestions, went ahead and replaced the mother board.

Thankfully, we were both wrong, the fault was indeed completely cured.
Only action required was to re-load the BIOS, was already up to date but is a Dell requirement to do with any future recovery requirements after hardware changes have taken place.
Windows was still intact as the SSD was transferred to the new MB, however the new key provided was registered on line as there can be an issue with Microsoft authentication when major hardware changes are made to the PC..

Again, many thanks to all forum members who showed interest and offered suggestions, much appreciated, a good result in the end, certainly worth note for future reference.
 
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: burakkucat on January 31, 2019, 04:44:46 PM
It certainly was a peculiar puzzle but, from my understand of exactly what you were experiencing, was one that, to me, seemed to be hardware related.

A good result has now been achieved.  :)
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: tiffy on January 31, 2019, 05:11:35 PM
It certainly was a peculiar puzzle but, from my understand of exactly what you were experiencing, was one that, to me, seemed to be hardware related.

A good result has now been achieved.  :)

Yes, b*cat, you have certainly been proved correct on that, I still had my doubts about the CMOS (UEFI) configuration but as that could not be accessed due to the fault it was a catch 22 situation on that theory !
The big difference now is the Dell logo appears when activating "one time boot options" by any method which was not the case previously, hence the anomaly.

Always impressed by the build quality of Dell desktop PC's., well put together and easy to get apart for maintenance.
Their web site is also excellent with lots of diagnostics & utilities available, my next desktop will definately be a Dell likely purchased from Dell direct, worth the extra few quid for support.
 
Title: Re: New Dell i5 PC Win 10 Issue ?
Post by: Ronski on January 31, 2019, 07:49:22 PM
Glad to hear it's resolved.