Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

Archive for July, 2010

Dell PowerEdge 1750 – Press F1 to Continue


We had a Dell PowerEdge 1750 that, every time it was rebooted, would stop in the BIOS bootup sequence and prompt you to “Press F1 to Continue, Press F2 for Setup.” This was a huge problem because it made remote rebooting the server impossible. More than once, I forgot and rebooted the server assuming it would come back up, then realized 30 minutes later that it was never coming back until I mashed that F1 key. This was particularly problematic when working from home — resulting in a 30 mile drive just to press one key.

It turns out there was a small problem that was severe enough to prevent the server from booting. During the BIOS sequence, there was a notice we had overlooked that read “CD-ROM not found.” Once we pulled the bad CD-ROM drive and replaced it with a good one, the message went away and the server booted without interaction.

Since the CD-ROM isn’t necessary for booting, it seemed odd that a missing (or bad) CD-ROM drive would prevent the server from starting up without keyboard interaction. Sounds like a flaw in the BIOS to me.