Steve Litt on 27 Jul 2016 08:21:02 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] BIOS settings changing without user input on new laptop

On Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:08:57 -0400
Greg Helledy <> wrote:

> My new Dell Inspiron laptop has developed a very odd problem.  I
> finally got the OS I wanted (MX linux) installed properly on a
> replacement SSD, but now every time I turn it on it doesn't boot.
> The reason is that the default boot device in BIOS has been changed
> to "Diskette Drive", which of course the laptop doesn't have.  

You say "changed to". Did you ever observe this setting being something
other than floppy? If so, what kinds of things had you done between the
last time it was something else and the first time it was "floppy?"

> If at
> boot I hit F12 to bring up a boot menu, I'll see "Diskette Drive" as
> the default, and if I choose Hard Drive instead, it boots normally.
> If I hit F2 to go into BIOS, I can change it to Hard Drive, and then
> save and exit, and it will boot normally.  But as soon as the laptop
> is powered off, BIOS is reverted to "Diskette Drive" as the default
> boot device.  

Just for fun, Bios set it to  hard drive, CD-boot System Rescue CD,
shut down, boot up and look in the bios and see if it changed. If your
machine is a UEFI booting machine, there's a chance your OS is changing
the UEFI variable for boot device (and possibly other UEFI vars).

I know you later say you disabled UEFI, but who knows...

> Also, the Fast Boot option is changed to Enabled, after
> being saved as Disabled.
> To be clear, the system came with UEFI boot enabled, I disabled that
> > Boot List Option:  Legacy (other choice is UEFI)
> >
> > Secure Boot: Disabled
> >
> > Load Legacy Option ROM: Enabled  
> Anyone ever heard of anything like this?  

Yes. This kind of thing happens when your little coin battery runs out
of juice. I know this is a brand new computer, but if it's easy to get
to your coin battery, why not spend four bucks for a known good
replacement? That's one less thing to worry about --- an easy
diagnostic test. 


Steve Litt 
July 2016 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques
     of the Successful Technologist
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