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Dell Vostro 400 BIOS

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8 replies to this topic

#1
Tommy

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This is one of my pet peeves with a computer, an annoying OEM logo that cannot be disabled. This computer apparently has one of those. What I want to know is, is there a way of displaying POST results instead of a stupid OEM logo. Usually there's a key or even a setting in the BIOS for this, but Dell went out of their way to make sure you cannot view POST results. Anyone know a way around this? I've been looking all over online and haven't really found anything about it. The BIOS is an AwardBIOS with very locked down settings. I've always preferred Award but this Dell version is ridiculous. I'm also using the latest update from them, I think it's A15.
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#2
Ponch

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The manual on Dell's site doesn't show any such option. Bios menus tend to become overwhelming these days, just not on that model.

#3
Tommy

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The manual on Dell's site doesn't show any such option. Bios menus tend to become overwhelming these days, just not on that model.


That's what I was looking at too and I didn't see anything on it. But as cut down as Dell made the BIOS, it's quite ridiculous. You'd think that they'd at least allow you to see your system specs during the POST like most computers do.
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#4
jaclaz

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That's what I was looking at too and I didn't see anything on it. But as cut down as Dell made the BIOS, it's quite ridiculous. You'd think that they'd at least allow you to see your system specs during the POST like most computers do.

Why should they? :w00t:
I mean you have the stupid service tag (or whatever Dell calls it), the thing without which finding anything on Dell site is a nightmare, right? ;)
Now let's see how geekish :ph34r: and temerary :blink: you can be:
http://www.xtremesys...0-owner-rejoice
http://web.archive.org/web/20101205045157/http://thelostbrain.com/post/2007/12/Raid-0,-1-,-5,-0-1-support-Dell-Vostro-200--400-and-Inspiron-530--530s-machines!-(Finally).aspx


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#5
CharlotteTheHarlot

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This is one of my pet peeves with a computer, an annoying OEM logo that cannot be disabled. This computer apparently has one of those. What I want to know is, is there a way of displaying POST results instead of a stupid OEM logo. Usually there's a key or even a setting in the BIOS for this, but Dell went out of their way to make sure you cannot view POST results. Anyone know a way around this? I've been looking all over online and haven't really found anything about it. The BIOS is an AwardBIOS with very locked down settings. I've always preferred Award but this Dell version is ridiculous. I'm also using the latest update from them, I think it's A15.


The last Vostro laptop I recall seeing was 1500 and it did have a good BIOS. The bootstrap screen was set for traditional BIOS messages. It is hard to believe they regressed it in later models but anything is possible.

As Jaclaz said, post the service tag ( don't worry, it is not specific to you ) because it will allow us to zero in on that specific model's driver page. You also need to reboot and see what the exact BIOS revision currently is ( "I think it's A15" won't cut it :lol: ).

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#6
Ponch

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@ Jaclaz; your 2nd link is bad or dead, hopefully this one works.

#7
Tommy

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Hey guys, thanks for the replies! I did flash my bios with the 1015 version found on The Lost Brain. It did take since there's an energy star logo on the Dell logo but I don't really notice any other changes. Since someone mentioned the service tag, I did write it down. The service tag is: BRQ32F1.

Let me know if you can make anything from that!

Edit: I originally had the latest 1015 BIOS version from Dell so I had to do the DOSFLASH version and I know it took as I watched it flash so I don't know if you guys can make anything else from this or not.

Edited by Tommy, 03 April 2013 - 10:03 PM.

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#8
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Your driver page is ... here

Dell Vostro Desktop 400 BIOS, 1.0.15 ... webpage here ... direct ... (make sure it is identical to the one you used)

That BIOS file is substantially different than the one I used on a Vostro 1500 (laptop), so the options may indeed may be reduced. The 1500 had the whole nine yards of configuration.

The specifications for your PC says it is WinXP, is that correct? Seems odd for year 2007.

This is supposedly your PDF manual ... here

On page 174 it says that F2 is the magic key for BIOS access while rebooting. I glanced through all the options and it appears true that this is one of those barest of bare BIOS images. Well, actually there used to be even worse ones that had all settings on a single page. But still yours is not much better.

I'm afraid you have no simple way to display BIOS messages instead of the DELL logo, unless you get adventurous ...

  • Learn how to edit the BIOS image file and then reflash. Naturally this is full of risk, and there is no guarantee that the image still contains the necessary code to re-enable. So it may be impossible.
  • Locate some Vostro enthusiasts that have already done the BIOS modding, but be sure your exact model is what they are talking about. Here is what Google shows. Glancing through the hits I see that some folks over at MDL are/were working on it: Help with Dell splash screen format about 3 years ago. Someone mentions that the logos in the laptops are easily modified but the desktops require a special Dell tool which might be available if you look hard enough. Also be aware that many of the BIOS discussions are about cracking Windows, which is something you obviously should avoid. Read the posts carefully.
Again, this is all about BIOS modding, be careful!

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#9
Tommy

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Well, I do use Windows 2000 on the machine, it does have a Windows XP License Key on it. It did come with Windows XP installation media as well.

Anyway, I'm willing to venture a little bit in the unknown. :)
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