Can’t Access BIOS on my Compaq Presario

Asked By 220 points N/A Posted on -

I can’t seem to get into my BIOS Setup. Earlier I used to do that with the F10 key but lately it is not working for some reason. I checked my laptop keyboard and it seems like the key is working fine in windows, tried disconnecting all the external stuff like external mouse and speakers and then trying, also tried connecting a mercury external keyboard but still no luck. Something has changed that is blocking me from accessing the BIOS.

I am using a Compaq Presario 5333CL with windows XP Service Pack 3. The startup screen also tells me to press F10 to enter setup.

Best Answer by Russ Sander
Best Answer
Best Answer
Answered By 0 points N/A #106531

Can’t Access BIOS on my Compaq Presario


Hi Joyee,

As tough as it is to say, not being able to enter the computer BIOS is frustrating, given that you could no longer change any hardware based settings. There are several ways though to make sense of your problem. Doing a bit of troubleshooting is what we’re going to do.

  • Let us concentrate on the keyboard for this part of the troubleshooting since it is the only peripheral that stands in your way to enter the BIOS. First thing to ask is what type of keyboard is it? Is it a PS2 or USB keyboard. That should give you a clue to proceed. If it’s a PS2 and you are dead sure that it is functioning (by test swapping a known good PS2 keyboard), does it light up when you power up the computer? Is the light steady or does it momentarily light up and turn off?
  • Now get a known good working USB keyboard, power up and press F10 to see if it actually enters the BIOS. Now if it’s the other way around, USB keyboard is suspect, try the procedure using a known good working PS2 keyboard this time, power up, press F10 and see if it enters the BIOS.
  • Another way is to reset the BIOS by clearing it through shorting the clear CMOS jumper terminals. All motherboards have labels for the CMOS jumper terminal, just locate it right next to the battery, get a conductor (a clip, wire, or any conductive material) and momentarily short the two protruding terminal +/- leads. Make sure the computer is turned off during this procedure. Power up the computer when this has been done. Try F10 once more to test.
  • Try a different set of keyboard shortcuts in the hopes of entering the BIOS. The following key sequences may or may not work depending on the situation.


1. Try “CTRL”, “ALT”, “Shift”, “Del”, and “Esc”, and “F12” aside from the default F10.

2. “F2” and “Backspace”.

3. Press F1 as you turn on the computer, hold down “F1” while powering up.

4. Press <CTRL> <ALT> <Esc> at boot when you see the "Compaq" logo.

5. F3

6. F4

7. F12

8. Tab

9. Ctrl+Alt+F3

10. Ctrl+Alt+Del

11. Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Del

12. Ctrl+Insert

13. Ctrl+Shift+Esc

14. Fn+(any "F" function key)

A comprehensive list of every BIOS keyboard shortcut known is displayed on this site, showing manufacturer type and possible keyboard shortcuts available. Make sure to press keys on keyboard quickly for some occasions.

Answered By 0 points N/A #106532

Can’t Access BIOS on my Compaq Presario


I left you multiple options to use to help you get into the PC's BIOS:

Since it is not the keyboard that was purchased with your computer, the upgrade to a USB model cannot function without the right settings. Try going to the control panel device manager and enabling your USB keyboard. The original setting must be set to allow USB keyboards and mice to boot during start up.

Another option is if you have a PS/2 type connector on your computer you could try powering it down and using the PS/2 keyboard. Turn the PC on and access the PC’s BIOS initial screen. Find “Enable the USB keyboard / mouse” and “Enable Legacy USB support. ”

If F10 is not working when prompted to enter into BIOS mode, then try holding more than one button on the keyboard to where an key error will occur. Key errors allow you to enter BIOS setup.

If you see pictures and not a message, the computer could be setup to show you computer’s brand logo instead of messages from BIOS. Tab or Esc button removes the logo from your screen.

If the message appeared but you were unable to see what key to press, press Pause/Break key to freeze the screen during start up. You can press any other key to unfreeze and let the computer continue start up.

Force your system to enter BIOS is to turn on your computer with your keyboard not connected. An error message should pause the startup process and give you the window for the keys needed to be pressed to enter into BIOS mode.

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