Dell BIOS settings

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    OK, I’ve no idea how to suss this one out. I’ve looked on the dell site (searching using the service tag #) and I’ve come up with nothing. Maybe my search engine kung fu is broken today. Anyway here’s the specs, then we’ll get to the problem:

    Dell Dimension 4600 (service tag: 1RR9N41)
    P4 2.8 GHz
    512 MB
    Win XP SP2, all the latest hotfixes

    I’ve installed an old ATI Mach64 card in one of the PCI slots in the hopes of adding a 2nd monitor. Windows sees the card fine. I know there’s a bios setting I need to tweak to stop the onboard video from loading first (or something to that effect). My problem is, during boot, the screen stays black (and the LED onthe monitor stays orange) all the way up until the logon prompt appears.

    I know F2 is the BIOS switch. If I hit F2 during boot I think I’m being dropped into the BIOS. The monitor stays black but Windows never comes up… at least not until I press ESC then enter. It looks like that exits the BIOS then reboots (the keyboard LEDs flash) and eventually it comes up like normal.

    So question is, how do I get the monitor to come on while I’m booting so I can actually see what I’m doing in the BIOS? I tried flashing the BIOS w/ an update on Dell’s site but that didn’t change anything. I’ve also tried another monitor but it does the same thing. Is this some sort of “quiet boot” setting that skips all the normal POST stuff?

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