Following on from my last post about Dell hardware here it would seem that Dell machines do not like active SATA ports with nothing attached to them. I’m posting an update here in the hope that it will help frustrated people fix their issue.
I was using a Dell Dimension 9200 as a host to patch the firmware of some hard disks (see here for all the fun) and had to enable several of the SATA ports not normally needed. When I returned the donor machine to its owner I had mistakenly left SATA port 4 enabled and the owner was greeted with “Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility”.
Receiving this error every time you boot is annoying on a desktop, but a serious problem for a server in a data centre, so if you are scratching your head as to why your machine keeps halting on boot with this rather cryptic message check to see you haven’t left a port active after removing disks or altering the configuration of your machine.