Hello all,

I've recently put together an older computer for my mother. The computer will POST, and it recognizes the sound card, hard drive and recognizes the video card. However, after post when it is going to load it goes to a blank screen that says: "Press A Key To Reboot". I press a key and it repeats this process never going pass the reboot screen.

Here are the specs:

Asus P2L97 Motherboard Rev 1.05 (i440LX chipset)
Intel Pentium MMX Processor (266MHZ)
2x 32MB Cubig PC66 168pin SDRAM, total 64MB
Fujitsu 16GB hdd (I installed Windows Xp on the hdd before installing, I realize it will run much slower as it is a bit below the minimum requirements)
Creative Vibra16 sound card
Diamond SpeedStar A90 16MB Video Card
4/8X Cd-RW Drive
Creative 52X cd-rom drive
and obviously a floppy drive
Award Bios V4.5PG, Date on Bottom: 12/02/97

In the BIOS settings, I have the boot sequence set to CD-ROM, C, and then A. I have put the windows xp home cd into the cdrom, but it doesn't give the option to boot from it during POST.

I'm thinking I need to update the bios, but I am not entirely sure on how to do this, or if this would be a good idea.

Any ideas/helps would GREATLY be appreciated.


From what I've experienced, it's not a good idea to preload Windows on a hard drive and try to use it on a machine, unless the machine it was created on is the same as the machine you're using now, such as you would find with businesses.

I believe the "Press A Key to Reboot" is unique to your motherboard. I think it's the equivalent to mine when mine says "No Operating System found."

It's strange that your Windows XP CD doesn't boot when BIOS has it set to boot first. I noticed that you have 2 CD-ROM drives, so I hope you've tried using both CD-ROMs. Also make sure the hard drive is correctly set on MASTER and that it is detected in the BIOS.

I do not think that updating the BIOS would do anything to help with your situation. This is only because I've fixed a countless number of computers and have never needed to do so.

You're certainly right about it's going to be slow with XP. XP all by itself will take up that 64MB RAM, the rest will be working off of virtual memory. I would either up the RAM, downgrade your Windows (I would say Windows 98 with 64MB RAM), or get a faster computer. Speed and responsiveness is not a good trade for XP's "good look", because you'll spend most of the time being irritated and cursing at the computer.

I hope SOMETHING I said helps to remedy your problem. Please let us know if you get it working or get any further.


Thanks for your response. You are right, I do think the message was the equivalent to "no operating system found". I did a clean reformat and clean install of windows xp from that computer just fine (turns out the cd-rom was fried, but I had four spare anyway).

I wasn't going for xp because of the looks :) Even on my computer I just use the windows classic feature. I wanted it for the stability and less hassle with drivers I do not necessarily have. I could just see my mother flipping out at all the errors win 98 gives (as her friends do).

It seems to be running good though, I have all of the services on the computer disabled that my mother will not need, and visuals are set to a minimum to increase performance. I also installed a second hard drive that is completely dedicated to the page files to emulate RAM and increase performance (and of course, to not lose too much performance on the primary hdd, since page files are written differently onto the drive than normal use would). It needs all the performance it can get until she gets a new computer, or till I find more pc66 RAM, whichever comes first. lol.

Again, thanks for the help.


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