I am currently trying to repair a PC for a school computer lab. This Dell Optiplex will not recognize any hard drives or boot from any CD's. The only device on the boot sequence list is the floppy drive, it is acting as though it does not recognize anything else. Another weird thing that is going on is while I am in the BIOS settings, the real time clock goes by super fast; the clock is going at about 20x normal speed. I do not live in the bermuda triangle, so of course that struck me as odd. After troubleshooting multiple pieces of hardware I sortof gave up trying to figure it out and started testing every bit of hardware I could think of. I have tested new hard drives, power supplies, processors, RAM modules, and new IDE wires from known - working machines. I even tried teh good ol' take out the cmos battery to reset the cmos settings. Does anyone have any clue what I can do to fix the real time clock and get the machine to recognize the hard drive? Thanks! ~Quinn

Thanks for the suggestion! The school year is comming to an end so I don't know that I will have a chance to. . . I'm not sure that I would be able to anyways because the system is not recognizing any internal drives. I was leaning towards the motherboard, what do you think?

You don't need HD to flash the bios. A floppy will sufice. If there is no floppy drive installed, you will need to install one. Simple procedure, 2 cables, Led light stays on if you manage to plug it upside down, must have in mind that unlike HD, floppy cable can not be plugged upside down on the both ends.

That link I provided you takes you to the page where you select EXACT MODEL of the mobo. For each model there is an bios exe file that have to be copied on bootable floppy. That you will need to do on other machine (sence you can't use the problematic one) and boot the one in question with that floppy and run the program.