I received my XPS 8500 special - 256gb solid state drive for the OS, in November 2012 but was unable to start using it until about Feb 25, 2013.
I started the machine and was welcomed with:
“No boot device available. Strike the F1 key to retry boot, F2 to run the setup utility.
I kept hitting F1 and finally it booted. This happened each time I shut down and rebooted. I entered Setup and changed nothing after which it was hit and miss if it would boot or if I had to play with F1.
I upgraded to Win8 Pro - not sure if this had any bearing on the problem but it boots all the time now.
I cannot boot from a DVD or USB stick and I need to to get a dump to fix a cross indexing problem between a hidden partition (ESP) and the other partitions on my drive to ensble a full system image using Paragon HDM12.
I went into setup to check the boot order (factory set) and it does not look like anything I have ever seen (I'm not a techie but not an idiot either).
The boot sequence is not like those I have worked with before (previous Dells, or others). The main boot device shows "windows boot manager" with a note that all other devices in parentheses have been disabled - everything else listed is in parentheses.
How do I boot from an external device? After reading all the "stuff" on these forums I am afraid to change anything for fear I will lose it all before I get a good image of my drives current state - after loading my programs, upgrading to pro, etc the last thing I want to do is start over with a factory image restore; this is not an acceptable solution.
I do get a boot menu when pressing f12 - the first item is the windows boot manager but no matter what I choose I get my Win 8 OS. I have tried it with boot media in the DVD, the USB and both together --- This is a single boot, win 8 pro machine --- HELP!!!
The system as it comes from Dell has a utility for creating a recovery image on a flash drive or DVDs. That's what you need to do first. As for the F1, F2 problem, you should have called Dell. I recommend calling them first for new systems. It might be something simple like a loose cable.
Please post back and let me know if you need more help.
Dell Recovery is not as good as Paragon HDM12 and is very picky. If you partition the drive it will only back up C and the factory partitions.
The problem with the boot was solved with a Windows update and drivers for the Intel controllers. Seems the 32G SSD was some pseudo RAID thing to save settings for fast boot. The machines with the 256G SSD's and OS on the SSD choaked on the RAID setting in the BIOS.
The lack of options on the boot menu went away with last weeks release of BIOS A10.
I'm 75% there now but for some reason the only DVD/CD or USB boo that works t is from the recovery DVD made from Dell Recovery or a Win 8 install disk.
No other boot media will work including an XP and Win 7 Pro 64b DVD. Probably some missing driver or something. Not being a techie what do I know.
Thanks for your response.
Glad you've got things sorted. A missing driver does not account for your inability to boot from a CD/DVD or USB device. Not quite sure what's going on, apart from some setting in the BIOS.