I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 which blew an inverter bulb and was repaired by a Dell tech. After I got it back, Windows XP ran fine, but the post screen was no longer coming up, which I didn't feel was a problem (figured it was a setting I could fix later), but now I realized I can't get into the BIOS, which is where I think I could fix the post screen. The problem is, the post screen is totally black, but after a long period of blackness, Windows XP comes up and runs fine. I'm pretty sure the BIOS setup entry key is F2, but when I press F2, I just keep getting a black screen (and Windows doesn't load). It's like all my text is black on a black screen or something. I can't get the Dell diagonstic utility at F12, either.
After a Google search, I found someone who had the same problem after plugging into an LCD projector (which is what I was doing when I booted and discovered my inverter bulb had blown). Found no solution, though.
Is there a way to ensure the post screen is on without getting into the BIOS since I can't seem to do it? Am I just cracked and remembering the wrong Function-key to get into the BIOS? Is there a text color setting for the BIOS? What am I missing?