Hotkeys for entering the BIOS menu, Boot Menu, recovery from a hidden partition

Good day to all.

When installing Windows (for example), it is very often necessary to select a bootable media other than the hard drive. This can be done in two ways:

1) Go to the BIOS and change the boot queue (i.e. put the USB flash drive in the boot queue in front of the HDD - this way the PC will first check the USB flash drive for boot records, and only then the hard drive);

2) Call the Boot Menu and select a specific media to boot at the moment. In my opinion, this option is even better than the first one: it's faster and you don't need to go back and forth in the BIOS to change the boot queue.

To enter BIOS (call Boot Menu) in most cases, the keys are used: F2, Del, Esc, F12 (depending on the manufacturer of the device). You need to press the button immediately after turning on the computer (you can several times so as not to miss the right moment.

By the way, if you look closely at the first screen, which is visible immediately after turning on the computer, then a button is often written on it to enter the desired settings (call the menu). An example is shown below.

Fig. 1. Dual Bios. DEL button - enter BIOS settings, F12 button - Call the Boot Menu.

Table 1: hotkeys for computers

To use the table - you need to know which motherboard you have, the BIOS version. You can find out in several ways, I will give the fastest:

  1. use the documentation that came with your PC / laptop (if it still exists );
  2. use some specials. utility for determining the characteristics of the computer. Would recommend Speccy ...


Official website: //

A simple free program that will tell you a lot about your hardware. For example, you can find out information about: processor (CPU), RAM (Ram), motherboard (Motherboard), video card (Graphics), HDD drives, SSD (Storage), etc. In addition, you can find out and control the temperature online main components: hard drive, video card, processor.

A screenshot of the operation of this utility is shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Speccy - getting information about the motherboard

Table 1

MotherboardBIOS versionHotkeyWhich menu will be open
AcerDelEnter Setup
 F12Boot Menu
ASRockAMIF2 or DELrun Setup
 F6Instant Flash
 F11Boot Menu
 TABswitch Screen
AsusPhoenix-AwardDELBIOS Setup
 TABDisplay BIOS POST Message
 F8Boot Menu
 Alt + F2Asus EZ Flash 2
 F4Asus Core Unlocker
BioStarPhoenix-AwardF8Enable System Configuration
 F9Select Booting Device after POST
ChainTechAwardDELEnter SETUP
FoxConn (WinFast)TABPOST Screen
 ESCBoot Menu
GigaByteAwardESCSkip memory test
 DELEnter SETUP / Q-Flash
 F9Xpress Recovery Xpress Recovery 2
 F12Boot Menu

Table number 2: hot keys (Bios / Boot Menu, etc.) for laptops

Note: on modern laptops, the key combination in Windows also works: hold down the SHIFT button + select the restart button with the mouse.

Boot Menu is a small window in which using the mouse (arrows on the keyboard) you can select the device from which to boot. An example of such a menu is shown in Fig. 3.

Depending on the manufacturer of your device - the menu may differ slightly, but the principle of operation is the same everywhere .

Fig. 3. Classic Boot Menu (Toshiba Laptop)

Table 2

Laptop manufacturerBIOS versionHotkeyFunction / menu call
AcerPhoenixF2Enter Setup
 F12Boot Menu (Change Boot Device, Multi Boot Selection Menu)
 Alt + F10D2D Recovery (disk-to-disk system recovery)
AsusAMIF2Enter Setup
 ESCPopup Menu
 F4Easy Flash
 Phoenix-AwardDELBIOS Setup
 F8Boot Menu
BenqPhoenixF2BIOS Setup
DellPhoenix, AptioF2Setup
 F12Boot Menu
eMachines (Acer)PhoenixF12Boot Menu
Fujitsu SiemensAMIF2BIOS Setup
 F12Boot Menu
Gateway (Acer)PhoenixClick mouse or EnterMenu
 F2BIOS Settings
 F10Boot Menu
 F12PXE Boot
HP (Hewlett-Packard) / CompaqInsydeESCStartup Menu
 F1System Information
 F2System Diagnostics
 F9Boot Device Options
 F10BIOS Setup
 F11System Recovery
 EnterContinue Startup
NextF1Boot-Menu Call
 F2BIOS setup
Lenovo (IBM)Phoenix SecureCore TianoF2Setup
 F12MultiBoot Menu
MSI (Micro Star)***DELSetup
 F11Boot Menu
 TABShow POST screen
Packard Bell (Acer)PhoenixF2Setup
 F12Boot Menu
ToshibaPhoenixEsc, F1, F2Enter Setup
Toshiba Satellite A300F12Bios

Table 3: recovery from a hidden partition (for laptops)

Most modern laptops have a special hidden partition with the ability to restore Windows using a "pair" of keys (no need to prepare a bootable USB flash drive, download ISO images from Windows, etc.).

As a rule, to start the recovery function - after turning on the laptop, it is enough to press one key (F9, for example, on Asus laptops). Next, a window will appear in which you need to follow the instructions of the recovery wizard.

Note: when restoring information, the system drive "C: \" is often formatted and all information is deleted from it. Make a copy of important data from it in advance.

Fig. 4. ACER Laptop - Recovery Service Utility

Table 3

Laptop manufacturerCombination of buttonsNote
AcerAlt + F10First you need to enter the laptop Bios, and enable the D2D Recovery function. In the recovery system, by default, the password is set to 000000 or AIM1R8.
Dell InspironCtrl + F11
Fujitsu SiemensF8
HPF10, F11
Lenovo ThinkPadF11
Packard bellF10
Sony VAIOF10
ToshibaF8, F11


The tables will be replenished (over time ). For additions on the topic of the article - a big merci in advance. Good luck to all!