Dell XPS 13 – unable to access BIOS

Okay, let the Google index crawlers pick this up. Maybe I can help someone with his Dell XPS and this specific problem:

My new Dell XPS 13 i7 Skylake QHD had just arrived. I had some troubles installing Windows and I unchecked some boxes in the USB/Thunderbolt BIOS section to resolve this problem.
XPS13 top view
Symptoms on my brand new, three hours old, system:
– No Dell logo at startup
– BIOS is not accessible
– Led is blinking. I’m not sure, 2 amber / 7 or 8 white


You can fix this with the following steps:

– Power on the system and press <F12> repeatedly (you see no Dell logo)
– Choose ‘Change Boot Mode Settings’ and choose any option. I chose UEFI boot with secure boot disabled.
– Now when de system reboots you can enter the BIOS again with <F2>
But, you now have some kind of letterbox view seeing only a small horizontal portion of the BIOS configuration screen. Yikes! :)
– You see just enough to expand de ‘System Configuration’ on the left and choose ‘USB/Thunderbolt Configuration’.

Now you have to find the [Restore Settings] button blindly at the bottom of the screen. It helps to look at this screenshot of a XPS 15 to give you some idea:
XPS 15 BIOS - USB-Thunderbolt

– Place your mouse pointer in the middle of the textbox on the right. About just after the word ‘controller.’ in the sentence “This field configures integrated USB controller.” The button is at the bottom. Go a little bit down with the mouse pointer and click, little bit down and click. Repeat until a part of some kind of ‘Restore settings screen’ pops up.
– Try to drag this window a little bit up and select ‘Factory default’. Hit <Enter>. The ‘Restore settings screen’ closes.

Now try to find the [Exit] button. It sits to the right of the [Restore Settings] button at the bottom of the screen.
– Find the words “(HDD, memory key.” Place the mouse above the word ‘memory’ and find the [Exit] button at the bottom just like the [Restore Settings] button before.

Ok, now you system reboots, the Dell logo is back and you can enter the bios again.

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