Apparently the F12 one-time boot menu won’t come up if there is no hard drive present on a Dell T5810. This, even if you are planning to boot to one of the new generation PCIe NVMe SSD cards such as an Intel 750 series card. The solution? Connect a hard drive and later remove it.
Note that after removing that temporary hard drive, I could not get the workstation to boot from the new NVMe drive. The final fix was to re-install Windows on that NVMe drive, this time without that temporary hard drive present. So, the installation steps that worked were
- Install Windows to the NVMe drive with a temporary hard drive present to get past the “hard drive not found” issue, then
- Remove the temporary hard drive and re-install Windows on the NVMe drive a second time.
It’s possible that these extra steps may not be necessary as I wanted to make sure that the temporary hard drive was removed prior to the first reboot after the initial install of Windows completed. I may have simply cut the power too soon.