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Keyboard... the damn keyboard won't work.

This is a discussion on Keyboard... the damn keyboard won't work. within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi guys, I'm at a bit of a loss; it's just after 11am here and I already feel like mixing


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Old 05-28-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Hi guys,

I'm at a bit of a loss; it's just after 11am here and I already feel like mixing myself a martini to ease the tension:

Yesterday I did a fresh install of XP Pro on an 800Mhz PIII, 512MB ram, 20GB HD generic box. Not sure yet what kind of mobo I have. Basically, the keyboard is refusing to work; not even at the POST, so I can't get into the BIOS to play around. During one of the many ensuing reboots, before XP loaded, I got message saying that there is a hardware issue and that I should go into the BIOS to alleviate the problem. Ha. That only happened once though-- after that no more messages came up.

Initially, after installing XP, the keyboard worked fine, but then I installed SP2 and that's when my problems began. Everything else seems to be working ok, but the keyboard is sitting down with it's arms folded and lower lip pushed out saying it doesn't want to play anymore.

Any ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks a bunch,
snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 12:01 PM   #2
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Is this a PS/2 keyboard, or a USB? If it's USB, perhaps the USB ports got disabled in the bios somehow. If that's the case, you may need a PS/2 keyboard connected so you can access the bios, and enable the USB keyboard support.
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Old 05-28-2005, 12:09 PM   #3
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Hi batty_professor,

it's actually a ps/2 keyboard. Maybe I need a USB connection to get in to the BIOS?

snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 12:40 PM   #4
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You're welcome to try that. Also be sure the computer gets a cold start, not simply a three finger salute.
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Old 05-28-2005, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: trying a USB keyboard... is it simply a matter of purchasing a ps/2 to usb attachment converter, or is that just a ridiculous idea? i'd like to keep from buying a new keyboard if possible.

Thanks,
snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 02:04 PM   #6
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sorry... pls ignore last question, i spoke too soon. it looks like it's just a matter of getting an adapter.

in any case, i'll keep you posted as to my success / lack thereof.

snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:12 PM   #7
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Ok,

No luck with the adapter, I'm afraid. I did a number of cold starts (completely shutting down, reattaching the USB adapter, then starting up).

The silver lining with plugging the ps/2 keyboard into a USB slot (using the adapter) is that a message pops up from the system tray, saying that the USB device is unknown, so it knows something was plugged in, but doesn't recognize it (strange, considering it's a keyboard). It also mentioned that there was a hardware malfunction, although the keyboard works fine, I know this. I started the troubleshooter, but that was little help.

Again, the keyboard is not recognized at the startup, so no go with the BIOS, nor booting from the xp cd, where you have to hit a key to boot from it.

Help!
Thanks,
snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:46 PM   #8
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If your keyboard doesn't even allow you to do anything at the bios, you don't have very many choices of what the problem can be. Either the keyboard is dead, or the ps/2 port on the mainboard is dead, becuase your keyboard also doesn't work with an adapter, I would suspect that you have a dead keyboard, since you would like to avoid purchasing a new one, perhaps borrow one from a friend to see if that is whats cuasing your problems. Or take your keyboard to a friends house and try it there.

Daniel - YourTechOnline.com technician
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:51 PM   #9
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Sneg, I'm not a full fledged PC Tech but I do a bit of tinkering. Back to your initial post, you installed WinXp and your keyboard was acknowledged. You went for SP2 and now no keyboard. I have heard of possible issues with Windows Upgrades on older PCs like yours (PIII) although I've never heard of keyboard issues. Maybe try to reinstall WinXP and don't go for the upgrade to SP2. Just a thought.

Eric
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:04 PM   #10
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thanks for your answers guys.

yto_daniel: I've tried a couple of different keyboards that I know work fine on another system I have, so it's definitely not a hardware issue... at least with the keyboards. I'm typing this using one of them.

Eric S: I've thought about that too. The problem is that I can't do a clean install since I can't boot off the cd. I tried to run the program from within windows just to see what happens, but it tells me that the installed os (xp pro + sp2) is a newer version than the one in the cd drive, and then doesn't even give me the option of doing anything! I ran into other problems after installing sp2 on this computer I'm on now (1.2Ghz, 1012MB ram, 80GB HD... so it's not 'old'), got rid of it and have been cruising along with no / few problems. This is truly weird though... not even recognizing 2 seperate keyboards?

snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:27 PM   #11
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I remember having a PS/2 to serial adapter once. So they do exist. they were primarily for use with PS/2 mice to serial connection. I suspect it would work with a keyboard. It might be worth a try. You could try booting with a 98 boot floppy, and see if it can find the keyboard.
edit:
If you can manage your way around the windows O/S with the mouse alone, and get the device manager open, look for conflicting hardware, and remove it or disable it. Forcing a hardware detect with problem devices disabled may allow for the keyboard to return.
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:27 PM   #12
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Suggested from another board:

Try removing any expansion cards (modem, usb, ethernet etc..) and then re-start the computer. It may simply be a driver or compatability issue. If this does not work- quite possibly a MB problem.

If it does recognize the keyboard- make sure you have the correct updated drivers when you re-install each card.

Good luck- let us know if it works.

Andy
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:44 PM   #13
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thanks Andy128... I'm not sure that that would do anything, since the keyboard isn't recognized as soon as I power up the computer, i.e. before any device drivers are even loaded. I'm getting fed up with this hunk of metal though, and I may take your advice for a new stab at it tomorrow.

batty_professor: thanks. no hardware conflicts were shown in the device manager. I had opened it earlier after I attached the usb adapter to the ps/2; that's when I came across the message 'unknown device', but nothing to the effect of a conflict being present. What a pain. I'm beginning to think it might be a problem with the mobo as mentioned by Andy128, but things were working fine (at least with the keyboard) before I installed sp2, so I'm not sure how that could have messed up hardware.

I just wish that I could do a clean install of XP, but I'm totally clueless how to boot with the CD since I can't press a darn key at the point the system says to do that if it's supposed to boot with the CD.

I think I'm beginning to babble. My apologies.

Cheers,
snej
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:29 PM   #14
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Can you slave your HD in another computer and remove SP2 then try it back in your computer
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Old 05-29-2005, 03:38 AM   #15
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Try downloading the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility onto a floppy and see if your keyboard will operate with that.

I once had a similar problem having re-installed win98 and this is how I was able to wipe the installation and start again. I never did find the cause, once I re-installed win98 everything worked fine afterwards.

Peter
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Old 05-29-2005, 10:45 AM   #16
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Peter, I tried that, but I again ran into the problem of not being able to choose the right options when running the utility because of the complete lack of any keyboard control. Nada.

Kodi: I removed SP2 by simply using the add/remove software utility in xp. It was successfully removed but still didn't fix my problem, much to my chagrin; I figured it might have something to do with that.

I'm not sure what to do from here. I think I'll have to take it in to have someone take a look at it, although I'm tempted to just get a new motherboard. I'm hesitant to do that too though, since it's just money thrown at a problem whose source is a mystery to me.

Rats. Anyway, thanks to all of you who took the time to fire off your suggestions. I'll keep my eye peeled for any new postings that might shed some light on the situation!

snej
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Old 05-29-2005, 12:30 PM   #17
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scraping the bottom of the barrel for suggestions here, but how about popping the main-board battery out for 20 minutes and replacing it just to see if that reset in the BIOS makes any difference?

Peter
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Old 05-29-2005, 01:54 PM   #18
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Becuase the keyboard doesn't function in the bios before the system is even fully loaded into windows, sp2 or any other software in your windows installation wouldn't be effecting things, if a different keyboard isn't working, then your having a problem with the connector on the mainboard, or how the mainboard is detecting your keyboard. Follow petercj's advice of resetting your bios, the prefered method is to use the Clear CMOS jumper on your mainboard if you have one.

Daniel - YourTechOnline.com technician
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Old 05-29-2005, 03:13 PM   #19
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PeterCJ - OK, I removed the battery for over 20 minutes, replaced it, booted up and got the following messages:

Keyboard error no keyboard present
CMOS checksum error - Defaults loaded

Press F1 to continue, DEL to enter SETUP

At this point I can't continue b/c the keyboard isn't recognized, either in a ps/2 or a usb connection.

It might be worth noting that the first time I booted up, I was thrown into the BIOS where I was asked to choose from a list of frequencies that equals the internal freq of the processor. Since the keyboard still wasn't functional, I restarted the system at which point I came across the above-mentioned error messages.

yto_daniel: Can I assume that the clear CMOS jumper on the mother board has the same effect as battery removal, and that I'll end up with the same messages?

I don't think it's a problem with the connector on the mainboard, since that would mean that both the ps/2 AND the four usb connections (split up 2 x 2) would have conked out at the same time. None of them work, although the usb confirms a connection, but doens't recognize it. In any case, I think you're right about the software not being an issue; it can't be since the problem comes up before the XP is loaded.

snej
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Old 05-30-2005, 04:45 PM   #20
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hi
i didnt read all the past posts but...
did you try to swap the ps2 mouse port and the keyboard port?
luck can be a good thing sometimes..
regards
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