Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Laptop keyboard crippled - can a virus cause this? how can I fix it?


  • Please log in to reply

#1
KenPC

KenPC

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
My daughter's Compaq Presario laptop (2590US) - standard issue with Windows XP. She brought it home from college a couple of weeks ago stating it doesn't work. :) Well, turns out that it is very "messed up". It will not boot at all from the hard drive, when I try to boot from the WinXP install CD, none of the keys on the keyboard will work - no response at all (except for the Fx key to quit the install). I need the enter-key to get through the re-install of WinXP but that key does not work either during the install process. When I try to use an older (circa Win98) Norton "rescue CD" the keys generate strange characters (e.g. ^B for b, <backspace> for h, various "wingdings" for about half the other letters, etc.), so I can not enter any DOS type of commands. The strange part of this though, when I go into the SETUP during POST, all of the keys on the keyboard work just fine.

I'm thinking that she got into something very nasty, but I am at a loss as to how to go about fixing it without a functional keyboard capability (I also have tried using an external PS/2 keyboards with the same results). I tried to get it to boot from a USB flash drive with the basic Win98 O/S, but it would not boot from the USB flash drive (I used the HP USB storage drive tool to format the flash drive as bootable, but "no go"). I was thinking if I could re-flash the BIOS, that might "cure" the basic problem with keyboard letter "mapping", but without a "working" keyboard, I can't even use the DOS commands, let alone do anything else.

Anyway .... I sure could use some suggestions as to how to go about solving this. Thanks

Edited by KenPC, 27 August 2008 - 10:18 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#2
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
Try to reset the BIOS. Remove the battery and the charger. Press on the power key for about two minutes. The indication that the process was successful is that you have to reset time and date in the BIOS. Reinstall the battery and charger and try to run widows setup again.
  • 0

#3
KenPC

KenPC

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
No change ... perhaps I did not fully understand what you wanted me to do. This is what I did: removed the laptop battery (not the tiny internal battery, but the larger power battery) and unpluged the charger. Then, as suggested, I held the on-off button down for 2 minutes (with no power going into the laptop), reinstalled the battery and plugged in the charger, and with the WinXP install CD in the CD drive turned the laptop on.

No change from the original condition (as described above). I also tried to start it up with the Norton CD, also same results as before. I entered SETUP during the POST, the keyboard still worked fine (to the extent that it is needed in SETUP). Since I was unable to start windows and I could not used the keybaord in DOS (i.e. Norton), I do not know if the clock reset or not (no indication of time in SETUP).

Anyway ... I am still at a total loss as to what to do .... any ohter suggestions would be much appreciated!
  • 0

#4
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
What I am trying to do is to see if the BIOS is OK or not. The problem you describe is quite unusual. On one hand the keyboard works during the initial stages of boot, then it stops the moment it moves to Windows environment, not allowing setup or anything. That is confusing. Basically I want to try two things:

1: Again, reset the BIOS. If you can reach the button battery on this computer, that's great. Please remove the large, power battery and the charger like you did before and remove the CMOS battery (the button battery). Keep it out for 15 minutes and reinstall everything. See what happens now. If still no good:

2: Use the link below to download Puppy Linux. Download "puppy 2.16.1 seamonkey fulldrivers.ISO". Burn the ISO file to create a bootable CD. For this purpose you can download BurnCDCC from the links below. It's a very simple tool, used exclusively to burn ISO files.

Insert the disk into the CD/DVD drive and boot the computer. If it doesn't boot, please set boot order in the BIOS so that the CD drive is first priority boot device.

What I am trying to do is to move away entirely from windows environment. Puppy linux is a very small operating system that loads itself to the RAM. I would like to see how the keyboard works in this environment.
  • 0

#5
KenPC

KenPC

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
Thanks for the reply ....

well I skipped #1 and went right to #2, did not want to disassemble the laptop just yet (a really involved process according to my service manual, about 6 different components to remove and re-install). Anyway Puppy Linux loaded up just fine and the keybord worked great. Thanks!!!

But ... as nice as Puppy Linux seems to be, I would really like to get WinXP operating (I know, stuck in a rut) as all of her software is WinXP based (MS office, etc.)

So ... first thing I would like to do is reformat the harddrive (to make sure it is not "bad") but I do not know how to do that in Puppy Linux and then I need to know what to do next to start the WinXP install. Also, should I flash the BIOS with the latest BIOS software for the laptop from compaq, and if yes, do I need to do anything special to do the flash in the Puppy Linux O/S?

AN UPDATE ... SUCESS .... I kinda was able to answer the question I just asked ... so I shut down the laptop after sucessfully installing (actually just running) Puppy Linux and then just for grins, I put in the WinXP install CD, turned on the laptop and low and behold it worked ... I got through the whole install with no problem. I am still doing all of the updates and installing the MSoffice software, but everything seems (so far anyway) to be working fine.

So I guess I will never know for sure what went wrong ... but believe me it was rather nasty if whatever it was could corupt the keyboard (probably the "mapping"). The loading of Puppy Linux seems to have cleared everything up ... I am going to keep that around for the next time I get the laptop back with the complaint that it does not work.

Thanks again for all of your help!!

Edited by KenPC, 29 August 2008 - 09:58 PM.

  • 0

#6
The Skeptic

The Skeptic

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 4,075 posts
Many times things sort of "fix themselves". I don't like it but accept is as a fact of life, be it computers, human relations and what not.

Reading one of your posts I thought the cmos battery is easy to take off as is the case with some laptops. Good that you didn't do that.

Do not update the BIOS. This is a common mistake that people pay dearly for doing.

Puppy Linux is a great little tool. Another, excellent one, is BartPE which is windows based and more complicated to create. I wanted to clear off windows altogether that's why I preferred linux.

I am glad it worked. Thanks for letting us know.
  • 0

#7
KenPC

KenPC

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
thanks again for all of your help
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP