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Wireless keyboard won't work in DOS


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#1
tomdrayson

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Hi, my wireless keyboard doesn't work until I am in Windows, which means I cannot access the BIOS (Del) using it, or startup options (F8). It used to be fine, but now it's stopped working for some reason.
The batteries are new, I have tried all the USB ports with no success. In the BIOS, USB is enabled, USB 2.0 support is enabled, and USB Keyboard is enabled in the Peripherals options, and I have tried different combinations of enabling and disabling these but they didn't work. The lights only start flashing on my keyboard (and USB mouse) during the Windows XP loading screen.
Any ideas?
Thanks

Edited by tomdrayson, 31 December 2005 - 05:29 AM.

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#2
Samm

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Hi

Normally there is a setting in the bios called 'USB Legacy support' which must be enabled for USB keyboards to work outside of windows. However in your case, the settting 'USB keyboard' should do the same thing.

I would normally suggest trying different USB ports but it sounds like you've already done all that.
As far as USB drivers are concerned, although Windows obviously requires them in order to fully utilize the USB ports & devices, there are no drivers loaded for the USB before Windows loads. The system itself is able to recognise input from a USB keyboard without the use of any software (drivers), in the same way that it doesn't require special drivers for a PS2 Keyboard either.

It may be worth trying a different USB keyboard if you have access to one but I suspect the problem may be either with the bios or with the fact that this is a Dell machine. What model of Dell do you have?
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#3
tomdrayson

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Hi Samm, thanks for your reply. I actually have an Advent PC, from PC World. I forgot to say that it is a wireless USB keyboard, and it is the receiver which is plugged in to the USB port, sorry! I will try some other USB devices and see if the lights come on before Windows loads. The wireless keyboard works fine on another computer I have tried it with. Usually the light on the receiver should flash when the computer starts, but now it doesn't do anything until during the Windows XP loading screen.
Thanks again
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#4
Samm

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Sorry about the confusion with the Dell thing there , I must have misread your post.

Normally the light of the receiver will flash whenever a key is pressed. If yours isn't doing this until windows has loaded, then it suggests that the receiver maybe isn't receiving any power from the USB port until this point. This in turn would indicate a bios issue of some sort.

It may be that a bios update is required or you may have to resign yourself to using a PS/2 wireless keyboard instead.
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#5
tomdrayson

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Thanks Samm and Happy New Year by the way! I tried looking for a BIOS update (Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.0 PG apparently) but the Phoenix site redirects me to eSupport.com which asks me for my motherboard manufacturer. This is "Freeline" according to SiS Sandra, which I can't find any info about. It may just be part of Advent, but it's not on the eSupport site anyway. The thing that annoys me is that it used to work, and now it doesn't, which would suggest that some changes have been made to the BIOS, but I haven't made any. And all the USB ports work fine in Windows as well so I don't think it's a fault with them.
Thanks again

Edited by tomdrayson, 02 January 2006 - 06:24 AM.

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#6
Samm

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If the keyboard used to work ok prior to windows loading, then a bios update probably wouldn't help anyway.
You could reset the bios to default values but unfortunately most bios's tend to have legacy usb disabled as default anyway so you would still require a PS2 keyboard initially in order to set the bios back up again.

If you have a PS2 keyboard you can use, then you may wish to use this instead of the USB one temporarily so that you can access the bios & look foir any other relevant settings that we may have missed. I'd advise at this stage not to change anything yet, just report anything you find that looks like it pertains to the USB or the keyboard.
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#7
tomdrayson

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I tried resetting to the BIOS to fail-safe defaults and then to optimised defaults before with a PS/2 keyboard but that didn't work. I had a look in the BIOS for options which may be relevant, but I don't know much about them!

Integrated Peripherals:
USB Controller - Enabled
USB 2.0 Controller - Enabled
USB Keyboard Support - Enabled
USB Mouse Support - Enabled
and within the Integrated Peripherals menu there is I/O Devices Configuration:
Onboard FDC Controller - Enabled
Onboard serial port - 3F8/IRQ4
Onboard parallel port - 378/IRQ7
Parallel port mode - ECP+EPP
EPP mode select - EPP1.9
ECP mode use - 3
PWRON after PWR fail - On

Also, at the part of the boot process just before it changes to the Windows XP loading screen, where a table or something appears with the IRQ settings and other details for loads of stuff, I noticed that ACPI has no information next to it, whereas everything else does.

Anything relevant there?
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#8
Samm

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Hmmm. The bios settings you listed above all seem fine.
Regarding the ACPI question, its is normal for acpi not to have much info given next to it during this stage of the boot process. However, it should be assigned an IRQ.

To be honest, because your keyboard problem is clearly not a windows issue & you've already tried resetting the bios to default values etc, I don't think anything we try now is going to make much difference to the non-windows functionality of your USB keyboard.

Out of interest however, could you go to Start->Run & type devmgmt.msc
This will open device manager. If you notice any yellow exclaimation marks or red crosses on any devices, let me know.
In device manager, select the View menu & click on 'Show hidden devices'.
Next, select the View menu again, & click on 'show resources by type'. Expand the IRQ branch & let me know which devices are listed there & their respective IRQ number.


One other thought that has occured to me....have you tried the keyboard in any of the other USB ports on your computer? If not, I suggest you try this next & see of it makes a difference. (EG if you currently have the keyboards receiver plugged into a front USB port, then try a rear port instead).

Also, if you happen to have the receiver connected via a USB hub, then try connecting it directly to a USB port instead. If it's already connected like this, then you could try connecting it via a powered usb hub. NB, this is unlikely to make a difference so don't rush out & buy a powered hub, but if you already happen to have one (or can borrow one) then it may be worth trying.

BTW, if we do completely fail to resolve this problem, you can always buy a PS/2 to USB convertor instead. This will allow you to continue using your USB keyboard but connected to the PS2 port!
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#9
tomdrayson

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Thanks. I don't think ACPI even has an IRQ, but I will have to check.
I have attached an image of the devices and their IRQ numbers in Device Manager (there are no exclamation marks).
The keyboard works in Windows in all my 6 ports (4 at the back, 2 at the front) but no change with any of them before Windows boots!
No I don't have any USB hubs, so I would have to buy one, although it's probably cheaper to buy a converter.
Anyway thanks again!
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#10
Samm

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According to the screen shot, acpi is using IRQ 9, which is fine.
I noticed that one of the USB controllers is sharing an IRQ with the video & sound, but unless your bios lets you manually assign IRQs (a few do but most don't) then theres not much you can do about that.
If your sound card is an add-on pci card as opposed to integrated, then moving it to a different pci slot should result in it having a different IRQ assigned to it but I'm not convinced that will really make any difference in terms of the USB keyboard working in DOS.

I agree with you - a PS2 to USB convertor will certainly be cheaper than a powered USB hub and it's also guaranteed to fix the problem whereas the hub might not.

Sorry I can't be of any more help than this but let me know if you run into any other problems in the future!

Samm :tazz:
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#11
tomdrayson

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Hi Samm, my sound card is onboard and I don't think I can manually set IRQs, so it looks like I need a converter! Still seems strange that it used to work fine, but nevermind! Thanks for your time and assistance,
Tom
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#12
tomdrayson

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Hi, I know it's been a while, but I still have a problem. I have bought a USB to PS/2 adapter but I can't get it to work. Neither my mouse nor my keyboard function at all when I am using the adapter, no lights on or anything (in Windows or in DOS). Is there anything I can do to get the adapter to work, or is this now a lost cause?!
Thanks
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#13
Thebinaryman

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i believe his keyboard just needs a special driver. that is why it only works in windows. the keyboard may have not been designed for use with anything but windows. and also in this case, a usb to ps2 adapter would not work at all, and would need a direct usb connection. that is why i stay away from wireless keyboards, they are too "non-standard".
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#14
tomdrayson

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Hi Thebinaryman, thanks for your reply. I can understand the keyboard not working with the adapter, but the keyboard USED to work fine in DOS until randomly one day, it wouldn't respond until some drivers were loaded during the Windows boot up process and I did not change any settings whatsoever. This is the part that annoys me. The keyboard is obviously not damaged because I am using it now in Windows.
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