POST error: Keyboard is locked out - unlock the key
Posted on 2003-10-24
I'm running a multiboot system. hda has Windows2000 on it. hdb has a new installation of Debian Linux on it. hdc has Gentoo Linux on it. I first noticed something was wrong when I tried to use my Win98 startup disk. After it boots, I get the classic A:> command line but when I try to type, nothing happens!
I reset the computer at that point and was greeted with "Keyboard is locked out - unlock the key" during post just after my IDE autodetection. The keyboard is completely unresponsive at this point. Resetting accomplishes nothing. However, if I shut the computer off then turn it back on again, I don't get the error anymore.
Unfortunately, this is recurring. Every time I try to boot the Win98 startup disk or my new installation of Debian Linux, they keyboard freezes after boot and nothing I type gets typed. I'm forced to reset and I'm greeted with that friendly error again.
I immidiately suspected keyboard hardware failure, due to the fact that my keyboard is about 4 years old. I swapped it with another keyboard and it still happened. Swapped it with a third and it still happened.
Since simultaneous failure of three keyboards is unlikely, and I can boot Win2000 and Gentoo Linux without this happening, I'm convinced there's nothing wrong with my keyboard.
So I assumed there was a BIOS setting causing this. I cleared all the password protections on my BIOS and on my system boot and restored the defaults. Nope, that didn't help either.
I also should note that this occasionally does happen when rebooting from Win2000 or Gentoo, but a cold boot solves the problem every time.
I just spent the last hours googling this error. I've found people with similar problems, but not identical. Official support labels this error as not a keyboard error but a key lock error for people who have lockable cases. (?)
Since I don't have a lockable case, I'm wondering what on earth could trigger this. The motherboard is fairly new, so I don't suspect mobo failure.
I also read that there might be a switch on the mobo somewhere, perhaps near the system panel connectors, that can trigger a lock and that it must be deactivated. This might be what's happening to me because I recently played around with the system panel connectors trying to get my IDE LED to work. (I gave up on the IDE LED when I realized the LED light bulb never worked in the first place.) But since I don't know where that switch might be on my mobo or if it even exists, I'm at a loss.
I'm currently running an Asus A7M266-D Dual Socket A Motherboard with a pair of Athlon MP 1200s.
I appreciate any advice.