Using 2 keyboards, The built in and a USB also

Posted on 2004-09-05
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am trying to use a second keyboard for input. Ultimately, I would like to be able to use one keyboard (the builtin) for everything and the secondary for just some programs (that I am writing).

But right now, I can't get the second keybard to be recognized at all. This keyboard works 100% great on my desk top Gateway. But when I connect it to either the PS/2 or USB port, the lights flash on the keyboard showing it is getting power but windows xp reports it as an unknown device.

It is a Microsoft urgo keyboard that connects via the USB port or PS/2 via an adapter.

My notebook is the Gateway 450ROG.

The device is detected but windows pops up with the message that the USB device is not recognized. When in the PS/2 port I get nothing (may need a special adapter because the PS/2 port on notebook is for both the mouse & keyboard, not one for each)

It is super important to get this working. Any ideas?
Question by:schworak
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Expert Comment

ID: 11985022
First thing I would try is a different keyboard connected to the laptop.

I have connected all sorts of usb keyboards to my windows coimptuers (laptops included) and they always work.  I even hooked up 2 differnet types of Macintosh usb keyboards and they work flawlessly as well.

I really think that there is just something "odd" about this keyboard since keyboards are ususally so basic a device.  The key issue that really makes me think that is that you say the keyboard also fails to work when plugged into your ps2 port on the laptop.  If that is so, then there most likely something wrong or speical with the keyboard.

Try a different keyboard.  If you have to go to the local thriftstore and buy a cheap 5 dollar throwaway keyboard with a mini ps2 port and test it.  Test it on the ps2 port and the usb port with the adatper.

I am using an old model m ibm keyboard wiht a ps2 to usb adapter on my laptops and it works awsome.  And that model m keyboard was made around 1989 or so.  Its an oldie.


Expert Comment

ID: 11985031
Couple more things.  Windows should recoginize any type of keyboard plugged into your system and it should work with no need for additional drivers or anything.  They are built into windows for the most part.

Also the ps2 port on most laptops are designed to detect whether a mouse or keyboard or both via a y adapter is plugged into it so it will work with any type of standard ps2 keyboard.

Author Comment

ID: 11985957
Ok, I got the keyboard working with the PS/2 port. I had to power down and back on then it started working.

Here is a strange thing (to me at least) It still won't work via the USB port at all. And only 1 keyboard shows up. I can type on my laptop or the external but they both appear to be the same keyboard.

Is there no way to change that? I ask because ultimatly I would like to use the external keyboard to control one program that I am working on while the internal keyboard would control everything else.

Anyway, the USB port still won't work with the keyboard. Tried another (compaq) keyboard and same thing. The PS/2 port works if I power on with it plugged in but not the USB port at all. Comes up as an unknown device.

Accepted Solution

bobo_tech earned 500 total points
ID: 11986025
Well what you expericneing is totally expected behavior.  When you have a keyboard plugged in to an external port such as a ps2 or a usb port, its going to act as a the main keyboard just like your laptops keyboard.  

I bet your usb device just doens't have the drivers installed for it.  If the drivers for the usb device aren't installed, then it will show up as the unknown device.

You could try that usb device on another windows xp computer and see if you get the same behavior.

What you want to do is something that you will need to find a specific peice of hardware.  That peice of hardware would act as a completely independent i/o device than the standard keyboard.  Then your program would have to be written to respond to that other hardware device.  If such a hardware device actually exists.

Also sorry for overlooking the fact that you had to power the system down and up to get the ps2 port to work.  That also is competely normal behavior for a ps2 device.  If you plug one into your system while its up and running, it won't be recognized until you shut it down completely and restart.

You will always see one keyboard even if you have multiple keyboards attached to your system.  Unless you find that hardware device that I spoke of and I have never seen such an animal.  And then you have to worry about the software even recognizing the new hardware device instead of the normal keybboard.
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Author Comment

ID: 11986117
Thanks so much for your help. Bummer!

The USB port has the dirvers installed as I use it all the time for a digital camera, external hard drive, DVD burner and even a web cam once.

The keybard is working on my desktop unit in the USB port just not the laptop. What a bugger. Odds are I won't be able to independantly address the two keybards anyway without a great deal of pain. So at least now I know that I have to power down or at a minimum restert after connecting the keyboard to the PS/2 port. Was hoping to be able to hot swap via the USB port.

Expert Comment

ID: 11986320
I really don't mean the drivers for the usb port itself (which you said works fine which is good) but rather for the ps2 to usb device.  Do you know which brand'/model number the ps2 to usb device is?

Does the keyboard have a USB or a PS2 plug at the end of it?

Author Comment

ID: 11986413
The keyboard says:

M/N E06401PS2 and is the Microsoft Urgo Keyboard

The PS/2 to USB cable says:

X03-42594-01 and came with the keyboard. It too is Microsoft.

This is what puzzles me so much. It is all Microsoft stuff but isn't working. I just installed XP's SP2 and that made no difference. It still comes up as "Unknown Device" when I plug it in the USB port.

I appreciate your time. Perhaps I need a driver to even allow a keyboard on the USB on this notebook?

Expert Comment

ID: 11986606
Yes, i am thinking that you need a driver for the ps2 to usb adapter.  Go here and download the driver on the upper right hand side and install it:

I 'm not sure if that will help but it apparently is the software required for that particular keyboard so i am guessing that it would have the drivers for the ps2 to usb adapter.

I would install it first then once its installed and you reboot, then plug in the keyboard to the usb port.

Author Comment

ID: 11987123
The driver was the right one for the keyboard, but no luck on getting the USB port to work with the keyboard. Don't fret about it any more.

Thanks for your previous help!

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