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Keyboard only works in safe mode

Posted on 2006-07-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a Dell PC with Windows XP Home Edition loaded on it. The other day the keyboard stopped working. I removed the plug from the rear of the PC and pushed it in and out a few times, then rebooted the computer, using the mouse, which works fine. When it came back up, it goes straight into a desktop, no login prompts as this is a home PC.

I opened Word with them mouse and could not type anything. I rebooted again and brought it up in SAFE MODE. The keyboard works fine.

I then went out and bought a Logitech keyboard, loaded the software and still it doesn't work. I brought it into work, uninstalled the Logitech software and connected another keyboard that I had at work that I know works fine. Same thing, in Windows it doesn't work, not even Ctl-Alt-Del. Reboot into SAFE MODE and it works fine.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Rich
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Question by:RSchierer
8 Comments
 
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by:rid
ID: 17148048
PS/2 or USB keyboard?

PS/2 devices should never be hotplugged....

Since things work OK in safe mode, this is very likely a driver or other software acting up. I suppose you should try uninstalling any kind of keyboard-particular program or driver that is installed and see what happens. Windows doesn't need third-party software to handle a KB.

If this is a USB KB, there may be some kind of USB related driver or device that has an impact, something that is started in "unsafe mode" and overloads the power capacity of the USB port(s).
/RID
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by:Callandor
ID: 17148052
It sounds like the Windows keyboard driver got corrupted.  You can do a repair install to get it working again: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Author Comment

by:RSchierer
ID: 17150417
well I have run windows updates, removed the Logitech keyboard software, deleted and reinstalled the standard keyboard that appears in the device manager, even used a USB keyboard, but no matter what I have done, the keyboard only works in safe mode.

my friend who owns the PC says that just prior to this happening, of course he says it 6 hours after I start troubleshooting it, that he got an email and he forwarded it on to someone else, when he did he said that he saw a small picture of a keyboard appear on his desktop, although I cannot recreate that happening, although I did not try to resend the email. That will have to wait for tomorrow as I am home now, still scratching my head over this issue.

He does have AOL installed on the PC, but I have never seen AOL cause problems like this. I even uninstalled the Port Magic. Next step is to uninstall AOL and if that doesn't do it, I told him to bring in all the CD's he got with the PC when he got it from DELL and enough wasting time it is time to wipe and reinstall!
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17150711
It sounds like a virus or spyware may have messed up the driver.  Scan your system for malware with Adaware, Spybot, and Grisoft AVG.
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Author Comment

by:RSchierer
ID: 17156843
I uninstalled all portions of AOL, then ran AD-aware, Spybot and Symantec Antivirus which is already on his PC. Still the same problem!

keyboard works in Safe Mode, but not in regular mode
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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 17157114
If you install a clean system on a new hard drive, you will know if it is a driver issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Sam Cohen
ID: 17161056
do system restore back to the day it worked
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Expert Comment

by:aviandragon13
ID: 17164736
If it works fine in safe mode, try this: click Start>Run... and then use the onscreen keyboard (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Accessibility>On Screen Keyboard) to type in "msconfig" and click ok. When the system configuration utility comes up, go down to the radio button for "Selective Startup". The first thing I would try is unchecking the box for "Load Startup Items". Click ok and reboot the computer. This will disable all programs that start when windows starts. Make sure your computer is not on the internet at this point as antivirus will not start. If the keyboard works after you reboot, there is a conflict with a program that starts with windows. It will be easy to determine which one it is by going to the startup tab in the configuration utility and, one-by-one, checking the various programs and rebooting. If it still does not work, try using the other options in the system configuration utility to determine the exact cause of your failure. In essence, using the system configuration utility is like starting in safe mode, but has many more options dealing with what items to load on startup. Please post your results. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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