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MiniMac not seeing PS2 keyboard connected via Belkin KMV switch

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I bought a miniMac (my first apple) and want to connect it to my Belkin KMV switch so I can use same monitor, keyboard, and mouse that I use on other 3 PC also connected to the  switch.

Both VGA and mouse work.  When MiniMac boots it displays a screen asking me to press a key on the keyboard so it can find the keyboard.  That's as far as I get. The os does not find the keyboard and
I get no further.

Apple says Belkin is a 3rd party and they don't support 3rd parties. Belkin says it works for other Mac uses but I "may" have to change some Apple OS settings to use and IBM keyboard w/Mac. They don't know what changes.

Specifics are: Belkin 4-port KVM w/audio, Model  F1DS104T
                       IBM PS2 keyboard (old style)
                       Microsoft wireless mouse (which works fine)
                       MiniMac w/Leopard OS

Should I buy a usb keyboard and plug that directly into the Mac and hope it allows me to
then look for where to make the changes?   I'm a new Mac user and feel lost about
how to approach this.

Thanks

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Question by:carolinadon
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by:jhyiesla
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Macs are pretty forgiving about using non-mac hardware and I am kind of surprised that what you are trying to do didn't work. Do  you happen to have a PS/2 to USB adapter?  If so, you could temporarily plug your PS/2 keyboard directly into the mini and see if that works. There is a system preference for keyboard and it's mainly for changing how keys work and for activating the same little "wizard" that you are seeing now.

Are you making sure that you are pressing the correct key?  I believe that the instructions are to press a particular key on the keyboard,
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by:carolinadon
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The directions ask that I press the key to the right of the Left Shit key on the unknown keyboard. That would be the "Z", which is what I pressed. I've done it several times.

I do not have a usb to ps2, but will see if I can get one this afternoon. Don't know how common they are.
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by:carolinadon
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RESTATEMENT OF PROBLEM

I bought a USB to PS2 adapter and dug out an old Compaq keyboard.  After a few swaps and tests II discovered the problem is that the MiniMac does not see an old-style IBM keyboard... the one with the large round plug and only 10 Function keys.   This is the keyboard I LOVE... the clicks and the feel.  I want to use this keyboard if at all possible.

The MiniMac routed thru the Belkin KMV works fine with the Compaq Keyboard (small-style PS2 plug) and MS mouse and VGA monitor. ( I just replaced the IBM keyboard with the Compaq one in the KMV switch; thus I no longer needed the adapter that changes the large round keyboard plug to the smaller PS2 plug.)

Why is the Mac not seeing the old IIBM keyboard? Were the codes different? And is there a way to overcome it?

If not, can anyone recommend a new keyboard that has the same click and tactile feel of the old
IBM one?

Thank you.


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by:jhyiesla
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I honestly don't know...The basic keycodes shouldn't have changed at least for regular keys and I think there is no functional difference between the old DIN plugs and the mini-DIN of the PS/2 world.  But I've found some threads that where others have tried what you did and were not able to get the old style IBM keyboard to work.  Perhaps there is something in the converter or perhaps there is some keycode difference between the old and the new.

And I agree the old IBM clicky style is the best...I used to buy Northgate systems just to get their keyboards.
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jhyiesla earned 250 total points
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Take a look at this as a possible replacement for your old IBM keyboard.  Have never used it so I can't give an opinion.

http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/product-review-unicomp-customizer-keyboard/
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by:carolinadon
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Thank you for confirming that the old-style keyboard did not work for others too.

And I did order a Unicomp keyboard, which is apparently as close and I'm going
to get to the old IBM keyboard.

Thanks again for all your help.

Don
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by:carolinadon
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Thanks. Probably time I got a new keyboard anyway.  
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by:carolinadon
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Here is the what I've found.

IBM-type keyboards using the old style AT plug will not work with the MacMini through a Belkin KMV switch even when the AT to PS2 adapter is used. For that matter, they won't work directly on the MacMini with the adapter. (Of course, they do work with PCs.)

I was successful in getting a classic IBM keyboard (model 1391401) which comes with a PS2 plug to work with the MiniMac and the KMV switch.  

Apparently there is something incompatible with the AT to PS2 adapter on the Mac machines.
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