Fresh Windows 7 install, delete key is not working on MULTIPLE KEYBOARDS?

Posted on 2014-11-25
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We purchased a machine for a user and it came pre-configured with Windows 8. She requested Windows 7 be installed instead, so I formatted the hard drive and used an install disk I burned using a disc image I downloaded from Microsoft's content hosting (digitalriver). I have used this image plenty of times with no issue.

EVERYTHING went well including the reinstall of all of the proper drivers and joining to our domain, and the computer does not have any other issues, except for the one I am about to describe.

The delete key does not work. I tried multiple BRAND NEW keyboards and multiple USB ports. I read something about toggling Num Lk but this did not help me.

I have deleted all keyboard drivers from device manager, and even after a reboot and verifying that Windows grabbed the generic driver, the issue persists.

I tried installing the drivers from the manufacturer website for both a brand new Dell and a brand new Lenovo keyboard. No luck.

Now here is the strange part: the delete key works perfectly fine ONLY when logging into Windows or during a user account control log in prompt.

Any suggestions?
Question by:BMFC
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40464672
It is feasible that the computer does not support Windows 7. Windows 7 is no longer sold OEM on computers (unless a vendor has stock), the perhaps the manufacturer has abandoned Windows 7 on new machines.

You did a fresh install and you have tried multiple keyboards and keyboards are fundamental to Windows (that is, they work).

Best in this case to put Windows 8.1 back on, set it to boot to desktop and make it work like Windows 7. I do that and it works.  See my Article on making Windows 8 work well.

Author Comment

ID: 40464689
There are Windows 7 drivers for both this model of computer and this model of keyboard that came with the computer.

I usually do what you are talking about and tell users that it is what is sold these days but for this particular user we wanted to get them exactly what they asked for. She loves the computer and it runs completely solid except for this issue.

All of the keys work, including the delete key, during all password log on prompts consistently. There has to be a way to get this result throughout the OS.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 40464697
Make sure you have the newest chipset, BIOS, and Video drivers installed. If that does not work, try Windows 8.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 40464743

Create another account on this machine and see if the problem still occurs.  The problem may be user specific.

Also consider wiping the hard disk and reinstalling Windows 7 again.  I suspect some misconfiguration of the machine somehow because the system works OK up until the user logs in.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 40464745
Does the PC have a PS2 keyboard connector (Purple)
and do you have a PS2 keyboard to try it?

If you do wind up reinstalling an OS, why not  make a Dual Boot system (Win7 & 8)
so the user has an opportunity to at least try W8.

You will get plenty of help here on how to do that.

Author Comment

ID: 40464770
The user will be away at lunch and I will test a PS/2 keyboard and a different user. The user theory sounds promising, thanks for the suggestions.

Expert Comment

ID: 40465132
During the windows install you did select US Standard Keyboard? It is possible that during the process that someone scrolled down or such and selected somthing different.

Here is how to change your keyboard layout:

Accepted Solution

Rob G earned 500 total points
ID: 40467491
Does the delete key have another function?
Maybe.. I mean if this is a laptop, with a keyboard plugged into it..
It's possible the FN key is togged on and not letting the delete key function..
That would make sense as to why you can log in, but once in the del key is not working any longer..

Have you tried the left cntrl key and the X key at the same time to see if that works to fix the delete key?

You might also have an issue with windows hotkeys..
which you can disable in the registry..


Create a DWORD 32bit value
Call it “NoWinKeys”
To Disable Windows Hotkeys - Type 1 and click on OK
To enable Windows Hotkeys - Type 0 and click on OK

You will need to reboot to see if this helps..

someone up above mentioned that the user account might be screwy,
If it is caused by group policy, the reg hack will fix this..
if it is the user account local, deleting and re-creating will fix it..

Author Comment

ID: 40481552
Update on this:

Finally had a chance to sit down on her computer. Issue only occurs when logged into her user. She is a domain user, not a local one, and she did not have this issue logged into her previous PC.

Rob, will you elaborate on the registry edit necessary to circumvent this?

Author Comment

ID: 40481651
Also, I might add, I discovered another PC in the network with the same issue - right down to the delete key working during log on or UAC prompts or when logged in as another user.

I did some troubleshooting on this machine since it was more accessible, and I was able to solve the issue by pressing the left CTRL + X keys like Rob (above) suggested.

Unfortunately this solution was not the same for our original user! CTRL + X solves nothing on her PC.

Might I ask what exactly this is doing that would be related to the Delete key? It is odd that it solved one and not the other, because the issues were IDENTICAL.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 40481719
Can you swap these two keyboards?

It is possible that in one Left CTRL-X works and in the other it doesn't.

Expert Comment

ID: 40481812
You can also try going into the computer  control panel - user accounts - and then check to see if she is added with rights to the local computer. Standard/admin rights etc. Sometimes on a domain there is an issue if it is not added to the PC.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40482913
Thanks! CTRL X fixed one PC, and the WinKeys edit fixed the other. Thanks to everyone else who gave all the help it could have been any one of these things.

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