Dell Inspiron Keyboard Error

i get  a keyboard error at bootup on a dell inspiron desktop using windows 7. it boots automatically into recovery mode, prompting a choice of booting up normally or beginning the recovery process. but i have no keyboard functionality to make a selection with. pulled CMOS, but that only prompts you to strike f1 or f2 to enter start up. i even tried a bootup cd as a last ditch effort.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

if i were to install a PS2 PCI card or even an old serial PCI card and get an old serial mouse,  would that give me a working keyboard in windows 7?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You could try a PS2 setup but that is very old now. Have you tried a USB keyboard and USB Mouse?

Shut down, start up and press F1 right away to get into BIOS. Can you do this. And if you do, does your keyboard work?
Serial mice are unlikely to work, they are usually nor supported by newer OS's. But a PS2 card should work. What connections does your PC have currently? PS2? PS2 ports can break when you connect or disconnect keyboards or mice during operation. Have you tried another keyboard? What about a USB keyboard?

If your current problem is with a USB keyboard, have you tried connecting it to other USB ports? Many mainboards only support keyboards and mice on certain USB ports.

If your problem is with a PS2 keyboard, check the mainboard's jumpers, some have one such jumper to enable or disable the PS2 ports.
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
the keyboard is not the issue.

No PS2 ports. Just USB. Hence the PCI card theory.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Can you start BIOS?  You may have a motherboard problem.
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
in order to start BIOS, i would need to strike a key on the keyboard. already pulled the CMOS battery, which prompted me to enter BIOS. but again, it requires me striking f1 or f2. no keyboard response.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you cannot start BIOS, it may not be keyboard at all. You may have another hardware problem (USB port, or motherboard).
While the keyboard may not seem to be the problem (you probably tested it on another PC successfully), I still recommend using another keyboard anyway. Then also plug it in a totally different USB port (if front was used, then use the back, and vice versa).
As I already mentioned, if you are using a USB keyboard, try it on all the other ports. Some Mainboards restrict keyboards to specific USB ports.

If none of the ports work, it is probably an issue with the USB controller on the mainboard. Then you could try a pci card (I have one that has 2 USB ports and a PS2 keyboard and a PC2 mouse port).
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
the keyboard is not an issue. tried several.

the only problem with the PCI card is that it would 99% chance need to be installed with the driver CD. probably not a chance that works.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If your keyboard won't work anywhere, you have a hardware problem with the machine.

Is the machine worth saving?
My card is automatically recognized and setup under Windows 7 and 8.x using plug'n'play, no need for extra drivers, and the keyboard also works within the BIOS when connected to that card. So unless you buy really something very special there shouldn't any problems. Mine is just a no-name brand I bought at a local PC shop close to my place.

Have you tried the keyboard in all the PC's USB ports?
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
that plug n' play install process is surely not going to install in the 5 seconds before i get prompted to run recovery. that process would occur once the OS was loaded.

yes. multiple keyboards. every port.
At that point the drivers don't need to be loaded yet. The keyboard selection for your boot menu still uses the BIOS directly and isn't handled by Windows. That comes into play later. But since your USB ports are probably broken, and the system goes into repair mode when it tries to start the OS, there is probably more that is also not working. So as Thinkpad's mentioned, it may not be worth trying to repair the system.
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
i ended up swapping out another hard drive which the PC then took to the GUI recovery process. when i got to that point, the mouse optical was shining, but the mouse was not responding either. so definitely a hardware issue (motherboard) not worth my client's money to fix.
jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for jerlejeune's comment #a40714900

for the following reason:

i figured it out
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We have already suggested a serious hardware problem, so you should not be accepting your own solution (same as already suggested).

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jerlejeuneAuthor Commented:
john. what you offered was a hypothesis and did not even address my initial answer of the PCI card.

the troubleshooting method of swapping hard drives was the process in which the question was answered when the mouse did not work.
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