Keyboard not recognized even in bios

I did a service call for a client. His computer did not start. I did my work and the problem was the memory, now it starts. But it does not recognize the keyboard even not in bios. The issue it not the hard drive because I tested it with a known working hard drive. It’s a usb keyboard and mouse, and windows know this as it complain USB keyboard not found. Please help.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Can you start with a bootable CD (Ultimate Boot CD or Knoppix)? and do the Keyboard and Mouse work this way? If they do, then there is an operating system issue.

Try running System File Checker. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW twice. Close out, shut down, start up and test.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
I tried booting from xxxx Boot CD 15.1 and it did not recognize the keyboard there either.
For another reason I would not say it's a operating issue. I booth the computer with  3 different hard drives
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I would recheck the memory and start with one module. Try one, then the other.

If not memory, then the motherboard must have an issue. Not much else to consider for the keyboard.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
I also tried with different keyboards. All of them simple without and special keys. One keyboard was in fact the same brand as the computer (dall) I also changed ports on the computer front back. Nothing....
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
Is there any way to do testing on a motherboard? Or if you narrow down all options than you assume it's the motherboard?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
All you need is a motherboard, CPU, BIOS and memory for a keyboard to work. I am assuming by your initial post that the machine starts but does not recognize the keyboard. If you interchanged one stick of memory with no luck, then it would appear to be the motherboard.

No - there is no practical way to test a motherboard.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
How about if I add a usb card to the motherboard. I personally don't think it's a good idea because even it will solve the issue. But if the motherboard makes problems with the usb it's fair to say it will soon make other problems. What is your opinion?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You could try adding a USB card as a test. but your point about future issues is also valid,
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rindiCommented:
Try all the USB ports on the mainboard. Some often dedicate 1 or two ports for keyboards, and others won't work. Also, if the mainboard has PS2 ports try a PS2 keyboard rather than a USB one. Also reset the BIOS to defaults. Usually there is a jumper to reset it (normally close to the CMOS battery).
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Reece DoddsCommented:
Not sure why John hasn't suggested a PS2 keyboard yet, but Rindi is on the right track here...
Try a PS2 keyboard, enter the BIOS and make sure Legacy USB is enabled.  On older systems, USB input devices wouldn't work in DOS-based or non-OSE's (operating system environments) unless the setting was enabled.
Enabling it allowed hardware addressing to the device in the port (similar to assigning it an IRQ #) rather than just the USB hub on the mainboard's southbridge.

But - if PS2 doesn't work either and you say that you never reset the BIOS or cleared the CMOS and that USB has always worked in the past, then you may have a mainboard fault (which may or may not be directly related to the RAM issue you had).

PS.  John - add a PSU to your list of essential components for a computer to work
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I don't see PS/2 ports on computers anymore - that is why I did not suggest.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
rindi you suggest resetting the bios. But from Reece I understand not to do it.
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rindiCommented:
The default BIOS settings you get when you reset it are usually fail-safe options so that Keyboards and mice etc work again if they have been disabled.
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nobusCommented:
try the live Knoppix cd - and check if it sees your keyboard
the XXX cd - may not support usb keyboards
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html      


can you open the bios - and does the keyboard work there ?
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Reece DoddsCommented:
Sorry for the confusion Abraham, you may have misunderstood.
It is OK to reset the BIOS, but it may not be necessary.  That said, if there is some custom BIOS setting the client had that disabled devices or created conflict, resetting it would be a good idea.

What I meant is that if you do reset the BIOS, and the mainboard is an older model, the Legacy USB setting - if the BIOS for that mainboard  has it - may be disabled after the BIOS reset, and as such, USB keyboards won't work in the BIOS.  This is why we both suggest testing with a PS2 keyboard.

Most computers DO have PS2 ports, but some Dell systems and base-model Compaq systems of a 3-5yr vintage didn't include them.  So using a PS2 keyboard for a workaround will not be any help.  You say in your original post that Windows complains that "USB keyboard not found"...  Is this actually in Windows or is it just after the POST (Dell splash screen) and is it a black screen with white writing?  If so, this is before Windows starts booting and is actually a BIOS POST failure message.  It will be operating system independent - which will explain why attempts to boot from UBCD or Knoppix Live aren't working.

It would help if you provide the mainboard model or system model... that way we can give you more accurate support.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
The problem with any booth cd that in a certain point it requires to select a option.But do to the fact the keyboard is not working no selection can be made. Same is without a booth cd windows offers a repair but to run it a confirmation is needed, but again as the keyboard is not recognized, nothing can be done.
Its a Dell optiplex 380 mini tower.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Either try a USB card (as you suggested) or see about replacing the motherboard.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
If not the back neither the front usb adopters work doesn't this say it's the motherboard? Except if a corruption can target the usb cards in such case a new adopter may help. What do you say?
I noticed the bios battery is low. A low battery can cause corruption to ram. I think it's fair to connect them in this case. What I hope did not happen, cussed corruption to the new ram. Although I can verify this by changing the ram again. But I see no point before the keyboard issue is not solved and the system booths with the current ram
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It is possible that the operating system is corrupted, but you started with a CD with no luck, so I don't think this is the issue.

Most likely (no keyboard with external USB or CD boot) is a bad motherboard.
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nobusCommented:
ok -what pc is this?  model please? or motherboard model
how did you notice the bios battery is low? the only method i know - is measuring it
and yes - it can cause all weird things
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rindiCommented:
A low CMOS battery can cause all sorts of funny behavior, so if it is low change it.
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Reece DoddsCommented:
He mentioned it is a Dell optiplex 380 mini tower.  This system DOESN'T have PS2 ports, so there's not much we can do down that avenue.
He still hasn't mentioned if a BIOS/CMOS reset to defaults has been performed.  If a jumper on the mainboard can't be found for resetting BIOS, you can disconnected the AC power, remove the CMOS battery, hold in the power-on switch to drain any residual current, then short the connectors of the CMOS battery mount together with a screwdriver for 5-10 seconds.
If resetting the BIOS this way doesn't help, go to a local electronics store and pick-up a PCI USB 2.0 card for $20.  The only thing is size...  Your chassis is a SFF, so a half-height card is best if you can find it.

If you test the card and USB starts working from it - or if you can't source one a card - you have a (partly) faulty mainboard.  
TBH - you can pick up a ex-fleet optiplex from eBay for about $80... so maybe it's not worth your time and effort to continue fault finding.
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rindiCommented:
You could get a PCI card that has PS2 ports, in fact I have such a card, with 2 PS2 ports for a mouse and a keyboard, and also with two USB2 ports. I think that card is very useful...

Take a close look at the mainboard's electrolytic capacitors. If you see them bulging or cracking, or if there are signs of leackage, you either need to replace the caps, or the board (usually the board is too expensive to change, so if you don't have soldering experience and can change the caps, it would be cheaper to replace the
PC)...
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
If the USB port has power, which can be prooved by the fact the light on the mouse turn on will a adopter like this USB to PS/2 Adapter do the testing or a card like this   PS/2 Adapter ?
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rindiCommented:
No, the USB to PS2 Adapter will do nothing, but the card can help. Also USB power doesn't tell you the port is fine. Power uses different wires within the plug than the signal wires.
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nobusCommented:
a board with only usb keyboard and mouse - if they don't work -  is unusable
sorry to say so

but i'm not sure you tried if they worrk from a live Knoppix cd ? just try it
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you Abraham, and I was happy to help.
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