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Keyboard problem on ASUS laptop

Posted on 2016-09-10
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Last Modified: 2016-09-15
I have an ASUS laptop model U47A with an unusual keyboard problem.

After rebooting, it will not accept input from the keyboard. But it does seem to recognize the Caps Lock key (because the "Caps Lock on" indicator comes up on the Windows 10 log in screen). It will also recognize the Enter key to tell me that the lack of a password is the incorrect password.

To troubleshoot, I tried a USB keyboard and restarted. Exact same thing (Caps and Enter are recognized but not the other keys).

Next, I opened up the laptop and reset the three flat cable connectors running from the keyboard to the main part.

I was tempted to believe the keyboard just needed to be replaced until I was getting the same behavior from the external keyboard (which I know works with another desktop box).

The laptop runs Windows 10 Pro, 8GB Ram and a second (I think) gen i7 processor (if any of that matters).

Any ideas?
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Question by:twerts
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41792911
Can you get into BIOS, turn off Secure Boot for a test, and boot from a DVD or bootable USB. If you could boot from (say) Knoppix, you could determine if the hardware is OK.

Can you start in Safe Mode (F8 normally)?
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 41792926
Can you launch the on screen keyboard (OSK) to get the password entered?

To open the OSK from the sign-in screen, select the Ease of Access button in the lower-right corner of the sign-in screen, and then select "On-Screen Keyboard".

Once Windows launches do you then get normal keyboard behaviour?
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41792932
Thanks John,

 I was not able to get it to boot into safe mode. However, I was able to get into the bios. In there, I went to one of the password utilities and was able to type normal keystrokes. I exited out of the bios without saving any changes.

I am getting a bootable USB drive set up now and will see what I can do with that.

Thanks again.
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41792933
Thanks, MASQ.

 I cannot seem to get the on screen keyboard to come up.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 41792938
Do you see this menu?
EOA Menu @ Login Screen
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Expert Comment

by:Sarthak Sharma
ID: 41792963
Your computer is not supporting it ,
try another
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41792964
Did you read the first post?  2 keyboards already tried including the one that came with the machine
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41792998
MASQ,

I see that button. But nothing happens when I click on it.


John,

When I booted off the Windows 10 boot drive, I was able to get to a command prompt and the keyboard worked fine.  I tried to run sfc / scannow and it said it could not complete.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 41793030
So it is not a keyboard problem (as you had surmised)

You may need to recover your data and then use that boot drive to reinstall Windows 10
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41793035
I was afraid of that. Thanks, John.
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by:garycase
ID: 41793038
I found a couple references to this same issue.   I'd try the following:

Shut down the laptop.

Remove the battery.

Turn on the laptop => when Windows starts to load, kill the power (unplug it).

Plug it in again and repeat the process.   This should force Windows to boot in recovery mode (you might have to do it 2-3 times before it does this).

Run System Restore and select a restore point from when it was working.    This should resolve the issue.

... don't forget to replace the battery :-)
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by:garycase
ID: 41793041
Note:  Once you are able to boot to Windows, make the following change, which should preclude this from happening again:

Go to Control Panel - Power Options - Change what the power buttons do

Click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable"

Uncheck "Turn on fast startup"
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41793061
System restore asked for user account and password ... Which I couldn't type in. Again, though, when I backed out and went to command prompt, it would type other than space bar.

Very odd.
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by:garycase
ID: 41793066
Did you intentionally force a "bad" boot by yanking the power as I suggested (after Windows has started booting ... perhaps 5 seconds or so into the process) ??    The reason for removing the battery is so it's easier to kill the power.

It's very surprising that at that level the keyboard still won't work.   Try plugging in a USB keyboard AFTER you're at the system restore point and see if it will work.    I've found this exact same issue in a couple of Microsoft forums, and the "yank the power" solution worked in both of those cases.
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by:garycase
ID: 41793067
One other thought => If Secure Boot is active, I'd disable it and try this again.
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41793086
Thanks, Gary. I tried the bad boot a couple times. Even with an external usb keyboard, it would not let me input the password.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 41793168
Try letting Windows boot to the logon screen, and THEN pulling the power (unplugging it) -- be sure to do this with the battery removed, so it's a true complete power loss.
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by:nobus
ID: 41793274
in the bios - do you have a lecacy mode for usb?
or any other setting?
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Accepted Solution

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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 250 total points
ID: 41793297
Have you got Filter Keys active?  See if you can hold the right-shift key down (for at least 8 seconds) at the sign in screen.  Filter Keys can (ironically) block Ease of Access at sign-in.
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Author Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41793303
Thanks, Gary, nobus, and MASQ.  

Gary:  I did pull the plug (battery out) after I was at the log-in screen a few times.  It didn't do anything other than reboot.  I was not even able to get it into Recovery Mode that way.  To get to recovery, I had to time the power pull so that it was far enough into the boot cycle without getting to the login screen.

nobus:  In the Bios for this machine, I have UEFI USB and Generic USB.  I have tried to boot off the thumb drive using both as the "more" primary boot method.  I will admit that I don't understand the difference in that setting, so I'm not sure whether that even matters.

Unfortunately, I have had to leave for a week long business trip this morning.  I won't be back until Friday and really don't have room for the extra laptop this week.  

I will circle back to each of your suggestions then.

Thanks again.  All the help and support has been very helpful.
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Author Closing Comment

by:twerts
ID: 41799085
Thanks, MASQ.  The filter keys issue was the problem.  I was able to fix the laptop keyboard about 15 seconds after I picked up the laptop again tonight.

Gary and John, thanks for your suggestions as well.

Take care all.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41799519
Thanks for the update.
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