Windows 7 Pro Dell PC locks up / freezes at a particular point in startup.

The keyboard is active through pressing F8, but does not move the selection bar up and down on the screen where one chooses SafeMode etc.

I can enter setup with F12 and can move up and down in the setup menu with arrow keys, but am locked up immediately on closing.

If I let Startup run its course with no keyboard intervention I get the Windows logon screen, but the PC is locked up. Cannot type in the password field, Ctrl-Alt-Del does nothing, no lights go on or off when toggle CapsLock or NumLock.

If I boot with a Linux disk I get a desktop, but keyboard is again nonresponsive.

Nothing works but power button.

Any suggestions where to start?
Ronald HicksConsultantAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If I boot with a Linux disk I get a desktop, but keyboard is again nonresponsive.

That would indicate a hardware problem with the keyboard (test with another keyboard) or a hardware issue with the motherboard.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
The keyboard works on another computer and a different keyboard does not work on the problem PC.

I also tried booting with another HDD and a Win 7 install disk.  It progressed to the first screen of the installation sequence;  I could not enter anything in any field or move from field to field with KB or mouse;  and Ctrl-Alt-Del did not work.

Interestingly, Just tried a PS/2 KB and mouse (fortunately the PC has both ports).  Both work.  What does this mean?
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Check BIOS settings.

See if there is an option to enable Legacy USB.  Also test with another keyboard.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If that does not work, the computer has a hardware issue. It may not be worth fixing.
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nobusCommented:
imo - it means the usb connection does not work; maybe due to bad contact in the plug, or onboard
you can try a bios update - it may fix  the problem
check device manager - does it show problems?  if so, post a screenshot
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
He can get into the BIOS so the keyboard/motherboard combination is working.
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nobusCommented:
some functions do - some don't; neither in windows or linux
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
I once read a fine-grained detailed description of what happens in the boot process; how this process calls that process which calls another process.  It looks to me that one of the processes being called has lost its USB functionality and it seems that it could be where the first hand-off to Windows takes place because I can't up and down arrow in the list of Windows startup options or even press Enter on the highlighted choice, "start windows normally" with a USB keyboard but I can with a PS/2 keyboard.  I think I'll try a repair install from the CD.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Oh, yes, To Nobus, I did look at all the USB items listed in Device Manager and it reports each one as functioning correctly.
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nobusCommented:
ok - but that is NOT conclusive. it looks like a bad keyboard, or usb port since it also does not work in linux
since the kbd is ok on another pc - rest = usb port
did you test on other ports?  test all
if you have a PS/2 connection available - test with that also
it may even be a bad bios
i assume date time are correct ?
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Yes, tested multiple USB keyboards on all USB ports - none work.

But, get this, on just sheer curiosity I put a flash drive in a USB port.  It didn't work, but I tried another AND IT DID.

I tried another and it worked there too.  I didn't try the others, but I did connect a USB external drive (a 2.5 SATA drive in a USB 3.0 enclosure) and copied the user data.

With that in hand I moved on to an inplace reinstall with a CD, and have another problem.  The installation completes the first line, copying files, but after 2 hours was still at 0% on the second line.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
And to reiterate, USB keyboards still did not work in the ports that read a flash drive and an external drive OK.  What can this mean?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think, as posted early on here, that the machine has a problem of some kind with the USB ports (motherboard)
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nobusCommented:
i'll ask again :i aare  date and time  correct ? if theyr' wrong, it can indicate a low bios battery
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Date and time correct.  

I pulled the drive and connected another and did a fresh Win7 install to it.  No problems with KB or mouse.  So it seems definitely something in the Windows installation on that original disk, or I suppose maybe with the disk since this didn't really eliminate it, but all the diagnostics I've run on it come up good.  

Before I this this though I tried an inplace upgrade from an installation CD (to original problem disk) and even after following many suggestions on the web it would never advance beyond 0% at line 2 "gathering files settings and programs"
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You did say above that the problem also occurs when booting from a Linux disk which would seem to eliminate the Windows operating system.
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nobusCommented:
is this how you did the repair install ?
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Different but possibly related problem.  Installing Chrome on same PC but with the new drive and fresh Win7 install.
Takes a lonnnng time and never happens.  Starts of saying it will take 3 minutes, then 5, then 7, then 14, then 49, then 3 hours, then more hours, then starts over and does the same.  I thought it was the result of slows internet speed this morning  (speedtest.net returning 2 down and 0.5 up for a while)   But its better now and a download of Chrome on anoter machine finished in a couple of minutes.  Could there be a common causal factor?
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Yes, nobus, tha's how, from step 5 on, except that it never gets 0% at "gathering files, settings and programs" in step 13.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
meant "...gets past 0%..."
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Late breaking news.  In seeking to address all issues, I connected the PC directly to my comcast modem and router.  It was conncecte through an 8 port gigabyte switch with four other machines and all connected to the modem though a powerline.  Up and down speeds and performance were fine on the other machines but not this one.  Directly connected as it is now, it's flying.  Chrome installed, etc.   Getting 181 mbps download speed. It might have also been the cable to the 8-port.
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nobusCommented:
now that's strange  - so you think it had no good internet connection, and that blocked the kbd?
it looks like you did not give us enough info to go on
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I agree that is strange (the internet connection).  The install error was too repeatable for that, at least in my experience.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
I was about to post this comment "But still a USB KB or mouse does not work and the USB ports read and write flash drives and external backup drives OK. "  But before sending it I thought I'd check if anything I did late yesterday made a difference, so I plugged in a USB KB and wonder of wonders, it started installing device drivers!!!  This never happened before. Why?  What happened to them?  It was a Dynex KB.  Drivers were installed from Window Update.  So I tried a USB mouse.  Same thing, installed device drivers.  So I tried a different KB, a Dell.  It installed drivers for it too. Consulted my notes. and it seems the last thing I did yesterday was to run the Windows 7 System Readiness Tool.

Testing other things now to see what's what.  Trying now the Inplace Upgrade, and, as before, it is stuck at 0% on "Gathering  etc"
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nobusCommented:
it get's really weird now...
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Wrapping up.  It seems now that the problem was that the drivers for the USB KB and mouse got clobbered.  I might have been able to boot with PS/2 devices from the outset, but I was a few steps into applying fixes before I discovered that..  I'm not sure what turned things around, except that the last thing I did before noticing that the machine installed drivers for the USB devices when I plugged them in on nothging more than curiosity was the Windows 7 Readiness Tool.  But ComboFix, which I ran just before that might have done it.

There is a lingering puzzlement in that plugging in a different KBs (three so far) or mouse (2 now) goes through installing drivers for each.

And of course puzzlement about cause of losing USB KB and mouse in the first place.  Does anyone have a view on that?  Is there any possible way it could have been user error?  Considering all possibilities
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Either a hardware issue or possibly BIOS Chipset
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nobusCommented:
can also be a different bios version - or problem
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you Ronald, and I was happy to help
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