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Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

Hi all,

      I have a Dell Dimension C521 with a keyboard problem:

Keyboard works during boot and in BIOS

Keyboard DOES WORK in Windows XP safe mode

Keyboard DOES NOT WORK in Windows XP normal mode

This problem started the other day without warning.  Normally I would use System Restore to fix this but system restore was turned off.  I have checked the kbdclass filer in the Registry and that was ok.  Because it works in safe mode i know it's a driver issue, but I'm not sure what else to look at and I need major help here.

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

Assuming it's a USB keyboard:

  1. Boot in Safe Mode
  2. Manually set a system restore point to be safe
  3. Open Device Manager and expand list under USB
  4. Right-click each USB root hub and select Uninstall
  5. Save the one connected to mouse for last
  6. Force shut down
  7. Reboot normally and XP should reinstall the USB ports automatically

See if that solves the problem...

I presume you know that Microsoft doesn't support XP and IE8 anymore so there are lots of security holes that were never patched. Your PC is at risk for malware infections if you go on line...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

I just tried that and all the root hubs reinstalled and the keyboard is still dead.  and yes, I know about XP and this machine has to run XP because of what's on it.

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

Any other ideas?

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

Does the LED(s) on the keyboard go off after Windows loads? In other words, is the keyboard losing power or just being ignored by Windows? 

Can you test this keyboard on a different PC or a different keyboard on this PC?

What happens if you boot from a bootable CD such as your Dell Win XP Reinstallation Disk?

You might have to do a Repair Reinstall of XP. But the reinstallation disk has to have the exact same version of Windows as is on the hard drive, eg Win XP Home or Pro, and the CD has to have the same service pack as is on the HDD, eg SP3.

If your disk doesn't have SP3, there are ways to slip-stream SP3 (I presume you can still download the Service Pack for free from Microsoft) into XP and create a new installation disk.  See here, as one example for creating  the slip-streamed CD.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

Ron,

     The 3 LED's work fine at the BIOS level, then become unresponsive when Windows begins to load.  Other keyboards behave the same way when tested and I suspect that the reinstall disk will work just fine.  I will make it today.  I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

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RE: Dell Dimension C521 Keyboard dead After Windows starts

You might also try using a USB hub with its own external power brick.

Plug the brick into the wall and the hub into a rear USB port. Connect the keyboard through the hub and reboot. If that works, you have a work-around for the moment.

If that doesn't work, you'll likely need to try a repair. A repair shouldn't affect your personal files but you'll probably need to install a lot of XP updates. If your files aren't already backed up on external media, you might want to install the HDD as a secondary drive in another PC to copy your files.

Alternatively install the HDD in an external case that will allow you to connect the drive to a USB port on another PC to copy your files.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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