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abapexpert
1 Copper

Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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Hi,

  I'm trying to help fix a friends computer.  The XPS 400's USB ports all stopped working and we get the message "Keyboard Failure" when booting up the computer.  This error prevents me from entering the BIOS or window.  I have tried another USB keyboard with the same result and the original keyboard works fine in other computers.  Since this model does not have a PS/2 port we are stuck.  I have attempted to reset the cmos by removing the power lead from the back, removing the side, removed the cmos battery, moved the cmos jumpber from pins 1 and 2 to pin 2 and 3 and back to 1 and 2, left the computer unpluged over night, re-installing the cmos battery and still get the same error.  I have also installed another PCI USB card but it is never recognized by windows.  The boot sequence is to the A: drive then the Hard drive never going to the CD so I can not start the windows system recovery.  (Not sure what that would buy me without a keyboard.)

  Any help would be appreciated.

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ArkDavid82
1 Copper

RE: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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I received an XPS400 recently and encountered the "keyboard failure" problem.  I see throughout this thread everyone trying to eliminate power from the computer so that it might "forget" the problem.  This is not working.  Instead, I decided to disconnect my usb devices and power up the computer without them.  "Keyboard failure" still came up, so I patiently waited.  Then the computer booted up all the way.  Still no keyboard or mouse.  Now, the computer "knows" it has NO keyboard or mouse.  Then I pressed the power button until it shut off completely.  I then powered it up again and let it completely boot up, plugged in my keyboard and mouse, let it "discover new hardware, etc." - and alas - all was good.  HOWEVER - it does not stay this way.  When I power it off with the usb devices plugged in, it will not reboot,  Stupid of Dell to create such a system.

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Davet50
6 Indium

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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this is not an uncommon reported problem with the 400. Unfortunately the only remedy is to replace the motherboard. You have done all the troubleshooting steps that are normally recommended. The only other thing I might suggest would be to use a USB hub to connect the keyboard to the hub to the computer but again this is a long shot at best

 Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 10 Pro

Forum member since 2003

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tbrady80
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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Apparently,  your friends XPS 400 had this problem come up at the same time as my friends XPS 400.  You just beat me to the forum by a couple of days.

I've checked the Dell site and a motherboard is not considered a customer self-replaceable part.  Does this mean you have to get a Dell tech to swap it out?  How much does this motherboard cost?

I'd hate to tell my friend that buying a new PC may be the best option.

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Davet50
6 Indium

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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you can replace the motherboard yourself. All be it, it does take some prep and careful operations. But it can be done. A new board should run around 200. Try Dell Spare parts or Ebay.

 Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 10 Pro

Forum member since 2003

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Cloud Golf
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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We shouldn't have to do this out of our own pocket!  Dell has a social responsibility to fix this.  Too many people have paid good money for such a poorly made product that most trusted in the name of DELL!  I will not buy another Dell computer ever again and I have given them lot's of business.  What a crying shame!  Shame on you DELL!!!!

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keithg2
4 Tellurium

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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abapexpert,

Have you tried the following before considering a new motherboard?

Shutdown the PC
Unplug the power cable from the back of the PC
Press and hold the power button on the front panel for 30 secs
Plug the power cable back into the PC
Power on the PC and check USB devices

Also, you mentioned not being able to boot from your CD. You need to press F12 at boot time to get your list of devices to boot from. You'll see the CD drive in the list. Select it to boot from your CD.

Studio XPS 435T/9000 (His)
Inspiron 1720 (Hers)
Inspiron 530s (Server)

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Cloud Golf
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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I tried this process many times w/o success.  I have the power unplugged, CMOS battery out and giving it 24 hours before I try again.  This happened to me once before and I took the machine down to Bestbuy/Circuit City to get some estimates.  Bestbuy said I needed new hard drives and Circuit City said the system is fine.  I took it home, plugged it in and all was good.  Hopefully, this will be the same again today when I plug it back in.

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Cloud Golf
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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F12 won't work if your keyboard is not being recognized.  I have no mouse/keyboard..."keyboard failure" upon boot up.

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Cloud Golf
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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Well, I got home this evening and put the CMOS battery back in, plugged the machine back in and fired it up.  I still have the same problem again...nothing has changed.  The system sat overnight w/o any power and CMOS battery out and jumpers pulled and put back.  I'm afraid it looks like the M/B is fried!  I have had nothing but problems w/DELL's computers.  The first Dell I had the M/B needed to be changed.  Then the hard drive and DVD ROM went bad on it as well.  Good thing the warranty was still active.  The MPS 140 laptop just had some files that were corrupted and had to reload Windows.  My XPS 400 DVD burner went out and now the USB and M/B are no good.  Unfortunately, I have no more warranty on this machine.  System isn't old enough to be replaced right now and these are hard times to justify forking out more money to buy another system.  These situations will most definately have a huge impact on my decision to buy another DELL computer system.  I was really surprised to find that virtually every part inside the XPS 400 was made in China!!!!  No wonder why the darn thing isn't lasting!  It's really a shame that DELL doesn't take responsibility to fix these lemons since there are countless customers with the same exact problem.  It is faulty and they have a morale obligation to make it right w/their customers!  emoticon.Angry.title

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c.collier
1 Copper

Re: Keyboard Failure at startup for XPS 400

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IDK if this might be the problem or not, but if your keyboard is a USB that may be the problem, even though my computer is not the same model it is not recognized on startup, although i dont get a keyboard failure error, it just doesnt do anything.

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