Most keys on keyboard no longer work

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Strange problem…all of a sudden the keyboard stopped working. First it was the mouse AND keyboard, but I unplugged the mouse and then plugged it back in…now the mouse is working but they keyboard isn’t. When I say the keyboard isn’t working, specifically I mean:

  • It is powered, and the numlock is lit.
  • Most of the keys do NOT work…only F5 works. I know this because opening up notepad and hitting F5 inserts the date. Also, the ‘power’ button on the keyboard (the one that sends the command to shut down the computer) also works.

This initially happened on my PS/2 keyboard, so I unplugged it and plugged in a rubber USB keyboard (the one that has the power button on it). Same deal. So I’m guessing it isn’t specifically the keyboard that’s the problem. So I uninstalled the keyboard from the device manager and then shut down the computer. I unplugged the power cable and held the power button for 20 seconds. I plugged the power cable back in and pressed the power button. It lit up for a split second then went dark again. I then hit it again and it boots up. The problem persists.

Windows Server 2008 on IBM ThinkCentre pc. I had installed windows updates recently and also installed a UPS. The UPS came first. I cannot go into BIOS settings because the keys aren’t being sent!


  • try to reset the bios (remove battery)
  • try a linux live cd/dvd, see if the keyboard works
  • from windows look at the running processes

It is rare that PS/2 port go on the fritz, but anyting can happen.

You may want to borrow a USB keyboard and test. This may at least get you into bios where you can ensure that legacey support for keyboard and mouse are enabled. Then hook up PS/2 keyboard and mouse, boot up and see if they work. If not, the port(s) could have gone bad.

If the USB keyboard worked, it may be time to move to that instead of the PS/2 equipment. You can get them relativly cheap.

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