Can type
September 19, 2006 12:43 PM   Subscribe

The character keys on my desktop keyboard have stopped working -- but the auto keys work fine. What's going on?

I can't type a character -- numbers, letters, punctuation, you name it. But the auto keys for the windows menu, calculator, calendar, etc. all work fine. And the keyboard function lights all work fine. I thought it was a bad keyboard so I just went out and bought a new one and still have the same problem. Is this a bad PS/2 port or something else? The Device Manager recognizes the keyboard and says it is functioning properly.
Any ideas/suggestions welcome.
posted by terrier319 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
badly written keylogger? Installed any new software lately? Any opportunities for a trojan to jump in? Just a wild guess.
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on September 19, 2006

My powerbook did this the other day when I kicked off my screensaver. Only about half my keys were working and a reboot seemed to fix everything. Have you tried a reboot and does the problem persist?
posted by chrisroberts at 1:42 PM on September 19, 2006

Is there something going on with your Accessability options, like FilterKeys?
posted by kc0dxh at 1:51 PM on September 19, 2006

Quick troubleshooting test --

Reboot the computer and after the BIOS screen, tap F8 on your keyboard. You should get a Windows Startup menu. Select the option for Safe Mode. Once in safe mode, open up notepad and see if all your keys work there or not. (To get back to Normal mode, just reboot the computer and don't hit any keys).

If they do work, you're probably looking at a virus/keylogger like GuyZero said. If not, could be a problem with PS/2 communication.
posted by Nerro at 1:55 PM on September 19, 2006

Did you tighten your keyboard connection at the back of the computer?
A friend of mine was typing gibberish, and that was the problem.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:12 PM on September 19, 2006

Sorry. Missed the part about the second keyboard. Obviously not the connections.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:28 PM on September 19, 2006

What happens when you try typing one of the non-working keys? Do you get a different key than the one you were expecting, or do you get no key at all?

What happens if you start your computer with a DOS boot floppy or a Linux live CD?
posted by flabdablet at 7:07 PM on September 19, 2006

Almost all keyboards nowadays have a usb connector and a ps2 connector. If the ps2 post wasn't working but the special functions were, it would cause exactly the problem you describe, according to the troubleshooting guide for my microsoft usb keyboard.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:54 PM on September 19, 2006

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