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Hi. I am having the same problem on my two-year-old (out of warranty) XPS 400. Suddenly I am getting "keyboard failue" during boot up. Many posters have said "hit F2" or "F8" but--hello--if the keyboad is disabled I can't hit anything!
I have tried all of the USB ports, front and back, and it makes no difference. I bought a new MS optical keyboard, and it does not work either.
Also, I cannot find a system disk so I am thinking the unit shipped without one. I saw somewhere on dell.com that Dell would send such a disk, but now I cannot find that page to request one.
Any practical suggestions would be appeciated.
Something else to try that worked for me on my 410:
Studio XPS 435T/9000 (His)Inspiron 1720 (Hers)Inspiron 530s (Server)
I am having the same problem as the original poster - fixed a "frozen" situation by restarting, now get "keyboard failure" at boot on my XPS 400 purchased in Jan 06. Seems like this is a common problem out there for Dell's. Problem is definitely not the keyboard as it works on a laptop. No PS2 connection, only USB. No USB ports work, therefore can't do any diagnostics by keyboard.
Tried to "flash the bios" as suggested elsewhere on the 'net by playing with the jumper blocks. did not work.
a search of this failure on this site and on google generally will reveal that this has happened to lots of Dell buyers, yet there does not appear to be any solutions out there other than to replace the motherboard, i.e., buy a new computer. would love for a moderator to address this.
What happens if you boot from Dell Windows Reinstallation CD, or other bootable CD? If keyboard works, you have a software failure. If not, you have motherboard or keyboard failure. Have you tried this keyboard on another PC or another keyboard on this PC?
Power off and disconnect PC from the wall. Press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and remove the battery from the motherboard. Leave it that way for a couple of hours or even overnight. Reinstall the battery (right-side up!) and see if it will boot with only USB keyboard and mouse, and monitor connected.
And you may need to do a Repair/Reinstall of XP.
8th attempt to post.
Nothing different happens upon using the CD. Keyboard definitely works. Have removed the battery previously, though not for hours, and no change. I suspect it's the motherboard though I'm angry that it would go after less than 3 years of not very heavy use. Can't figure out the part # for the motherboard in order to see how much it would cost to replace it. Suggestions on how to find the part #? Can one write directly to the liasions here to get their attention - as I've said before and as you can see from this thread alone, this is a widespread problem deserving of Dell's attention. thanks.
When you power it on with the keyboard and mouse plugged into rear PC USB ports, what color are the Diagnostic Lights and the Power button light? The motherboard part number is HG547 (Motherboard Service Kit for Prescott & Smithfield CPUs).
PCs - XPS 730X, XPS 730, XPS 630, XPS Generation 1, Dimension 4500Monitors - 2407WFP, E248WFP, 2208WFP, SE198WFP, SE198WFP
Diagnostic lights and power button light are green. Lights 1,2, & 3 stay on. Two beeps at final screen of interrupted boot, screen message is keyboard failure and Floppy diskette seek failure. Above the failure messages are "Dell DXP051 Series" and "BIOS version A02".
No floppy drive on computer. Keyboard and mouse are dell optical variety, both work on my laptop. USB transmitter seems like it does not get proper power/signal when connected to desktop. I've tried taking the battery out and removing then replacing the jumper. Not a computer expert by any means, just know enough to be dangerous. Only discernible part # on the MB is about 12 digits long. Appreciate any help you can provide.
Additionally, all the USB ports function sufficiently to charge an IPOD, though none of them appear to recognize a wired keyboard/mouse or wireless receiver.
It looks like the motherboard needs to be replaced.
HG547 Motherboard Service Kit for Prescott & Smithfield CPUsHJ073 Motherboard Service Kit for Presler CPUs
I called spare parts, they said they are out of HG547 but assured me that FJ030 was compatible. Can you verify that?
I read many suggestions for the "keyboard failure" problem and this is the one that worked. I have an XPS 400. Thanks !