Keyboard Failure error on bootup - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Keyboard Failure error on bootup


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Keyboard Failure error on bootup

  • I have a Dimension 9150 with Windows XP Pro OS.  During usage, all at once action froze...the computer no longer responded to the keyboard. Upon rebooting, the system stopped during BIOS boot and indicated keyboard failure. Thereafter no response indicated from keyboard. We tried replacing the keyboard...problem persisted.  The solution was to unplug the power cord. That cleared something. Everything worked fine after that for about another 2 weeks. Then all at once it happened again. Same remedy worked again. That was a few days ago. But now I'm worried that something is about to quit permanently. Is it the onboard ROM? Or the main CPU?

  • I've had similar problems with my 9200 and I'm pretty certain it was due to static discharge when connecting a USB device.  In one case the machine crashed.  In the other, the USB devices all stopped working.  Both times I had to pull the power cord and press the power button to get the USB devices working again.

    Now I am more careful to discharge any static before inserting USB devices.

    (Our humidity can get quite low this time of year ... 30% or so)

  • Thanks, Peter.  I hope it's as simple as that.  It is the right time of year as you say.  My doubt stems from the fact that we were just using the computer normally when all at once it froze up.  We were not in the process of plugging in a USB device at that time.  But I suppose the static could still have an effect.  I gather that in your case it did not cause permanent damage.



  • In my case, everything seems to working fine.  I was pretty certain I needed a new motherboard the first time though.

    Yes, your case is different.  I would run extended diagnostics particularly on the memory to make sure it is ok.

    Also, check inside to make sure everything is seated properly (RAM, cables, cards). 

    The fact that you have to pull the power cord to get it working again is odd.

  • Thanks

  • I read the post about static discharge, unplugged the power and plugged it back in, now it works! Mine is a Dimension 91000.  Was working online, lost my pointer, shut the system down and it restarted with the Bios scree stating Keyboard error Drive 0 not found.  Since it wouldn't recognize the keyboard, the 3rd keyboard I tried, it would not allow the F1 or F2 command.  Decided to check the posts and this was my first step beforing calling tech support.  thank you!

  • Problem is usually caused by single switch bootup. Keyboard gets recognized last. Try bios fix or have USB devices, external drive, printer etc. start separately.
  • The original problem occurred about 4 months ago.  I have done nothing.  The problem so far has not re-occurred.  The computer gets used about all day all weekdays.
  • Wanted to follow up on this keyboard issue...


    Had the computer tech out 3 times after the static discharge issue failed too. It was a 24 hour fix, if that. He reset the Bios and said everything was working, hours later I could hear the USB sound as the keyboard failed. We ended up replacing the motherboard on a 2 year old computer that I use for business and online shopping...seemed like a crazy idea.  Within an hour of the new motherboard install I had the same issue again! 


    The fix? A Wireless keyboard! I actually had the first one go out in 2 weeks and trust me, I'm not much of a typist!  Replaced it and I haven't had any issues since May, I think.  Whatever was going on internally was never resolved, but the new wireless has resolved my problem. 

  • Well, obviously neither of us can say it's cured forever, but I will admit along with you that a few months of steady success kinda smells like long term success.
  • Yesterday afternoon, my XPS froze up and I had to shut it down with the power switch on the front of the case.  Everytime I tried to turn it on, I got the message "keyboard failure".  I shut it down for about 8 hours and then tried to turn it on last night.  I received the same message "keyboard failure".  I figured that I would have to buy a new keyboard this morning.  Sad  I am lucky to own a laptop and was even more fortunate to find this thread related to "keyboard failure" so I turned off everything at my surge protector, left it off for a minute, turned the surge protector back on, and pushed the power button on the front of the case.  VIOLA!!!  It booted fine but since it was late, I turned it off and went to bed.  This morning I turned the computer on and for the past 9 hours everything has been working fine.  Thank you for the "unplug & plug back in" procedure since I would have wasted a lot of time replacing the keyboard and had I not turned the surge protector off and back on or unplugged the power from the wall, I suspect that I would have had the same problem.  Smile

  • Thanks, unplugging worked for me, for now.

  • same problem with Studio 540

    Thank you

  • @Rob_Foster

    This is very old thread. You should have started a new thread...

    We need more details.

    When does keyboard stop working?

    Can you press F2 and open BIOS setup before Windows (what version?) loads?

    Do you get any error messages?

    Does it get to the Windows desktop?

    Have you tried a different keyboard?

    What have you already tried so far to fix this?


    If this answers your question, please click  Yes


    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Sorry, I meant that following the described procedure for unplugging the desktop, waiting, plugging it back in, that the problem was corrected upon restart.  I isolated that the problem was the desktop and not the keyboard after successfully testing the keyboard on another system.

    The problem occurred with a "Keyboard error" message during startup, while the keyboard and mouse was completely unresponsive.  That is, I could not press F2 during startup.  The system would boot to the windows login, but with an unresponsive keyboard and mouse.  I should clarify that we have a Dell wireless keyboard & mouse that use a single USB wireless transmitter/receiver.  Initially I tried moving the transmitter to a different USB port, and also adding a USB mouse, but the system would not recognize the new device either.  Seems the USB interface was lost.  I have seen computers lose their USB devices while in an environment of static charge buildup.  I have a small demonstration Van de Graaf generator in my classroom at school and when it operates the USB mouse on the desktop becomes unresponsive, but is fixed when one unplugs and plugs back in the USB cable on the mouse. 

    There may be something to the previous comment that the problem occurs when static charges buildup.  I'm typing this reply now on the system, so it is corrected as of this time.  If it recurs I will likely replace the power supply.

    Thank you for your response,