USB keyboard not available for BIOS entry or Safe Boot selection


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I have a desktop PC running Windows 10 v1809, OS build 17763.134 on a Pentium G4400 CPU, with 8Gb RAM.

A while ago, I had a problem with the system going erpeatedly but randomly into an unresponsive state with minimal CPU activity and minimal disk activity - it appeared to be too busy to respond to input, but it also appeared to be doing nothing, according to Task Manager. It was a puzzle, but thankfully now that problem has gone away, without any relevant changes being made. That is also a puzzle, but not central to my enquiry, except in that it led me to try to reboot into safe mode.

I eventually worked out how to boot into safe mode, the most straightforward being "shutdown /r /o", but when I got there, I found that the keyboard was inactive - I couldn't select the safe mode option, for lack of command input.

This reminded me that I have never been able to interrupt a boot with any key on the keyboard - <ESC>, F2, <return>, whatever - to get in to the BIOS environment. I wonder if these two observations are connected, because in neither case does the <NumLock> LED come on, as it always does at some stage in the normal boot process, after which the keyboard is active.

For information, the USB plug for the keyboard is plugged directly into the motherboard USB socket array on the backplate of the system case, not through any USB hub connections, unless internal. The keyboard is a standard Dell USB component that I have used ever since my PC was a Dell Inspiron, about 300 years ago, although the motherboard is a more recent MSI MS-7982 with Pentium G4400 CPU @ 3.30GHz.

Can anyone throw any light on this conundrum? How can I make the keyboard active from the very start of the boot process? Might a keyboard with a PS2 connection behave any different?
 
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What I have seen with USB keyboards, Wired or Wireless, is they have to be plugged into USB 2 ports [black], not the USB 3 ports [usually blue]. The issue with those was that the BIOS supports USB 2 natively [Legacy setting] while USB 3 needs drivers that don't load until Windows does. Some newer motherboards may have only USB 3 ports and should fall back to USB 2 but the BIOS is probably set for that.
 
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Thanks, Bighorn.
I'll have a look at the colour of the USB ports on the backplane - maybe you've got the answer.
I will post back here, depending on what I find.
 
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Does the system have a PS/2 input for the keyboard?
Actually, I don't know, without dragging the box out of the cabinet it's in, and looking. I don't remember seeing one.
I only mentioned it, in case the USB cable to the keyboard I have is lacking the necessary connection to signal its presence to the BIOS at boot time.

I haven't yet dragged the box out of the cabinet it's in to look for the identifying colour of the USB sockets, telling whether they're configured for USB 2 or USB 3. I'm hoping that's the solution to my problem, but I don't know yet.
 
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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Believe it or not there are some BIOS (firmware) versions out there where you have to find a setting that references "Legacy USB" and enable that in order to get your USB devices to behave properly.
Of course you will likely need a ps2 keyboard if your system is not currently letting you into the BIOS using the proper keyboard input at boot time.

NOTE: Sometimes as a result of "fast boot" you may have to press and possibly hold the proper keys on the keyboard before actually applying power to the system via the power button.
 

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