Windows XP Re installation – Keyboard not recognized.

Scenario:  XP on my old Dell 4700 is hosed, we’ve already backed up any data off the disk to another disk and it is time to re-image.  Pop in “Reinstallation CD, MS Windows XP Home Edition including Service Pack 2 (this is like four years old or something).  With the BIOS, coax the system to boot off the CD by taking the SADA disks out of the boot sequence.  The system boots off the CD – at the installation screen you get  to the prompt to hit ‘Enter’ to install, ‘R’ to repair an installation and ‘F3’ to quit).     Problem:  the keyboard is dead and will not respond to input.

I have a keyboard with the round purple PS/2 connector and not a USB keyboard.  Similar problems are reported with the USB however.

Solution:   Disconnect the mouse, network, USB drives.  Start the boot from CD.  When the system starts to boot off the CD, hit the SHIFT key at points during the boot process especially when the installer seems to be listening for keyboard input.

This somehow jolts the program to accept keyboard input  at the actual installation screen.

There will be a point after windows boots where the mouse is now active.  Plug the mouse in.  You may have to hit SHIFT again here to get normal operation.  Sheesh!

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