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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Wired Keyboard Troubleshooting (Windows Vista)

This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Microsoft Windows Vista.

Troubleshoot common keyboard problems.

Select one of the following symptoms that best matches the problem you are experiencing:

NOTE: If you do not see the symptom in the preceding list and the keyboard is wireless, use the support document Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Troubleshooting .

Stuck key

If a key is physically stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace the keyboard. If the keyboard is under warranty, call the manufacturer to determine if it can be replaced. If it is not under warranty, you might be able to save it by removing and cleaning the stuck key. Most keys can be removed by inserting a butter knife (or similar tool) under the key and prying up. After the key has been removed, using a swab with alcohol, clean the underside of the key and the key's slot in the keyboard. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.

Other tips to consider when encountering a stuck key:

  • Turn off the computer and before working on keyboard.

  • Contact HP if the keyboard is still under warranty and the key is stuck, to determine if the keyboard can be replaced before removing a key. If the key is stuck due to liquid or other substance getting into the keyboard, cleaning might be the only option to try to save the keyboard.

  • Insert the small metal support rod found in the longer keys such as the Space and Return keys. This rod must be inserted into the key and keyboard before replacing the key into the keyboard.

  • Consider replacing the keyboard if it is a thin, wireless keyboard, such as those used by TouchSmart IQ series computers, as the individual key can be very difficult to replace.

Figure 1: Removing and cleaning a stuck key

Key removal

Pressing a key once types several characters

If two or more characters appear when pressing a key, use the following steps to adjust the key repeat delay:

  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel .

  2. Click Hardware and Sound , and then click Keyboard .

    The Keyboard Properties page opens.

  3. Set the Repeat delay slider to Long , and click OK .

    Figure 2: Keyboard Repeat delay setting

    Keyboard Repeat delay setting
  4. If this problem continues, reinstall and update the keyboard software .

Computer beeps while typing

If the computer sometimes beeps while you are typing, Toggle keys and/or Sticky keys are active. The Toggle Keys can emit a beep when the Lock keys are pressed. The Sticky Keys function can emit a beep when the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and Lock keys are pressed. Use the following steps to disable Toggle Keys:

  1. Click Start , and type Ease into the Start Search field.

  2. Select Ease of access from the Programs list.

  3. Scroll down the page and select Make the keyboard easier to use .

  4. If selected, remove the selection from Turn on Sticky Keys .

  5. Click Set up Sticky keys .

  6. Remove the selection from Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times .

  7. Click Save .

  8. Remove the selection from Turn on Toggle Keys .

  9. If selected, remove the selection from Turn on Toggle Keys by holding down the NUM LOCK key for 5 seconds .

  10. Click Save .

    The beeps no longer sound.

Key presses are slow to respond

If there is a short delay from the time a key is pressed to the time the character appears on the screen, the Filter Keys function might be activated. The Filter Key function provides a greater range of key press options to fine tune key delays and prevent inadvertent key presses. To disable Filter Keys and return to the default keyboard behavior, use the following steps:

  1. Click Start , and type Ease into the Start Search field.

  2. Select Ease of access from Programs list.

  3. Scroll down the page and select Make the keyboard easier to use .

  4. Remove the selection from Turn on Filter Keys .

  5. Click Set up Filter Keys .

  6. Remove the selection from Turn on Filter Keys when SHIFT is pressed for 8 seconds .

  7. Click Save . The keys should be more responsive.

Wrong characters appear when typing, changing keyboard language, or Dvorak

If the wrong characters appear when you are typing or you are trying to use a keyboard that is different than the one that came with the computer, use the following steps to synchronize Windows to the type of keyboard you have:

  1. Click Start , and type region into the Start Search field.

  2. Select the Keyboards and Languages tab.

  3. Click Change Keyboards .

    A Text Services and Input Languages window opens.

    Figure 3: Change Keyboard button

    Change Keyboard button
  4. Click Add .

    Figure 4: Add button

    Add button
  5. Select the keyboard(s) you want to use and click OK .

    Figure 5: Add input language: US Dvorak keyboard selected

    Add input language: US Dvorak keyboard selected

    The new keyboard is added to the list of available keyboards and a keyboard icon appears on the system tray, so you can switch between the keyboards that you want to use.

    Figure 6: Keyboard tray icon

    Keyboard tray icon
  6. From the Text Services and Input Languages window, select the new keyboard in the list and click Move up until it is first in the list. This makes it the default keyboard.

    Figure 7: Move up button

    Move up button
  7. Click OK . You can now use the new keyboard. If you find that the new keyboard works well and you do not want to use the other keyboard, repeat these steps and Remove the keyboard that you do not want from the General tab of the Text Services and Input Languages window.

Problems with extra buttons or volume control

The volume control and the keys for extra keyboard features such as Internet or E-mail are controlled by additional HP software (kbd.exe). If any of the following symptoms are present, reinstall and update the keyboard software

  • A message is displayed stating that kbd.exe has stopped working .

  • You have problems configuring the extra keyboard keys.

  • The volume does not adjust when using the keyboard volume controls.

Keyboard does not work

Before troubleshooting the keyboard, find out what kind of wired keyboard you have by looking at the end of the keyboard cable and comparing it to the following images:

Keyboard connector type
Keyboard connector image
PS/2
PS/2 connector
USB
USB connector

If the keyboard has stopped responding, press the Ctrl + Esc keys at the same time and note what happens:

  • If the Windows Start menu opens, the keyboard is working and the software that you are using has stopped responding. Select the software program using the mouse pointer and press Alt + F4 at the same time to close the program that has stopped responding.

  • If the Windows Start menu does not open, the keyboard or operating system has stopped responding. Use the following steps to check connections and properly synchronize the keyboard to the BIOS and Windows.

Reset the keyboard

  1. Shut down the computer (do not restart).

  2. With the computer fully off, disconnect all devices connected to the computer except for the monitor.

  3. For PS/2 keyboards, inspect the connector at the end of the keyboard cable. If you find pins that are bent, attempt to straighten the pins with the tip of a retracted ball-point pen. If pins are bent beyond repair or are broken, replace the keyboard. Make sure any broken pins are not lodged inside one of the holes in PS/2 connector on the computer. If so, the broken pin must be removed from the hole before another keyboard can be connected.

  4. Reconnect the keyboard. For USB keyboards, connect the keyboard into a USB connector on the back of the computer that was not previously used.

  5. With only the Keyboard and monitor connected, turn on the computer. Let Windows open to the Windows Desktop, press the Ctrl + Esc keys at the same time, and note what happens:

    • If the Windows Start menu opens, the keyboard is now working. There was a connection problem. Use the arrow keys to shut down the computer. Reconnect your other devices, including the mouse.

    • If the Windows Start menu does not open, the keyboard might be bad. Connect the keyboard to another computer to see if it is bad. Replace the keyboard if it does not work wtih another computer. If the keyboard works on another computer, shut down your computer and continue using these steps:

  6. Reconnect the keyboard to the computer.

  7. Turn on the computer and immediately begin pressing the F8 key repeatedly until an Advanced Boot Options screen appears.

  8. Select Safe Mode , and press Enter .

    If a logon page opens, log on to your computer using a user account that has administrator rights. If you don't know your password, press Enter .

    Windows opens in Safe Mode.

  9. Click Start , type device manager into the Start Search field, and press Enter .

    Device Manager opens.

  10. Click View and select Show Hidden Devices .

    Figure 8: Show hidden devices

    Show hidden devices
  11. Click the Plus Sign (+ ) next to Keyboard, right-click a keyboard device name listed under Keyboard, and then click the Uninstall button to remove the device from Windows.

    Figure 9: Uninstall button

    Uninstall button
  12. Continue removing device names in the keyboard category until all device names have been uninstalled.

  13. Leave the keyboard connected to the computer and restart the computer.

  14. The keyboard should now work correctly. If the keyboard still fails, reinstall and update the keyboard software .

Reinstalling and Updating the keyboard software

HP and Compaq keyboards use special software (kbd.exe) in addition to the normal keyboard drivers that come with Windows. This software provides extra functionality for the extra multimedia keys, Internet keys, and the volume control (on some keyboards).

Step 1: Restore the original keyboard drivers

Use one of the following methods to restore the original keyboard drivers.

Use Recovery Manager

  1. From the Windows Vista desktop, click Start , click All Programs , and then click PC Help & Tools .

  2. Under PC Help & Tools, click Recovery Manager .

    If a User Account Control window opens, click Continue .

    The Recovery Manager Welcome screen appears.

    Figure 10: Welcome to the Recovery Manager screen

    Welcome to the Recovery Manager screen
  3. Click Next .

  4. On the Reinstall Software Programs screen, click No, I would like to see other options. Then click Next .

  5. On the Driver Reinstaller screen, click Yes . Then click Next .

  6. On the Welcome to the Hardware Driver Reinstaller screen, click Next .

  7. In the list of factory-installed drivers, click the Keyboard driver to select it.

    Figure 11: Select a driver to reinstall screen

    Select a driver to reinstall screen
  8. Click Next .

  9. When the driver is finished installing, the Reinstallation is complete screen is displayed.

    Click Finish to restart the computer.

  10. After the computer restarts, continue to Step 2 to see whether an update for the keyboard driver is available from the HP Web site.

Download the original keyboard drivers from the HP Web site

Use the following steps to download the original keyboard drivers from the HP Web site.

  1. Go to the HP Software download page .

  2. If you are presented with a page to enter your model number, enter your model number. For example, Pavilion p6230f or TouchSmart 600-1050uk.

  3. Select the version of Windows the computer is using.

  4. Click the Original Drivers link.

  5. Click Original HP Keyboard Driver .

  6. Follow the instructions on the download page to download and install the driver.

  7. When done, restart the computer.

  8. After the computer restarts, continue to Step 2 to see whether an update for the keyboard driver is available from the HP Web site.

Step 2: Update the keyboard driver from the HP Web site

Use the following steps to download an updated keyboard driver from the HP Web site.

  1. Go to the HP Software download page .

  2. If you are presented with a page to enter your model number, enter your model number. For example, Pavilion p6230f or TouchSmart 600-1050uk.

  3. Select the version of Windows the computer is using.

  4. Click the Driver - Keyboard, Mouse, and Input Devices link.

  5. Select the keyboard update. For example, HP Multimedia Keyboard/Mouse Driver Update.

    If no update is available, you already have the latest keyboard drivers.

  6. Follow the instructions on the download page to download and install the driver.

  7. When done, restart the computer.

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