Troubleshooting an External Keyboard

When you attach an external keyboard, the integrated keyboard remains fully functional. During POST, the computer checks whether an external keyboard is connected; if it is, the computer recognizes both the built-in keyboard and the external keyboard. If an attached external keyboard does not work when you boot the computer, make a copy of the Diagnostics Checklist found in Chapter 5, "Getting Help," and fill it out as you perform the following steps.

NOTE: External USB keyboards are not supported on the computer.

1. Turn off the computer, and then remove the keyboard cable and check it for bent or broken pins.

Yes. If you see bent pins and they can be straightened, straighten them and go to step 2. If they cannot be straightened, or are broken, you need a new keyboard.

2. Reconnect the keyboard to the computer.

3. Make sure the cable from the external keyboard is firmly connected to the keyboard/mouse connector on the back of the computer. (See "Checking Connections" found earlier in this chapter.)

4. Turn on the computer.

5. If you are using a keyboard that can be configured with various switch settings, make sure the switch is set to PS/2, Enhanced XT/AT, or PC/AT.

The switch settings are usually on the bottom of the keyboard, sometimes behind a panel tab. Refer to the documentation that came with the keyboard for more information.

6. Turn off the computer, wait one minute, and then turn it on again. During the boot routine, do the Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock indicators on the external keyboard blink momentarily?

No. You may have a defective keyboard. Go to step 10.

7. Does the computer recognize the external keyboard?

Use the external keyboard to type some characters. Do they appear on the display?

Yes. The problem is resolved. No. Go to step 8.

8. Turn off the computer and disconnect the external keyboard from the computer.

9. Turn on the computer. Does the computer recognize the integrated keyboard?

Allow one minute for the computer to initialize its components. Then use the computer's integrated keyboard to type some characters. Do the characters appear on the display?

Yes. The external keyboard may be defective. Run the PC-AT Compatible Keyboards device group in the Dell Diagnostics. If you cannot isolate the problem after running the diagnostics, call Dell for technical assistance.

10. Call Dell for technical assistance.

See Chapter 5, "Getting Help," for instructions.

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