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I have an Apple keyboard and I want to connect it to my PC at work. They have the USB ports disabled. I tried using a USB to PS/2 adapter but that didn't work. CapsLock light wasn't even lighting up, so there must not be enough power in the PS/2 port to get the keyboard to work. Any ideas would be appreciated. Does anyone know of a working solution for this?

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migrated from Oct 27 '10 at 19:56

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

What do you mean by PS3 to USB adapter? I thought PS3s took USB natively? – Charles Hooper Oct 27 '10 at 19:20

I assume you mean PS/2 adapter, not PS3 as in PlayStation, based on your context. If that's the case, there's tons of cheap adapters out there:,23864,26637,27048,27101,27103,27164,27182&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=ps2+usb+adapter&cp=8&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=f&aqi=g5&aql=&oq=ps2+usb+&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=4ba096ba63ca8429

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Whoops. Totally meant PS/2. – Sixty4Bit Oct 27 '10 at 19:39

Are you sure the PC has USB ports disabled? Have you tried a non-Mac USB keyboard? Have you tried a PS/2 keyboard in there? (make sure the PS/2 port is OK!) If they were really disabled, you could try enabling them in the BIOS. Have you tried the Mac USB keyboard in a PC's USB port (where the PC doesn't have USB disabled)?

Maybe Mac keyboards are different.

I have used a USB keyboard loads of times, with those little adaptors and they work absolutely fine. And regarding power.. PS/2 and USB are both 5 V.

It's actually PS/2 in a USB port that have an issue! And need a big style adaptor... But USB in PS/2 - never a problem! I've only used PCs though.

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Yes, USB ports are disabled. Yes, non Mac USB keyboards don't work either. Yes, PS/2 keyboards do work. Can't enable the USB since it is locked down by the IT department (password protected and everything). – Sixty4Bit Oct 27 '10 at 23:11
Could be the adaptor is bad.. i've had some that work in some computer's and not others(or perhaps, some usb ports and not otherS). And i've had other usb-ps2 adaptors that worked in both comps.. A pack I bought on ebay all were "strict", then a pack I bought elsewhere maybe an lectronics shop, were better and worked in both comps.. The one that looked like this… didn't.. but hte slightly smaller one looked like did. Just was a better build. – barlop Oct 27 '10 at 23:29
you may not have hte same experience with the size of them.. but it may be a bad usb-ps2 adaptor.. I have even had a VGA connector on a VGA card in a sony vaio desktop, that was so "strict" that it would only work with one monitor I had! And other monitors weren't working with it. Sometimes you get these weird incompatibilities. You may have a very picky adaptor and/or picky ps2 ports! You could try that keyboard and adaptor, on other computers. I haven't encountered picky ps2 ports. I have encountered picky usb ports and certainly picky usb-ps2 adaptors, It could be the adaptor is funny. – barlop Oct 27 '10 at 23:34
I would try other usb-ps2 adaptors (perhaps better if not the same model adaptor) since i've had whole packs of them not working. And, I would try the same keyb and adaptor, in other computers. – barlop Oct 27 '10 at 23:35

Most cheap USB-PS/2 adapters won't work, because they just connect the signals straight through without translating them - some keyboards and mice are capable of "speaking" both USB and PS/2 protocols, and for those these simple adapters work fine - but if the keyboard only speaks USB, they won't work at all, as you have found.

It is possible to create an adapter that "translates" from USB to PS/2, but these seem to be rather hard to find. Here is one from Startech which appears to do the job (I have not tested it) - but it comes with a hefty price tag!

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