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My office keyboard (P/S 2) driver is missing in device manager (yellow exclamation mark) and cannot be updated for some weird reasons I know nothing about. Then my mouse stopped working as well (tried using P/S 2 and USB). I suspect a registry error.

Another problem is that I couldn't boot to Windows XP now as I'm stuck on the Windows Genuine Advantage box — my former colleague did all the installation, so I'm not sure if it's Genuine or not as there were no stickers or cd anywhere in the office! Cannot choose from two options (Get Genuine or Resolve later) as both keyboard and mouse do not function.

Now, my friend recommended installing Ubuntu after booting first from a CD/DVD drive. My questions are:

  • Can I fix the Windows registry in Ubuntu?

  • Is there a way to fix my keyboard and mouse within Ubuntu so I can copy all important data from Windows first before reinstalling a genuine Windows?

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Fixing your keyboard and mouse operation from Ubuntu is not going to be easy. Especially without knowing what is wrong in the first place. I would not even try it.

However copying all your data while booted from a live Ubuntu CD should be trivial.

Assuming that you do not have up to date backups I would:

  1. Boot a liveCD (any liveCD should do. Ubuntu, Knoppix, ERD commander, ...)
  2. Backup all your data to some removable medium (e.g. a pen drive, an external HDD, ... )
  3. Unmount this backup and check all your data on another computer

  4. Try to fix the computer or do a clean reinstall.

I guess it is optimistic to assume that your former colleague left a document describing all used settings, software licenses etc somewhere? This could be a simple document on the network, or on a [bootable] CD inside the desktop. (This is where I usually leave an A4 with notes and a bootable CD with recovery program. Every other place where the user can see them seems to result in those going missing).

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It might indeed be a registry problem in your case. You can solve it by adjusting the UpperFilters key. You can find a complete description on how to solve the problem here:

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These are not the essential parts of the answer. Please fully explain how to solve the issue and provide the link only for reference. Your answer should be able to stand on its own, even if the site that you linked to goes offline in the future. – Oliver Salzburg Aug 15 '12 at 16:31

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