Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently bought a 24 year old IBM Model M keyboard. From what I gather, it'd been left on a shelf for the last 5 years, so you can imagine the amount of dust dirt and crap that was on it. Before cleaning it, I plugged it in to my laptop (running Fedora 17) using a PS/2 to USB adapter. What I found was, while it still works, the keys I press don't correspond to what is displayed on the screen. So for example, when I type S on the keyboard, I get ß display on the screen instead. At the time, I put this down to the adapter not working properly.

Since then, I stripped the keys off the keyboard and cleaned the whole thing. It looks like it's just come out of a box! I then plugged it in to my computer (also running Fedora 17) via a standard PS/2 plug. The computer loaded up to the login screen, and I typed in my password. Pressed enter, and I logged straight in to my machine.

At this point, I opened up a text editor and started typing some stuff. To my horror, the keystrokes I was entering weren't coming up as intended. What came up instead were characters that would map to the pressed key but only under a different keyboard language setting.

I opened up a program to see what keyboard language had been selected, and the correct one for the keyboard was selected (which is UK in my case). I opened up a window that would show what characters mapped to what keys, and I pressed every single key on the keyboard, and every corresponding block representing each key lit up. I went back to the text editor to try again, but I was still getting these random characters. Whats more is that the backspace key would not work, although in the other utility it would flash when pressed.

What I know is that at the login screen the keyboard must have entered the correct characters, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to log in. Further more, keys that don't respond while using a text editor as sending signals to the computer, as illustrated in that keyboard utility. The question is why random characters are displayed when they really shouldn't be? Would this be a hardware fault or a software issue?

share|improve this question
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.