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I have a 2 yr old Dell home computer that has been working fine. Today my son was downloading onto his Ipod and then left the house. I came in and noticed he had rebooted the computer and it got stuck, now the keypad nor the mouse is working.

I changed the keyboard and the mouse and still nothing is working. Is this from a virus or is it something simple ?

This is a Dell XPS 420 running on Vista,using a Saitek Eclipse keyboard and the Dell wired mouse that came with unit with USB connections.I did change the keyboard and put the original Dell keyboard and used my Microsoft wireless mouse from my laptop and I also cleanded the cobwebs out of the tower. I rebooted it, when the power is turned on the keyboard and mouse both lite up for about ten seconds then go out again none of the buttons will work on any unit?

Update: I have the problem of no power to keyboard or mouse,I had to put in safe mode by unplugging power then i believe i pressed the F8 key to get into screen startup mode where i put it safe mode then continued with start-up where after 6 to 8 seconds after power to the keyboard and mouse stopped

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closed as off topic by random, Ivo Flipse Jan 27 '10 at 7:22

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How did you type this question up? –  random Oct 9 '09 at 3:30
Maybe this question was typed up on a smart phone. Who knows, but the curiosity is piqued. –  random Oct 9 '09 at 3:44
@hyperslug That's too logical an answer. –  random Oct 9 '09 at 5:03
@hyperslug and é_ho, I'll vote both your answers if none of you are right. My money's on telepathic connection to SU. –  alex Oct 9 '09 at 6:35
Guys, really now. It's pretty obvious he used a second router and a complex collection of tin cans to fabricate the packets needed to ask this question. Getting the answer shouldn't be hard - like all of us, his PC opens SU on startup. –  Phoshi Oct 9 '09 at 20:13

4 Answers 4

I'd go with hyperslug:

I assume a Windows OS, XP maybe? Does the keyboard work on boot? Can you press del / F1 / F12 to get into BIOS? Are they both a USB mouse and keyboard? At what point did it get stuck in the boot process?

Have you tried making sure everything is plugged in correctly and restarting the computer? Sometimes problems like this tend to fix themselves with a simple reboot.

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Hi, and welcome to Super User (and the rest of the family)! When posting a question, it probably is better if you don't rely on the comments to provide an understand of your answer. What you should do, is quote the relevant parts of the comment you were talking about in your answer. –  David Pearce Oct 9 '09 at 12:38
Comments don't render without JS, I believe, so the quoting is really quite important for search engine things, if nothing else. –  Phoshi Oct 9 '09 at 20:15
I believe the top n comments are loaded automatically, with the rest javascripted in place. But this is a very good point for those comments located 'under the fold'. –  David Pearce Oct 9 '09 at 20:56

I'm not sure when DELL quit using PS/2, but if this is a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, they can only go in a certain configuration with the keyboard on the bottom and mouse on the top. Reversing them will not allow them to work.

alt text

PS/2 ports can go bad if you hot plug them.

If this is PS/2 or USB, the best first step is to get a known good keyboard and mouse to see if the failure is your system or keyboard/mouse.

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All these screens will come up at start-up and since I posted this question I put it into safe mode to attempt to remove all of I-tunes, a friend of mine said the newer version 7.0 I-tunes has conflicts with Windows and told me to try this I guess according to him that downloading the newer 7.0 I-tunes could mess up the USB ports, well I did I was able to use directional keys only in safe mode and then while rebooting back up keyboard power would go out in about 10 seconds I did not hear any beeps.And by the way my son had been on I-tunes at the time of the freeze-up,and a pop-up was on the screen saying some audio from I-tunes was turned off and that led me to attempt to remove I-tunes but even in safe mode I could not remove any programs or even get the mouse to work and no we did not have any lightning storms.

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"All these screens will come up at start-up" How do you control the computer to cause it to boot normally or to make it turn off 10 seconds after turning on? Is it random? BTW, you should use your original account instead of making a new one. –  hyperslug Oct 11 '09 at 8:46
Also, since you visit very infrequently, try to give us as much detail as possible on each visit. But we understand b/c you're probably posting all this from an iPhone, right? –  hyperslug Oct 12 '09 at 0:34
@Mike, press F8 repeatedly to get to screen 2 (imgur.com/Rnfr5.gif) and select Last Known Good Configuration instead of Safe Mode. Tell us what happens. –  hyperslug Oct 13 '09 at 4:03

Still need more info. Do you hear any beeps?

Does the screen remain blank or do you see any of the following screens within 10 seconds?

alt text

If the screen is blank (and w/out further info) the problems could be

  • PSU is going south. Was there a lightning storm during the time you were out?
  • CMOS problems. Either it needs to be reset or the battery is going out or is loose.
  • Some hardware is unseated. Video card, RAM module.
  • A bad hard drive can cause this on rare occasions.

Find out from your son exactly what he did, too. Can't be a coincidence.

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The real question still remains. How did they post this question? –  random Oct 10 '09 at 15:38
It'd be a shame if he was gone. Still wondering how they posted the question though. –  random Oct 24 '09 at 11:18