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When I turn my computer on, my keyboard is off so I can't change the boot order, and other settings. I put in my XP installation disk once and my keyboard turns on when it gets to the screen that says "Press any key to boot into CD"(or something like that, I can't remember for sure)my keyboard turns on, but when I have booted into the CD and get to the screen where you choose whether to reformat, install xp, etc., my keyboard turns off. I don't need a specific answer for my motherboard and bios, and I don't need to know how to fix it, I'm just curious as to why it happens. Edit: I forgot to mention that it is a usb keyboad.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Do you have a USB keyboard? In early boot stages, some motherboards will not supply power to the USB slots yet. Some will allow you to configure it for USB power on at boot to work around this problem. You could also use a PS/2 keyboard.

Edit: Your edit confirms my assumptions :)

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As far as I can tell, it doesn't have a PS/2 port – Prestidigitator Jan 4 '10 at 6:00
+1 because I had this same problem, and it turned out my motherboard doesn't supply power to certain USB slots. Plugging the keyboard into a different one fixed it. – Sasha Chedygov Jan 4 '10 at 6:01

Actually your BIOS of your PC's motherboard doesn't support USB Interface during booting !!

1> go for a adapter/converter which can change USB connector to PS/2 or even serial it is easily available in market.

2> upgade your BIOS version which is definitely hard nut to crack and risky.

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A BIOS update isn't that hard. Running a program from the motherboard manufacturer works for me, though some call it risky. The "harder" and less risky way is to download a CD image from the manufacturer and boot from it. – user13792 Jan 4 '10 at 9:53

The problem is not that your keyboard is "turning off". At that stage of installation process XP hasn't loaded any USB drivers so your keyboard is not being detected.

Most motherboards offer PS/2 emulation for this problem - the motherboard will present a USB keyboard as PS/2 when the PC is running in DOS mode.

To make this work:

  • Check it's switched on in your BIOS. If there's no option then it's probably always on.
  • Try the keyboard in a different USB port. My Dell needed the keyboard in a particular port for the emulation to work.
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