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I understand that Asus Z170-A motherboard can be woken up (from shutdown state, not from sleep mode) using PS/2 keyboard (Space or Power button or Ctrl+Esc are possible options) in advanced power management settings, and I can do that - however, PS/2 keyboards are becoming a bit of a rarity these days.

So the question is - can the same be done using USB keyboard? Is there a dedicated port being powered for this purpose alone (I did try the upper USB2 ports - they don't react to USB keyboard)? Can it be done using USB to PS/2 adapter (I read that they don't translate signals so perhaps keyboard itself must support both protocols)? Are motherboard manufacturers taking this into account on more recent boards (Z170-A is fairly recent but still)?

Are there other options to get power button a bit closer to the desk (except using the power button on the case itself)?

Any pointers into right direction would be helpful.

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After many hours of examining this (and no thanks to you Asus support, still waiting your reply), I am pretty sure that Asus Z170-A motherboard cannot be powered up by USB keyboard - only by PS/2 keyboard. Note - UEFI is latest version, Legacy USB is enabled.

Here is what I tried - setting Battery Charging Support to Enabled - when set to Disabled - the USB ports are essentially dead when system is powered off - that is S5 state (S5=soft off - more info on https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa373229(v=vs.85).aspx). Made sure that the USB is really powered by plugging in mouse - the LED was lit indicating the USB port was powered. Still, it did not react to keyboard (any of the options, as offered by Advanced Power Management (APM)).

ASUS UEFI Battery Charging Support

Furthermore the Advanced Power Management (APM) specifically calls this option Power on by PS/2 keyboard - in fact, if the PS/2 keyboard is disconnected and only USB keyboard is connected, this option completely disappears.

ASIS UEFI Power On by PS/2 Keyboard

My conclusion is that the system can only be powered on by PS/2 keyboard type, not by USB keyboard, on this motherboard. Some motherboards might have power-on by USB keyboard but I think not this one.

Still, it is not all lost - possible solutions I might use (and others might be interested in as it might be of use for another motherboard as well):

  • Using a "Combo" (USB and PS/2) keyboard. USB to PS/2 adapter does not work on all keyboards as it does not translate signals. It only works on keyboards which already have circuit to automatically switch between two modes, by auto-detecting which connector is plugged in. These keyboards have so called "Combo" interface. They are harder to find than USB-only keyboards these days though. I'd guess 90% of keyboards use USB-only interface nowadays.

  • Attaching a programmable keyboard (such as X-keys XK-24) assuming this kind of keyboard can be attached to PS/2 port (for example has a "Combo" interface) and can be programmed to send "Power On" code. I guess X-keys is the best bet as it is pretty much customizable but not really on the cheap side. I also found Cherry G84-4700 but not sure if it can be programmed this way either. Generally - programmable keyboards can store macro / key commands in their internal memory, they don't require software to operate, once programmed and thus, this might be a way to power up a system assuming a correct key-scancode can be assigned to a key.

  • Attaching an older PS/2 keyboard just for the powering up purposes and use USB keyboard when powered up (kind of dumb to keep entire keyboard on desk just for one key, but hey, it is a solution). Or using some smaller form PS/2 keyboard, same thing.

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  • In BIOS make sure that your USB settings are controlled by the BIOS and not the OS. Is legacy USB enabled in BIOS?
    – Jimmy_A
    May 30, 2017 at 8:25
  • Can you also check if Allow this device to wake up the computer is enabled in power management properties of the keyboard in device manager
    – Jimmy_A
    May 30, 2017 at 8:29
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    @D.A I am explaining powering on PC from S5, shutdown state, not waking up from sleep state S3. The computer can be woken up by USB keyboard when in sleep mode but that has nothing to do with soft-off state (S5). And legacy USB is enabled, yes. Refer to this page for states explanation - msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/…
    – Coder12345
    May 30, 2017 at 12:35
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There is definitely a configuration on BIOS that allows you to power up your computer with the press of a key, or even with the mouse.

I am not familiar with the Asus motherboard but on mine there is under Power Management Setup -> Power on by keyboard / Power on by Mouse

If you can't find it maybe these guys can help https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?77225-Power-On-using-keyboard

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  • Using USB or PS/2 keyboard? The option is there but specifically says "Wake by PS/2 keyboard".
    – Coder12345
    May 24, 2017 at 11:30
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    @Coder12345 There is a difference between "Wake by" and "Power on", I have both options. "Wake by" is usually used on sleep mode. Try finding the "Power on by keyboard" or similar option.
    – Jimmy_A
    May 24, 2017 at 11:34
  • @Coder12345 I am using USB keyboard.
    – Jimmy_A
    May 24, 2017 at 11:36
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managed to power on my pc from the usb keyboard using ASUS AI Suit 3 software that comes on the motherboard DVD, on the left menu went to KEY EXPRESS section, turned it ON and assigned my F9 key to the PWR SW which stands for POWER SWITCH and it worked just fine. Tried a couple of times and everytime I could turn my PC on by pressing F9 on the usb keyboard. So, hope this helps you.

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According to ASUS support page, power on USB keyboard is definitely not supported for current motherboards. It does support power on PS/2 keyboard, but most of the motherboards I checked (x570) don't have such a port anymore.

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I'm using a ASUS X570-P with a USB to PS/2 adaptor works just fine with Cherry keyboard. Available on Amazon for around £5 - make sure you get one with female USB socket and male PS/2 plug.

See - StarTech.com Replacement USB Keyboard to PS/2 Adapter - F/M - USB keyboard to PS2 Adapter - USB to PS2 Adapter (GC46FMKEY)

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  • Avoid posting answers to old questions that already got well received answers unless you have something substantial and new to add.
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    Aug 1, 2023 at 13:39

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