13

Can I use a bluetooth keyboard to enter BIOS and edit the values there? I'm thinking of two scenarios:

  1. A new machine - no OS (yet). So to me seems no possibility to pair the keyboard. Hence no access to BIOS?
  2. I have booted to an OS (Windows/Mac) once and paired the keyboard with the computer. Will the keyboard work before OS drivers are loaded?
  • 1
    Rather than on the input-devices, this will highly depends on the capability of the PC itself. A bluetooth on the PC may support this capability by providing proper interface to BIOS. Otherwise, the BIOS itself may be able to access the bluetooth natively, likes on intel stick intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/… – Thariq Nugrohotomo Aug 9 '16 at 6:01
11

A keyboard using Bluetooth cannot access the BIOS. Logitech Bluetooth keyboards get around this by having a dongle that pairs with the keyboard in a more basic, non-Bluetooth mode until the driver kicks in and switches modes. Microsoft might be similar mode with their keyboards and dongles, but I cannot confirm that.

  • Any idea how for example new iMac owners are supposed to access BIOS - it comes bundled with the Apple wireless keyboard (which I think uses Bluetooth) – Siim K Feb 8 '11 at 22:50
  • I didn't even know Macs had a BIOS. – Joseph Feb 9 '11 at 4:09
  • Thinking about it, Apple probably either has a separate mode to bind their keyboards and mice like Logitech or they have a Bluetooth driver in their BIOS to recognize Apple keyboards and mice. I don't know if it would recognize non-Apple products. – Joseph Feb 19 '11 at 0:31
  • While EFI is not entirely "BIOS", it's still a lower-level system than OS X and doesn't understand Bluetooth. – grawity Mar 11 '11 at 18:12
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    @grawity Actually, it does understand Bluetooth. OSX is that tigtly integrated with the hardware. – kinokijuf Feb 13 '12 at 12:48
10

Try using a Bluetooth adapter that supports "HID Proxy" mode.

  • 1
    I have two different dongles with WIDCOMM chipsets, and unfortunately they don't work (till OS driver is loaded, that is). – haimg Aug 27 '12 at 14:29
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    I purchased that exact dongle and can confirm that it does NOT support HID Proxy. – Kerin Oct 20 '12 at 22:47
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    I also purchased the RockFish BT dongle, and also can confirm it does not work. Please let me know if you find anything that allows the BT keyboard in the BIOS. – Brian Chavez Oct 25 '12 at 23:45
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    I've search all around the web, and nobody seems to be able to give a single model of Bluetooth Dongle having support for HID proxy : That's insane. – Raphael Jolivet Mar 3 '13 at 16:09
  • This article provides some info on finding such adapters. TL;DR not easy to find and need to fiddle with drivers and firmware. – billc.cn Dec 22 '16 at 10:55
5

According to Microsoft, "some" of their keyboards work in dual mode:

Devices with Bluetooth wireless technology generally do not work until the operating system is loaded. However, some Microsoft products start up with 2.4 GHz, and then switch to Bluetooth, so you can use your keyboard and mouse before the operating system is loaded.

If you're happy using a dongle, you might as well just use the proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol. But if you have a laptop with built-in bluetooth you can save a USB slot. Use the dongle when you need to access the BIOS, but use the built-in bluetooth normally. This would work great, as long as you don't lose the dongle!

2

Laird Technology has a dongle/module that claims to operate in HID proxy mode before your OS loads. The product is BT820/800. Here's a quote from their data sheet:

As an additional benefit of the BT800 series, Laird has implemented CSR’s HID (Human Interface Device) Proxy Mode enabling out of the box HID connectivity for BLE pointing devices and / or BLE keyboard functionality, requiring zero host device software or configuration.

I just bought one. I'll let you know if it actually works after I receive it.

  • Please keep us updated, I'm interested! – Jamie Kitson Nov 29 '16 at 22:40
  • Any updates on this? – Chris Dec 30 '16 at 9:57
  • I bought it and while waiting for the shipment to arrive I checked out the documentation. Read this carefully cdn.lairdtech.com/home/brandworld/files/… you need a customer account to download the software required to unlock this functionality. – John Smith Jan 2 '17 at 15:41
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    Tom never responded I can only assume his keyboard hasn't worked since :) – Jason Sperske Nov 17 '17 at 2:20
1

Some bluetooth adapters can store the keys in the adapter which facilitates this.

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