I am trying to install Windows XP MCE (Media Center Edition) 2005 on a vintage Dell XPS 400 machine. This system does not have PS2 ports and I don't have a USB keyboard or mouse so I'm using a USB to PS2 adapter. The adapter works fine under most situations however, it looks like Windows XP Professional Setup can't handle it. I'm trying to press ENTER to setup Windows XP and it isn't happening. "R" or F3 aren't doing anything either.

I have a Windows XP MCE bootable CD and am booting from the CD drive.

I cannot run the install from within windows because this system has a nasty virus along with a rootkit installed. So I'm going the new hard drive route and then burning the old drive in a bonfire: )

The USB to PS2 adapter works fine for changing BIOS settings. It's only when I get into the Windows XP Professional Setup that the keyboard stops working.

Further investigation shows that the "F6" SCSI drive driver question ask early in the load process works, so it appears that the keyboard is working but later in the boot process the setup stops accepting keyboard input and hangs.

3 Answers 3


go into the BIOS and look for 'USB Legacy Support'. make sure it is enabled.

  • Interesting point however there is no such setting that I can find for the Dell XPS 400 system.
    – John Dyer
    Sep 11, 2009 at 1:38
  • well, some machines simply don't like such adapters, you might end up chasing/buying/borrowing a USB keyboard, sorry, John. :) obviously you can use the keyboard to get into the BIOS, but without USB legacy support the ps2 keyboard with USB adapter doesn't work in windows setup.
    – Molly7244
    Sep 11, 2009 at 1:49

I've been through this before with a friend. The answer was: if you have a Windows already on there, you run the Windows install from within that Windows (from the CD). If not... change hardware :)


Had an issue where a PS/2 keyboard would allow ESC and F3 on the Windows XP setup screen, but pressing ENTER wouldn't do anything.

I started pressing all the keyboard keys one at a time, and lo, and behold! pressing the M key substituted as pressing ENTER, and was able to complete the install by pressing M where ENTER was called for.

This is likely a keyboard mapping issue on this particular motherboard (this keyboard works fine on other computers), but maybe this will help someone who has a similar problem.

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