Okay. So I have Windows XP Professional SP3.

Sometime ago the keyboard randomly stopped working all by itself. The num lock light is switched on at boot up - indicating it works but then it switches off either half way through windows loading or alternatively as soon as I press any button at the login screen.

Googling this indicates I have a corrupted keyboard driver (wooo!)

I have ruled out the following:

  1. The keyboard - it works with various WinPE boot up CDs and with another laptop
  2. The hardware - the USB port the keyboard is plugged into works with the keyboard in a WinPE environment loaded up on the PC, so the problem is not the USB port.

Okay so, is there a way to fix this without reinstalling windows?

NB sadly, the configuration for Remote login is not working - I had as recently as 3 weeks ago attempted to get this working - and I had it accepting a client on another XP netbook that was connecting via an invite token sent by email, but the XP3 pro PC doesn't want to accept connections from Remote Desktop Connection on my Vista laptop (both on same wireless network and connected), my Vista laptop picks up the XP SP3 machine on the network (and can even download shared files over the network) but it doesn't see a remote desktop server it can connect to! Doh.

Any ideas?

PS I obviously have no way to login, the keyboard doesn't function to do it and neither will any other keyboard unless the driver is installed, and to do that I would have to... Login! LOL it doesn't get much worse than this.

  • You mention that you can even download shared files over the network - Do your network security settings allow you to edit or delete files over the network? Specifically, can you access and edit \Windows\system32\drivers (the drivers) and \Windows\system32\config (the registry)? – Kevin Vermeer May 1 '12 at 19:14
  • I wish ;) Fortunately I can access those files via a WinPE disk to swap them out. – Henry Ford May 2 '12 at 4:46

You can try safe mode (F8 during OS select i think). The keyboard should be working in the boot select menu.

  • That doesn't work. – Henry Ford May 2 '12 at 4:36

I've fixed my own problem.

I loaded up a WinPE recovery disk that has a GUI interface for moving and copying files, went to C:/System Volume Information

navigated through /_restore{blahblahrandomnumbersguidstuff}/

at which point there were two folders RP1 and RP2, both of them had a _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM file and I copied the newest one to c:/windows/system32/config, then renamed the file in there called "system" to "system.oldkeyboardbustedupandstuff" and renamed _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM to system. then rebooted. This fixed most of the problems. Although now my DVD drive driver is corrupted. Still, I barely use that and at least I can backup my files now.


put the hard drive into another computer and use a VM software to run windows off your hard drive, and install the drivers there. assuming you have a desktop pc.

  • I don't have another PC, no. – Henry Ford May 2 '12 at 4:35

Windows + u should let you activate the On-Screen keyboard, which you can use until you get the keyboard driver fixed.

  • 1
    There is the problem with the fact that his u is not working. – D.Iankov May 1 '12 at 19:13
  • facepalm. That was way too obvious. – Rob May 1 '12 at 19:13

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