I can't log into Windows 8 because my keyboard no longer works. My Caps Lock key lights up and Windows recognizes it, but the ordinary abc keys are nonresponsive, preventing me from logging into my Microsoft account.

I would use the on-screen keyboard, but when I launch it, a pop-up appears for a half-second, then disappears: "On-Screen Keyboard Could not start On-Screen Keyboard."

Update: 50% of the time, when I reboot, I lost alphanumeric keyboard functionality AND on-screen keyboard functionality. The other 50% of the time, both work perfectly. So there must be a root cause for both.


  • BootCamp 3.3

  • Windows 8

  • MacBook Pro 2009

  • Can you get in to safe mode? – Caleb Jares Oct 29 '12 at 18:33
  • Why don't you just replace the keyboard? If the On-Screen Keyboard problem sounds like a configuration problem. – Ramhound Oct 29 '12 at 19:53
  • @Ramhound, A) My keyboard works fine in Mac OS X. B) This is a MacBook Pro laptop, so it's not easy to replace the keyboard. This shouldn't be a configuration problem as I have just started using Windows 8; I haven't had time to mess up any configs. – mcandre Oct 29 '12 at 20:18

Kon-Boot can boot straight into your user account without needing you to press any key, if you're lucky enough to have a boot order where it prefers launching from a CD, USB or the network before booting from your OS.

For more information, read our blog post on this subject.

  • Very cool. For the moment, restarting my computer a bunch of times temporarily fixes the problem. – mcandre Oct 29 '12 at 19:47
  • If my keyboard doesn't work, logging in won't help me much. I need a solution that gets my keyboard working. – mcandre Oct 30 '12 at 12:33
  • @mcandre: How to log into Windows 8 without using the keyboard was your question, you'll have to ask a new one. At least being logged in should allow you to see what's going wrong by using the mouse and navigating through the control panel to the relevant sections. – Tom Wijsman Oct 30 '12 at 13:14

Rebooting temporarily fixes this problem.

However, exactly like the Star Trek even-odd rule, odd boots always experience a keyboard and On-Screen Keyboard failure, and even boots have both working perfectly.

I have no idea what's behind this, but both problems must have a common cause.

  • Fark, now even reboots don't fix the problem. – mcandre Nov 15 '12 at 16:17

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