Troubleshoot wired keyboards that don't respond or that type wrong characters
This article was previously published under Q258826
This article describes how to troubleshoot issues that you may experience when you use the Microsoft keyboards that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
When you use a wired keyboard, you may experience one or more of the following problems:
- The keyboard is not detected.
- The keys on the keyboard do not work.
- Wrong characters are typed.
- The keyboard shortcuts do not work.
The keyboard is not functioning
Step 1: Verify the connectionIf the keyboard is not functioning at all, make sure that it is connected correctly to the computer. Check all the keyboard's plugs to make sure that there are no loose connections. Connect the keyboard to your computer by using a different USB port.
Note Bypass any port replicator, USB hub, KVM switch, or similar component, and connect the keyboard directly to the USB port on the computer. If this resolves the problem, confirm that it is this additional connection device that is the source of the problem. Contact the manufacturer to see if they can provide a solution to allow you to use their device.
If an adapter (PS/2 to USB or PS/2 to AT) is being used, verify that it is the adapter that was included with the keyboard or that the keyboard supports adapting to a different port. For example, the Internet Keyboard does not adapt to a USB port, and a PS/2 to USB adapter will not work. It does not include an adapter.
To connect or to disconnect the keyboard to a PS/2 port, follow these steps:
- Shut down the computer.
- Plug your device into the correct port. Make sure that the plug is pushed securely into the connector on the computer.
- Restart the computer. Microsoft Windows detects the change, and then installs the drivers on the new port automatically.
If the keyboard does not function correctly on another computer, the keyboard may be defective. If this is the case, and the warranty on the keyboard is still valid, you can exchange the defective keyboard for a new keyboard. For information about how to contact Microsoft Supplemental Parts, see the "References" section.
If the keyboard works on another computer, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Download and install the latest keyboard softwareTo download the latest drivers for the keyboard that you are using, visit the following Microsoft hardware Web site:
Step 3: Manually reinstall the driversTo remove and then reinstall the drivers, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the device from the computer.
- Turn off the power for the device, if the device has a separate power supply.
- Open Device Manager. To do this, use one of the following methods:
- In Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start, type device in the Start Search box, and then click Device Manager in the Programs list. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
- In Windows XP, click Start, click Run, type devmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
- Double-click Keyboard, right-click the keyboard that you use, and then click Uninstall.
Note If your device is not listed, this means that the device was removed automatically when you disconnected the device. Go to the next step.
- Restart the computer.
- First, turn on the device, if you have to, and then plug the device into the computer. Your computer detects the device and then reinstalls the drivers for the device.
The keys do not strike correctlyIf the keys do not strike correctly, make sure that the keyboard is free of dust, dirt, and foreign matter.
Turn the keyboard upside down to allow for any foreign debris, such as hair, food particles, or dust, to fall out.
We recommend that you periodically use compressed air to blow dust out of the hard-to-clean crevices in the keyboard.
If you spill a drink or some other liquid on the keyboard, immediately turn the keyboard upside down to let the liquid drain out, and then remove as much liquid as possible. Wait until the keyboard is completely dry before you use it again.
Do not take the keyboard apart. If you disassemble the keyboard, you may void the manufacturer warranty.
Note If you want to use a vacuum cleaner around the keyboard, make sure that the vacuum cleaner is a "static safe" vacuum cleaner.
The wrong characters are typedIf the wrong characters are typed when you use the keyboard, follow the steps in the "The Keys Do Not Strike Correctly" section to clean the keyboard that are described under "The Keys Do Not Strike Correctly" earlier to make sure that no obstructions under the keys are causing this issue.
If the issue continues to occur, connect the keyboard to a different computer. If the keyboard functions correctly on a different computer, the port to which the keyboard was connected on the original computer may be damaged. If this is the case, contact your computer manufacturer to ask about how to repair or replace the damaged port.
If the keyboard does not function correctly on another computer, the keyboard may be defective. If this is the case, and the warranty on the keyboard is still valid, you can exchange the defective keyboard for a new keyboard.
To test key response on the keyboard, use Microsoft Keyboard Diagnostics (MS Key), a utility program that is included with the Microsoft IntelliType software. To use MS Key, follow these steps.
Note The MS Key utility is only included with the Microsoft IntelliType software version 1.1 and later versions. If you do not have Microsoft IntelliType installed, you can visit the following Microsoft Web site to install this software:
- Start Microsoft Keyboard Diagnostics. To do this, use one of the following methods:
- In Windows Vista or Windows 7:
- Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Run.
- In the Open box, type mskey, and then click OK.
- In Windows XP:
- Click Start, click Run, type mskey in the Open box, and then click OK.
- In Windows Vista or Windows 7:
- Press various keys to verify that the pressed keys match the keys identified in the MS Key window.
- When you are finished, click Exit.
If you get no response in MS Key from your keyboard, test the keyboard on a different computer. If the keyboard does not work on another computer, see the "References" section for information about how to contact Microsoft Supplemental parts to obtain a replacement.
For information about a problem with keyboard shortcut keys or volume keys, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
932875 Hotkeys or the volume control keys do not work as expected on the Microsoft keyboard
How to contact Microsoft Supplemental parts in the United States and Canada
- United States: (800) 360-7561, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.
- Canada: (800) 933-4750, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.
- TTY customers: Contact Microsoft at (800) 718-1599, Monday through Friday, 5:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time.
326246 How to replace Microsoft software or hardware, order service packs and product upgrades, and replace product manuals
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Article ID: 258826 - Last Review: 09/29/2011 02:25:00 - Revision: 11.0
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