How can I enable USB support in BIOS when I can't hit the Delete button to enter BIOS

By fro0tlo0p
Aug 23, 2005
  1. This is a stickler, folks. I have a computer who has a torn up PS/2 port. So I simply use a USB keyboard. Well I just had to format that Win XP computer and it seems like the default setting is USB keyboard support disabled. So, How can I enable USB support in BIOS when I can't hit the Delete button to enter BIOS?

    Also, when the computer tries to start upt, because it was shut down in mid-boot previously, it gives me a message asking how I want to start Windows. Well, since I have no keyboard control, I have to let the timer run out on what's highlighted: Start Windows Normally. Well, the timer runs out and NOTHING HAPPENS.

    Please advise!
  2. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    get a serial converter for your PS2 keyboard.........
  3. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    But if I use my PS/2 keyboard with a converter, won't I just be plugging it into the USB port?

    How will that be different than just plugging in a USB keyboard into the USB port?

    USB keyboard support is disabled and I can't change that setting in BIOS without a keyboard. I can't use a PS/2 keyboard on the box because the PS/2 port is all chewed up.

    I need to know how to get into BIOS, at start up, to enable USB keyboard support WITHOUT using the keyboard.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    He means a serial-port (DB9) to PS/2 converter, as shown here:
    This adapter changes your male DB9 serial connection into a female PS/2 (mouse and keyboard) connection.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A keyboard in the serial port? Even if you had a magical adapter (that adapter seems to be just wires between a DB9 and a DIN connector that knows nothing about protocols of any kind) that would translate between the AT keyboard and RS-232 you would still need special drivers for it. And how do you install drivers if Windows doesn't boot?

    fro0tlo0p: how bad is the PS2 port screwed up? Take a close look - maybe you can take it to an electronics shop and let a skilled craftsman fix a new PS2 port there?
  6. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Aaaah! I see! And, when Widows XP is formatted, this port is enabled? I should have Ps/2 keyboard control again?
  7. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    It's totally chewed up. I can't get a PS/2 keyboard to plug in at all.
  8. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

    How did the BIOS setting for USB keyboard support get changed if all you did was reinstall Windows?

    Your BIOS might not support the extended number keys (right side of keyboard).
    Try using the number keys on the keyboard below the F keys to navigate the start-up menu..
  9. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Is it the port on the mobo, or the keyboard itself with the pins in it? Are the pins bent? I can't imagine the port on the mobo becoming mangled, but where there's a will there's a way...
  10. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    The default position for USB Keyboard is disabled.

    It's the spacebar or delete key I need to work and it's not.
  11. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    This didn't work at all and I just wasted money buying the adapter. Any other ideas?
  12. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    It's the round part on the mobo. Its so torn up that I can't plug the keyboard in. That's why I went to a USB keyboard.
  13. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

    Replace motherboard

    A serial / PS/2 adapter will only work with a serial compatible mouse or combo serial PS/2 mouse.
    I don't know of any serial compatible keyboards (without middleware software) and this won't work at a BIOS level as Nodsu points out.

    All PC I have worked with and their BIOS are set to HALT on keyboard error or keyboard missing.
    Because a PS/2 port can / will be damaged if plugged in with power on the system needs to be shut down and power unplugged and a keyboard plugged in.
    Because your PS/2 keyboard port is bad and no keyboard input was possible I don't see how the system was useable unless the USB keyboard support was already enabled before the PS/2 port went bad allowing you to enter the BIOS and enable boot without PS/2 keyboard.

    Regardless, repairing the motherboard PS/2 port would most likely cost more then locating a new or used replacement motherboard.
    Or you might see this a a good reason to upgrade the motherboard.

    Good Luck.
  14. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    what a load of cobblers. I have just tested a BRAND NEW keyboard with a serial adapter and it works FINE.

    anywho - this doesnt help this guy much.

    why dont you solder a new PS2 port to your mobo ? alternatively - buy a SERIAL keyboard off ebay or some other bucket of unwanted items....
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Thank you for your kind comment. My sincere apologies if I have made erroneus posts due to my ignoance and I would greatly appreciate if you let me learn something new. Would you please post some links to the hardware in use and documentation/descriptions that would describe this computational wonder?
  16. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    i can see sarcasm isnt your best quality.

    look - what im telling you isnt up for discussion. Nor does it matter if you "the technological wizard" believes that something, outside of your realm of understanding, is or isnt possible.

    I am just trying to help someone that's got a problem. Which is what I thought this forum was about?

    Unfortunately I havent been able to help this guy - as hardware problems like the one described is difficult to help without actually being there.

    But neither, in fact, have you. Instead, you have managed to waste time talking about things that dont have anything to do with helping this guy.

    TS Special Forces - in your case, i'd imagine this stands for Talk $hite

    undoubtedly i'll probably be banned for even contemplating, let alone actually arguing, with someone so deep inside the crux of this site....

    but then again.... whats the point of having freedom of speech if we are only to be shot down by narrow minded people like yourself.

    fro0tlo0p - aside from either soldering a new PS2 port or getting a new mobo - you're screwed
  17. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Well, you told this person to buy a totally useless gadget which, as I said right away, would not work.. Well done!

    And how is requesting information that could possibly help this poor guy and dozens of others with proken keyboard ports irrelevant? Please, tell us how one can make use of a motherboad with a broken keyboard port and no USB capability!
  18. fro0tlo0p

    fro0tlo0p TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    GENTLEMEN! Can we please get back to the business at hand?

    My computer is still fragged and I need help.
  19. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A really thin straw in addition to the "solder new port" fix..

    You could check for a BIOS update for your motherboard that changes the default USB keyboard setting to enabled. The chances of your mobo having such an update are of course very slim.

    If you find such a BIOS update then all you have to do is to pry the BIOS chip from your motherboard (pray that it is removable and not soldered) and flash it with the update.

    You can make a bootable floppy that automatically performs the flash, you can use another identical motherboard or find someone with a EEPROM programming device.
  20. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

    Check if one of the retail BIOS upgrade services can change the default setting for USB support in the BIOS ROM or BIN file for your motherboard and then flash your BIOS with the modified BIOS. (automated flash).
  21. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    While I've never heard of a adapting a PS2 keyboard to a serial port either, a quick search brought me to this adapter which includes a data sheet on emulation modes.

    As far as the main topic, have you tried making an unattended installation disk, and installed windows that way? Once windows is up, your USB keyboard should work. I normally use the guides here to create my unattended installs.
  22. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Nifty :D

    You'd still need custom firmware and/or drivers to make it work with anything though..
  23. meatologist

    meatologist TS Rookie Posts: 134

    Nodsu - I know it must be hard for you to not be a complete *****. But, for the sake of the rest of the known universe, please try.

    Firstly - I did NOT advise to buy a totally useless gadget - I merely informed that they were available and the course of action that I would take.

    Secondly - "Please, tell us how one can make use of a motherboad with a broken keyboard port and no USB capability!"

    I told you. I used a PS2 to SERIAL adapter.

    do you understand ? PS2 to SERIAL

    it's quite simple.

    and whats wrong with soldering another PS2 port to the mobo ? or are you frightened you might break a nail?

    now - back to the matter in hand.

    fro0tlo0p - one of these perhaps ???
  24. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

    Simple PS2 to SERIAL adapters are designed for (serial compatible) pointing devices, mouse, drawing pad ect. and are not designed to work with AT/PS2 keyboards. They do not make the AT/PS2 keyboard hardware compatible with the common serial port (16550 U.A.R.T.)
    The common serial port (16550 U.A.R.T.) is based on the RS232 serial protocol, (0 to 10 volt signaling.)
    The AT/PS2 keyboard is a TTL (transistor-transistor-logic) device (0 to5 volt signaling).

    If anyone has a simple (rewired, no active components) PS2 to SERIAL adapter and it allows your AT/PS2 keyboard to work an a common serial port (16550 U.A.R.T.) you have something very special.

    If using a "active component" PS2 to SERIAL adapter that makes the hardware compatible you still need to deal with the PS2 (scan code output being converted to serial ASCII) not being useable by a PC without middleware (software, drivers) or an application designed for it.
    "Background: PC Interface limitations"
    "A modern PC probably has two RS232 ports but should you want to use them for anything other than a mouse or modem you would most likely need engineering knowledge to make it work and also have support from the Application program. If the Application is not specially written to handle RS232 data it is sometimes virtually impossible."

    I have tested several "simple" PS2 to SERIAL adapters and the systems always HALT on keyboard error. The system BIOS does not detect the PS2 keyboard connected to a common serial port (16550 U.A.R.T.). Award BIOS HALTS the system on keyboard error.
    Does AMI BIOS time out and continue booting? Don't know, no AMI system handy.

    I hope this helps and I hope the thread can go back to being friendly as I don't think anyone wants to help out while being insulted.
  25. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Can we quit arguing here and help fro0tlo0p out?

    Nobody likes to be wrong, so let's just move on, or take your arguments to the irc channel.
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