Keyboard works in Bios, Uppercase Only in Windows

By WebGomer
Jul 31, 2009
  1. Hello and greetings to you all!

    I believe this is a OS software issue, so I am trying here first.

    I am an experienced PC user and builder but I have an issue that has me totally stumped. I tried installing a new motherboard and memory to see if the issue would resolve, but it remains:

    PC is running XP SP2
    Fresh Motherboard and 2Gig RAM
    Pentium 4

    Pc starts fine and goes though post.
    At the windows login screen when typing a username or password the keyboard enters all caps - and any number typed is actually entered as a special character; 1=! and 2=@ and 3=#, etc. There is no bypassing this it seems.

    I have tried Caps Lock on and off and while holding down the shift key. Nothing works. I attempted to go into the Admin area but because that also takes a password the letters and numbers are confused.

    I have tried 3 keyboards; two USB and one PS2 with no change in the result. I am thinking that this is a driver issue, BUT...

    I attempted to reinstall windows XP (on a freshly formatted drive) and all goes fine up until I have to enter the windows key - and guess what? The numbers and letters are fouled up again, so I cannot complete the installation.

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Computer brand and model?
    Antivirus and spyware scans?
    Boards test ok on other computers?
    Any yellow or red flags in Device manager?
    Are able to defragment?
    Any recent changes to the computer with the case cover open.
    Do you see anything unusual in Start->Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Console Root->Component Services or Event Viewer or Services (Home)?

    Guessing will be the first thing to do, and remove some driver stuff.
    First, I would remove and reset all cable inside the case.
    Once you are sure you have a copy of the software to reinstall the BIOS and Chipsets, I would remove the CMOS battery to reset the BIOS, and remove and reinstall the motherboard chipset software.
    Good luck. This is an interesting problem when we only have to observe, and not fix it.
  3. WebGomer

    WebGomer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Brand: Asus K5PKL-AM SE (current board) or MachSpeed X-Caliber PT88BS Pro
    Pentium 4, 3.2g Cedar Mill
    No software other that new OS on a new HD
    I have ruled out the MBs because problem exists with both
    Cables have been re-seated several times
    Bios on the Mach Speed board were re-set with no difference.

    I agree on the interesting part; I have never even heard of anything like this before.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Doesn't sound possible... there is something connecting the two...
    So you are telling us there is an identical problem with
    -two different motherboards
    -two different operating systems
    -two different hard drives
    What components are identical? Because something is fishy here.
    Or you have a specific infestation that you transferred from one hard drive to the other.
    What have you used to scan for infestations?
    You should have used at least Avast or Avira Antivir, plus Spy Sweeper, and/or superantispyware, and Malwarebytes..
    If you have scanned, what did you find on these two separate systems...
    What did you move from one hard drive to the other.
    What software was transferred to both....
  5. WebGomer

    WebGomer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi raybay,

    This is what has me scratching my head; there has to be a common factor here somewhere. The only common hardware now is the drive and the processor. The common software is the OS.

    I am going to once again try wiping a drive (full format, not a quickie) and reinstalling Windows. If this happens again I have to assume that the XP CD has an file error somewhere. I have to think this is a faulty basic keyboard driver.

    Once I try this new re-install I will post the results.

    As per the question about virus scanning, I did find a trojan on the drive I am wiping now. I do not recall the name but it was found by Malware Bytes (McAfee missed it - going to Bit Defender now) - I had to run the scan on the drive from an external dock on another pc and once finished and the drive reinstalled I got the dreaded BSD. This is when I decided to try wiping the drive and reinstalling Windows and could not enter the key.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    That error on an XP CD is such a stretch, that I cannot imagine it causing that strange result.

    I would try one more keyboard borrowed from a friend, that is known to work properly for the friend... and try your keyboards in the friend's machine for at least a day.

    But TRY THIS.
    Get a can of dust off or other canned air with difluoroethane gas in it, and a bunch of small soft wood tooth picks. Clean out the PS/2 socket. I know you tried both PS/w and USB but try Cleaning the PS/2 slot and the USB slot, thoroughly...
    then try the keyboards again.
    I am now betting you have dirt int he socket, or a bent socket that is contributing to the problem.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Try hitting the Num Lock on your keyboard. Does that make a difference?
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Good idea. Sorry I missed it. Certainly it is one of those that must be ruled out.
  9. WebGomer

    WebGomer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried that :)
  10. WebGomer

    WebGomer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, having dirty or bent sockets is a stretch too with two motherboards - the latest is brand new out of the box.

    This did lead my down another path though - your second suggestion:

    What are the chances that three keyboards I tested with all have a shift key stuck in the down position? And the right side shift key on each keyboard? It never, ever occurred to me. Well that what it was!!!

    I pulled the keyboard from my office PC that I am using now and the issue went away. After some checking on the other keyboards I found the suck keys. When troubleshooting I was pressing the left shift, missing the problem.

    Goes to show that the simplest thing can ruin all efforts of even a pro.

    Thanks to everyone for their help and input. This is one for the books - or maybe not. :)
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Yikes! What are the chances, indeed? (I think you should run out a buy a lottery ticket as seems you're pulling amazing odds at the moment ;) )

    Actually, i'm still thinking the odds of a winning lottery ticket is still better then 3 keyboards?!
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Strange things are the rule.
    Thanks for taking the time to update all of us.
  13. WebGomer

    WebGomer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think the more technical minded we get the more we tend to overlook the obvious and simple. I was starting to think the PC was possessed!
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