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Solved: Keyboard Failure--CDrom won't read Boot Disk

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by tpc3, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. tpc3

    tpc3 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
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    Problem:
    WinXP pro logs on fully to the login screen where the PS2 keyboard then does not work. I can't type in login password.

    In effort to get to a fix (I had decided to try a repair reinstall of XP), I tried to use a bootable disc (after doing the BIOS reset) and nothing will boot from the CD Rom drive.

    How this Started:
    My son got a new iPod Classic which runs on the newer version of iTunes. Installed iTunes 7.4 and computer crashed. Went to a restore point and got things back in order. Decided to get more RAM because I needed it and thought what was really happening was not enough room to load various processes at startup. Bought the RAM from Dell and installed (went from 256 to 1gig in two strips) and computer seemed to be fine recognizing the new RAM, etc. and running fine. Tried to install iTunes again leading to problems again. Tryed to do system restore again which this time failed/did not work. Got to the point described above where the login screen comes up but keyboard does not work, so I can't get in anywhere to do anything.

    What I have done:
    Checked and rechecked PS2 connection.
    Tried another keyboard.

    Tried SafeMode and I just keep getting in to the log in screen where the keyboard still does not work.

    Pulled out the HDD and put it in a USB external enclosure. Works fine hooked up to my laptop. Copied out important files, etc.

    Used my original OEM XP disk to create a slipstreamed version including SP2 and burned to a bootable disk. Checked to see if the disc would in fact boot on my lap top disk drive.

    Put the HDD back into the computer (Dell Dimension 4550). Rebooted and got the same keyboard failure as before.

    Went to try to do an XP repair reinstall and couldn't get the computer to read the boot disk. Did all of the things in the BIOS to get it to boot from the CD Rom and nothing worked. The CD Rom lights work and the disk spins but it goes on the HDD for booting. I tried to disable the HDD in the BIOS but that did not work either. (As noted above, checked to see if the Disc was indeed a bootable disk in my Laptop and it started up exactly as advertised for a XP repair install.)

    Looking for any suggestions and advice
    Needless to say I am extremely frustrated. I am mostly ticked off at not realizing that a lot of iTunes for windows problems have been reported out there. I would have been much more cautious. But this is also about having teenagers who load who knows what that ultimately gumms up the computer.

    I am pretty sure I have a working computer in there some where (last night during one of my login attempts Windows Automatic Updates actually installed 4 updates when I shut down the computer) I just can't get in there!!!:mad:

    As noted, I am ready to go so far as reinstall XP if only the darn thing will let me.

    Thanking everyone in advance,

    tpc3
     
  2. Jeruvy

    Jeruvy

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
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    Well I won't bother explaining why itunes is bad for you. Apple support also lacks a great deal of understanding. Now first set of questions for you is:

    Does the keyboard work at POST? Can you get into the BIOS settings? I don't want you to change anything, but this would tell us whether or not the keyboard works and is properly detected by the BIOS.

    No 'keyboard POST beeps' is a good thing also. From here we can presume it's just Windows that is having troubles.

    You also stated you did a BIOS reset? Why? You may want to do a CMOS reset on your PC. Typically this is done by removing the battery and/or setting a jumper on the motherboard. You may also need to update your BIOS afterwards.

    If the BIOS is fine and showing no errors, then next question is could you 'ever' boot from CDROM on this computer? Some BIOS's just don't support it.

    You story on 'how it started' above isn't making any sense at one point. Particularly your discovery of the problem you state:

    "Decided to get more RAM because I needed it and thought what was really happening was not enough room to load various processes at startup."

    What do you mean 'not enough room to load various processes'?

    I also assume the keyboard is in fact a PS/2 keyboard, not a USB with an adapter?
     
  3. tpc3

    tpc3 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    It is a PS2 keyboard.

    The BIOS changes were just for the boot order and yes the keyboard works there for the up and down keys, space bar and +.

    Not sure if the CD drive ever was bootable but IDE CD Rom is a choice in the BIOS boot order and is a choice in Dell F2 key which is for booting in CD which does not work and leads to a retry message (F12 gets you to the BIOS).

    As far as RAM goes, the startup was very slow with limited RAM. My thinking was that as things were getting loaded in the system tray there was a potential for processes to "trip" over themselves trying to find a memory location, hence leading to problems. I don't have very sophisticated understanding here, but this is essentially what I think is happening.
     
  4. Jeruvy

    Jeruvy

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Ok, well more RAM never hurts :)

    Ok, so the keyboard works fine, but I can't determine why you can't boot from CD. I would disconnect the hard disk and try to see if I can alter the boot settings in the BIOS to get the CD to boot, then reconnect the hard disk. It is a CD and not a DVD I take it? Are there any known issues with the version of BIOS you have getting the CD to boot? A review of the Dell web site should be able to see if thats a problem.

    At this point I think the repair/install procedure will fix this, but getting booted is the big problem at the moment.
     
  5. tpc3

    tpc3 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
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    Got the CD to Boot:

    Ok, some progress to report. I went trolling in the Dell forums and realized that I could use F12 to boot to the Utility Partition (F2 is what takes you to Setup for the BIOS). There you can find a bunch of comprehensive hardware tests.

    I actually have two disk drives. One is a DVD R drive and the other is CD R/W. It turns out that the DVD is set as primary and the CD is secondary.

    The tests failed for the DVD R drive and the CD R/W passed with flying colors.

    I went back to the BIOS boot properties and turned off the first disk drive. I was then able to get the XP install disk to boot from the CD R/W.

    Hardware tests:

    Everything except the DVD drive passed. I guess if I want to at some point I can pick up a cheap drive and probably get DVD R/W as well.

    As for the Keyboard, it passed the hardware test fine.

    Next Steps:

    I am at least now prepared to do the XP repair reinstall to fix the original problem which is getting to the log-in screen without the PS2 keyboard allowing typing.

    Any thoughts or suggestions there?
     
  6. Jeruvy

    Jeruvy

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    568
    Repair/Install Procedure:

    Boot from XP CD.

    When its ready it will ask you to either:

    Hit 'R' for RECOVERY CONSOLE. This will not reinstall. Assuming you want to repair/install we do not select this option

    Hit 'Enter' to install XP. Hit enter here. This will then load the OS into a RAMDISK getting ready for an installation. It will then LOOK for existing installations and then display them.


    At this point you will be given two choices, REPAIR by hitting 'R' or INSTALL NEW by hitting 'Enter'. to repair/install hit 'R' here.
     
  7. tpc3

    tpc3 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
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    Success: The repair reinstall worked.

    Note: I found this link to be VERY HELPFUL for the repair reinstall of Windows XP
    http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/How-to-repair-Windows-XP-t138.html

    The last part was particularly CRUCIAL (on registering wups2.dll) in releasing the updates after the reinstall. Even though I used a slipstreamed CD with SP2 included, there were 84 updates needed.

    Now I am on to figuring out what to do with iTunes.

    Thanks for the help Jeruvy.
     
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