Windows 98 safe mode, reg mode and DOS all can not detect keyboard! HELP!

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Thread Starter
Jan 6, 2006
Hi i'm new to this board but am not new to computers, and have a question that is just bugging me.

My computer keeps freezing when trying to start windows 98, sometimes it will work sometimes it will not (BOOT Up), whether it does or doesn't boot up in Windows, even when in DOS or in Windows whether in safe mode or not, my keyboard nor mouse work. I have tried multiple keyboards and mice, and also tried ps/2 and usb (front and back) connections.

When it brings up a screen saying the last time windows was shut down it was not done correctly please select from the list, my keyboard will not work, or when I use a boot disc, it will ask with cd support or without and to press a certain number and my keyboard will not work.

I have put in a boot disc in the floppy drive and it gets to the a: prompt in DOS just fine, however, the keyboard will still not work so I can not perform a "format c:\" then reinstall.

I'm guessing that someone else has had this problem before or hoping so and tha there would be a quick fix. I am hoping that the ps/2 / usb ports on the board are not fried but I am afraid some of you may say that.

There are however a few PCI slots left on the board that I could install a card with more USB slots or more PS/2 ports and see if that is the problem but I am guessing there is some software I would need to install so that the machine would recognize the new hardware but I can not do that without a keyboard or mouse that does not work.

Now the computer 9 times out of 10 will freeze at the windows 98 logo screen while trying to boot up so I can never get into windows in the first place. The only time I really get aywhere is when I use a floppy boot disc to get to a command prompt where my keyboard doesn't work anyway... ahhhhhh.

So any ideas? Something to note perhaps is that when it boots up, the num lock light will light up then all of a sudden the num lock light will go out and the caps lock light will go on.

I have run out of ideas and hoping one of you all can save me! PLEASE! The computer is an old school Compaq Presario 5700N running Windows 98 if that helps. So if anyone can help it would be very much appreciated! Thanks so much in advance!

Aug 17, 2003
DOS does not support USB, so you need to concentrate on PS2 keyboards only at this stage.

USB will work once the Windows drivers have loaded (if you get that far).
Nov 4, 2004
It sounds like a hardware problem to me. If you really want to try doing a Format C and reinstall, as you mentioned, you could take out the hard drive and slave it onto another PC and format (and install) there and then put the HD back into the problem machine (you'd still have to load the drivers after that). However, if it's a hardware problem (either in the motherboard or the connector from the motherboard), then you might have to replace that, cause even after reformatting and reinstalling, it still won't work, if it's a hardware problem, til that problem is fixed.

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