I had Windows Vista installed. My computer repeatedly turned off without warning after about 5-10 minutes of use. I had diagnostics run and ultimately replaced the motherboard. Now I need to reinstall Windows. I plan to put Windows 7 on the machine. The problem is this. When it's booting up the keyboard does not work until after Windows runs the automatic system recovery. The system recovery fails every time. I am unable to tell it to boot from disc because a selection can't be made without a keyboard. I am able to get to a msdos command prompt through the System Recovery Options. Can I launch the Windows install disc from here? Is this the best way to install it? Is this a known issue when replacing a mother board?

migrated from serverfault.com Mar 12 '11 at 21:48

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  • 1
    What kind of keyboard is it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 12 '11 at 21:52
  • Microsoft wired plug and play usb – Kevin Mar 12 '11 at 21:54
  • What make/model of motherboard? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 12 '11 at 21:58
  • Gigabyte S-Series G41M-Combo – Kevin Mar 12 '11 at 22:00
  • Wipe the hard drive before you attempt install of W7 – Moab Mar 13 '11 at 3:17

My assumption (not knowing the motherboard in question yet) is that this is an older system, and that it probably has a PS/2 port on the back for a keyboard.

Often older motherboards with PS/2 ports also have BIOS settings to toggle "Legacy USB" device support on and off.

My guess is the new motherboard came preconfigured with Legacy USB device support toggled off, so your legacy wired USB keyboard won't work.

If my assumptions are correct, then you need to get a PS/2 kayboard, or a USB->PS/2 adapter, hook it up, get into the BIOS and toggle the Legacy USB support to On. From there you're USB keyboard should work right from boot and you should be able to continue your Windows install as wished. :)

Check out this SU answer, it may have some info that helps.


Now that we know the model of the MB and I look up the manual, there is a specific BIOS setting entitled "USB Keyboard Support" (see page 32), and it appears to be Disabled by deafult.

So same answer, get a PS/2 keyboard, or a USB->PS/2 adapter, and just use it, or use it to toggle the setting to Enabled and go back to your USB keyboard/connection. :)

  • I had this as well. It is so silly that a modern BIOS can't handle an usb keyboard by default. I had to find a ps/2 keyboard. – bandi Mar 12 '11 at 22:32

Put the Win 7 DVD in and go into the BIOS when you first turn the machine on. Find the boot sequence and make the DVD ROM drive the primary boot device. Restart and the OS DVD should boot before you get to the OS partition on the HDD.

  • how do I go into the bios without an operating keyboard? – Kevin Mar 12 '11 at 21:45
  • sorry, I misunderstood. In that event, you can connect the cable from the HDD to the (or a different) DVD drive with the OS dvd and connect the problem HDD to the secondary HDD cable, SATA or IDE. – BoxerBucks Mar 12 '11 at 21:48

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