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Wired Keyboard Troubleshooting (Windows 8)

This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows 8.
Use this information to troubleshoot common keyboard problems.
 note:
If you do not see the symptom of your malfunctioning keyboard in this document and your keyboard is wireless, use the support document Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Troubleshooting.
Keyboard does not work in Windows 8
Before troubleshooting the keyboard, find out what kind of wired keyboard you have by looking at the end of the keyboard cable and comparing it to the following images:
Keyboard connector type
Keyboard connector image
PS/2
USB
If the keyboard has stopped responding, press the Windows + C key, and note what happens:
  • If the Windows 8 charms menu opens, the keyboard is working and the software that you are using has stopped responding. Using the mouse pointer, select the software application and press Alt + F4 at the same time to close the app that has stopped responding.
  • If the Windows 8 charms menu does not open, the keyboard or operating system has stopped responding. Use the steps that follow to check connections and synchronize the keyboard to the BIOS and Windows.
Reset the keyboard
  1. Press the Power button to shut down the computer.
  2. With the computer fully off, disconnect all devices connected to the computer except for the monitor.
  3. For PS/2 keyboards, inspect the connector at the end of the keyboard cable. If you find pins that are bent, try to straighten the pins with the tip of a retracted ball-point pen. If pins are bent beyond repair or are broken, replace the keyboard. Make sure no broken pins are lodged inside of the holes in the PS/2 connector on the computer. Any broken pins must be removed from the holes before another keyboard can be connected.
  4. Reconnect the keyboard. For USB keyboards, connect the keyboard into a USB connector on the back of the computer that was not previously used.
  5. With only the keyboard and monitor connected, turn on the computer. Let Windows open to the Windows 8 Start screen, then press the Windows + C key, and note what happens:
    • If the Windows 8 charms menu opens, the keyboard is now working. There was a connection problem. Press the Power button to shut down the computer. Reconnect your other devices, including the mouse.
    • If the Windows 8 charms menu does not open, the keyboard might be bad. Connect the keyboard to another computer to see if it is bad. Replace the keyboard if it does not work on another computer. If the keyboard works on another computer, press the Power button to shut down your computer, and continue using these steps.
  6. Reconnect the keyboard to the computer.
  7. Turn on the computer.
  8. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select Device Manager from the menu.
    Figure : Device Manager
    Image of lower left corner menu with Device Manager selected
    The Device Manager opens.
  9. Click View and select Show Hidden Devices.
    Figure : Show hidden devices
    Show hidden devices
  10. Click the arrow next to Keyboards, right-click a keyboard device name, and then select Uninstall to remove the device from Windows.
    Figure : Uninstall keyboard
    Uninstall keyboard
  11. Continue removing device names in the Keyboards category until all device names have been uninstalled.
  12. Leave the keyboard connected to the computer, and restart the computer:
    1. Move your mouse pointer to the right side of the screen. When the charms bar appears, click Settings.
      Figure : Settings charm
      Settings charm
      The Settings charm opens.
    2. Click Power, and select Restart.
      Figure : Restart
      Power, Restart
      Wait for the computer to restart and boot into Windows.
  13. The keyboard should now work correctly. test the keyboard for key or hardware failures using HP Hardware Diagnostic tools that come with your computer. For more information, refer to Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 8).
  14. The keyboard should now work correctly. If the keyboard still fails, reinstall and update the keyboard software.
Key presses are slow to respond in Windows 8
If there is a short delay from the time a key is pressed to the time the character displays on the screen, the Filter Keys function might be activated. The Filter Keys function provides a greater range of key press options to fine-tune key delays and prevent inadvertent key presses. To disable Filter Keys and return to the default keyboard behavior, use the following steps:
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select Control Panel from the menu.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Image of lower left corner menu with Control Panel selected
    The Control Panel window opens.
  2. In the Control Panel search box, type change keyboard.
  3. Under Ease of Access Center, click Change how your keyboard works.
    Figure : Change how your keyboard works
    Change how your keyboard works in Control Panel
  4. Remove the selection from Turn on Filter Keys. Then click Set up Filter Keys.
    Figure : Set up Filter Keys
    Set up Filter Keys
  5. On the Set up Filter Keys page, remove the selection from Turn on Filter Keys when SHIFT is pressed for 8 seconds to disable the Filter Keys keyboard shortcut.
    Figure : Disabling the Filter Keys keyboard shortcut
    Disabling the Filter Keys keyboard shortcut
  6. Click OK, and then close the Ease of Access Center.
    The keys should now be more responsive.
Pressing a key once types several characters in Windows 8
If two or more characters appear when pressing a key, use the following steps to adjust the key repeat delay:
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select Control Panel from the menu.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Image of lower left corner menu with Control Panel selected
    The Control Panel window opens.
  2. In the Control Panel search box, type keyboard. Select Keyboard from the list of results.
    Figure : Keyboard
    Keyboard in Control Panel
    The Keyboard Properties window opens.
  3. Drag the Repeat delay slider to Long, and then click OK to save changes.
    Figure : Changing the Character Repeat delay setting
    Keyboard Repeat delay setting
  4. If this problem continues, reinstall and update the keyboard software.
Computer beeps while typing in Windows 8
If the computer sometimes beeps while you are typing, Toggle Keys or Sticky Keys are active. The Toggle Keys can emit a beep when the Lock keys are pressed. The Sticky Keys function can emit a beep when the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and Lock keys are pressed. Use the following steps to disable Sticky Keys and Toggle Keys:
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select Control Panel from the menu.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Image of lower left corner menu with Control Panel selected
    The Control Panel window opens.
  2. In the Control Panel search box, type change keyboard.
  3. Under Ease of Access Center, click Change how your keyboard works.
    Figure : Change how your keyboard works
    Change how your keyboard works in Control Panel
    The Make the keyboard easier to use window opens.
  4. If selected, remove the selection from Turn on Sticky Keys. Then click Set up Sticky keys.
    Figure : Sticky Keys
    Sticky Keys
    The Set up Sticky Keys window opens.
  5. Remove the selection from Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times to disable the Sticky Keys keyboard shortcut.
    Figure : Disabling the Sticky Keys keyboard shortcut
    Disabling the Sticky Keys keyboard shortcut
  6. Click OK to save changes and return to the Make the keyboard easier to use window.
  7. Remove the selection from Turn on Toggle Keys.
    If selected, remove the selection from Turn on Toggle Keys by holding down the NUM LOCK key for 5 seconds.
    Figure : Changing the Toggle Keys settings
    Changing the Toggle Keys settings
  8. Click OK, and then close the Ease of Access Center.
    The beeps no longer sound.
Wrong characters appear when typing, changing keyboard language, or Dvorak in Windows 8
If the wrong characters appear when you are typing, or you are trying to use a different keyboard, use the following steps to synchronize Windows to the type of keyboard you are using:
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the screen, right-click, and select Control Panel from the menu.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Image of lower left corner menu with Control Panel selected
    The Control Panel window opens.
  2. In the Control Panel search box, type keyboard layout.
  3. Under Language, click Change input methods.
    Figure : Change input methods
    Change input methods in Control Panel
  4. Next to your primary language, click Options.
    Figure : Change your language preferences
    Change your language preferences
    The Language options window opens.
  5. Click Add an input method to see a list of keyboard layout options.
    Figure : Add an input method
    Add an input method in Language options
  6. Select the desired keyboard layout from the list, and then click Add.
    Figure : Select a keyboard layout
    Select a keyboard layout
    The new keyboard layout is added to the Input method list in Language options.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Switch keyboard layouts by pressing the Windows + SPACE BAR keys.
    The current selected language and keyboard layout are displayed in the Settings charm, in the taskbar on the Windows desktop, and in the bottom right corner of the sign-in screen when you sign in to Windows. To switch layouts using the on-screen interface, click the notification, and then select the desired language and keyboard layout:
    Figure : Language and keyboard layout notification in Settings charm
    Language and keyboard layout notification in Settings charm
    Figure : Language and keyboard layout notification in Windows desktop
    Language and keyboard layout notification in Windows desktop
  9. The new keyboard can now be used. To add more keyboard layout options, repeat these steps.
     note:
    The keyboard layout settings also apply to the On-Screen Keyboard and the Windows 8 Touch Keyboard.
Problems with extra buttons or volume control
The volume control and the keys for extra keyboard features, such as Internet or e-mail, are controlled by additional HP software (kbd.exe). If any of the following symptoms are present, reinstall or update the keyboard software:
  • A message displays stating that kbd.exe has stopped working.
  • You have problems configuring the extra keyboard keys.
  • The volume does not adjust when using the keyboard volume controls.
 note:
You can test the keyboard for key or hardware failures using HP Hardware Diagnostic tools that come with your computer.
Stuck key
If a key is physically stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace your computer. Many keyboards have keys that can be removed by inserting a butter knife under one edge of the key and gently prying up on the top and bottom edge. After the key has been removed, using a swab with alcohol, clean the underside of the key and the key's slot in the keyboard. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.
 caution:
If the keyboard is still under warranty and the key is stuck, you might want to contact HP to see if the keyboard can be replaced before removing a key. If the key is stuck due to liquid or other substance getting into the keyboard, cleaning might be the only option.
Other tips to think about when encountering a stuck key:
  • Turn off the computer before working on the keyboard.
  • Longer keys, such as Space and Enter, probably have a small metal rod for support. This rod must be inserted into the key and keyboard before replacing the key into the keyboard.
  • Keys on thin wireless keyboards, such as those used by Touch IQ Series PCs, can be more difficult to replace. Consider replacing the keyboard for these types of keyboards.
Figure : Removing and cleaning a stuck key
Key removal
Keyboard software needs to be reinstalled or updated
HP and Compaq keyboards use special software (kbd.exe) in addition to the normal keyboard drivers that come with Windows. This software provides extra functionality for the extra multimedia keys, Internet keys, and the volume control (on some keyboards). Use the following steps to reinstall or update the software.

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