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My keyboard stopped working

If your keyboard stopped working, there are a few things you can check to troubleshoot what the problem might be. Depending on the situation, you can try one of the following:

First you have to be able to determine two important factors in this troubleshooting equation.
1. If your keyboard stopped working, did it happen while you were typing, or did you notice it right after starting the computer up? 2. What kind of keyboard connection are you using? Is it a USB keyboard, is it a wireless keyboard, or is it a regular PS/2 keyboard connection? Let’s find out the possibilities.

1. - Your keyboard stopped working.

Did it happen while you were typing, or did you notice it right after starting the computer up? Other than an extreme obvious situation like spilling water on the keyboard, answering this question is important to know as it will help you identify the problem.

If your keyboard stopped working while typing, it may be as simple as loss of communication between the keyboard and the computer, a computer freezing up on you, or as complicated as a broken keyboard connection in which case you will need to replace it.

If you notice that your keyboard stopped working after starting or rebooting your computer, check the keyboard connection and make sure is properly seated. You may have to reboot once again. Here is where question number two plays a role to know.

2. - What kind of keyboard connection are you using?

Is it a USB keyboard, is it a wireless keyboard, or is it a regular PS/2 keyboard connection? - You have to be able to determine the kind of keyboard you use so you know what steps to follow in this troubleshooting equation. Let’s find out why.

USB keyboard

If your USB Keyboard stopped working, you can try to disconnect it and connect it back on the fly. USB connections are plug and play, so if you are running Windows and your USB keyboard doesn’t work, you can try unplugging and plugging it back to re-establish the communication, or simply try connecting it to another USB port. If this still doesn’t work, check the led lights on the keyboard; are any of them on? If they are, is the computer acting slowly? You may need to restart it at this point to refresh your computer memory and resources to get it back to normal speed, or perhaps it needs maintenance by running disk cleanup and disk defragmenter.

Wireless keyboard

If your wireless keyboard stopped working for any reason, make sure that the USB receiver has no interference blocking the signal to the keyboard. Clear the computer desk and check if it works. Also check the batteries; it may be time to change them.

Keyboard receivers have a signal scan button to detect their peripherals, press the button to transmit the signal and the light should start blinking. Once it does, find the button on the keyboard (similar to the one on the receiver) to receive the signal sent by the receiver and make them sink with each other. This procedure should allow the keyboard to work again. Note: remember that wireless receivers are always USB; Follow the same steps used above for USB keyboards and do the same for the wireless receiver.

PS/2 keyboard

Troubleshooting this type of keyboard connection is slightly different from the USB type. PS/2 connectors are not plug and play as it is the case of USBs. In a way, these keyboards are more reliable because there are no drivers to install from the operating system. In the case of USB connectors, every time you plug a device into your computer for the first time, it installs the drivers for it which means that it may bring issues from time to time.

PS/2 keyboards always have to be plugged in before starting your computer up (remember they are not plug and play). If it stops working while using the operating system, in most cases it is not the keyboard. The more likely reason could be Windows freezing up due to a process in the background that slows down the computer. This could also be because you don’t have enough RAM Memory in your system and have too many things open at the same time which in turn slows down the computer. Check your mouse for example, is it moving fast enough? If it is not, that should indicate you that your keyboard isn’t broken, but instead, your computer is acting up and slowing down.

There are three things you can do:

  1. Be patient, wait for the operating system to fix itself.

  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select the Task List button to go to the Windows Task Manager. Under the Application tab select any application that says Not Responding (if there is any) and press End Task. A confirmation window will appear asking you to end it. Press End Task again and wait for it to close. Do the same for every application not responding. You can also try this for any type of keyboard.

  3. Restart the computer.

Note: PS/2 connections use six pins that connect to the back of the computer. Be cautious when you connect your keyboard in your computer as they can bend and break. If one of the pins bent or broke and you don’t realize that it happened, your computer may not log into Windows. This can cause serious headaches if you don’t know what the problem is, so always be careful when connecting your PS/2 keyboard.

There is one last step that you can follow to determine the state of your keyboard. If your keyboard stopped working but you have a known good second keyboard with the same type of connection (and remember PS/2s are not plug and play), swap the good keyboard with the bad one and see if it works. You can also try connecting the bad keyboard onto another computer and really determine if the keyboard is broken.

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