Question Keyboard won't type.


Ok, so this is a wierd one. None of the standard keys work after Windows loads, but all work in bios. The media keys for volume/mute work, the lighting keys work.

When turning on the pc, num-lock is lit, so bios is accessible, then all usb shuts off for a second when post page switches to windows load page. At that point when usb comes back on, no more keyboard, just a few specific keys.

Things I've tried :
Unplugged keyboard, booted, plugged back in
Check for sticky keys/filter keys
Uninstalled all keyboards in Device Manager
Checked for updates/drivers
Changed keyboards, exact same issue.
Windows update
Fresh install of drivers for 2x different keyboards (Cougar and Logisys)

Onscreen keyboard works, physical keyboard will not type, alt-ctrl-del, alt-f4, num-lock, nothing works.

I'm at a loss, none of the troubleshooter or windows repair / scannow found any issues


Win 11 Master
tried safe mode? guess its hard to get into safe mode without a keyboard, unless you can get into windows and use settings
  1. go to settings/update & security/recovery
  2. under advanced startup, click restart now button
  3. this restarts PC in a blue menu
  4. choose troubleshoot
  5. choose advanced
  6. choose startup options
  7. click the restart button
  8. choose a safe mode (it doesn't matter which) by using number associated with it.
  9. Pc will restart and load safe mode

Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right -

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

any windows updates recently?

strange its only keyboards, I seen mouse/KB stop working in windows before but not just one at a time.


Tried legacy.
Tried safeboot

It's very wierd. I actually had an update waiting, so was on the same version, tried the update, no joy. No other installed software for weeks, only regular Steam updates.

The volume keys work, they'll change windows volume up/down/mute, the lighting and windows key lockout works. Mouse works fine, all 5 buttons and rgb. Other USB, like headphone and speakers work fine. Only the basic, standard keys are affected.

The keys work in bios, just freeze and num-lock light goes out after usb ports shut down for that second between when post is done and windows starts.

I'll try clean boot after work.


Did a repair install. Takes much longer. Gotta go into bios and disable secure boot (can't use WindowsOS, gotta be OtherOS). If using profiles, save that. Boot. Download media creator, use that to 'burn' windows to iso. Unpack the iso then run the setup exe. It'll run through updates, then ask if you want to install: 1) save all apps and settings and personal data, 2) keep personal data only, 3) completely wipe and start from scratch.

Choose option 1.
After it's finished, go back to bios and re-enable secure boot (WindowsOS)

Its the only way to replace Windows OS completely, without loosing all your stuff not contained in MyDocuments.

It just takes several hours.

But it worked! Have keyboard back functional and lost nothing. Having to reinstall 180 mods in Skyrim woulda been seriously detrimental to my state of mind. 😭

What gets me is neither scannow nor dism picked up on anything wrong, since one pulls system files from cab files and the other pulls from Microsoft.


Win 11 Master
i did method 2 which is use a USB as i just find it easier than messing with cab files.
longest part of repair install I find is getting all the updates again. But its only about 5, sure beats WIn 7.

dism only goes online if its missing files.

if it was an odd driver bug, SFC & DISM won't see it, as its not technically a system file.


Right. But in safeboot, only sys drivers are loaded, not app drivers. Which leads me to believe there's a switch. Has to be. Some sort of Kensington lock for the keyboard. Something in the registry set to data 0 instead of data 1. It's the only way I can see it getting around scannow replacing drivers if they are corrupted. I even reset the num-lock in registry from 2147483648 (default) to 2 and 2147483650, neither changed the num-lock at boot status.

The reinstall rewrites any windows portions of the registry. Which would apply windows default settings for Windows and reset the switch.

What's really worrying is that applying the backup iso I made last week did nothing, so whatever was bunk is at a more elemental level than the iso copies or replaces.


Win 11 Master
Whatever cause was, it wrote over the Microsoft system drivers for the keyboard as none would work, even if you installed new ones.

I have seen it before where both mouse and KB stop working in windows, I have no idea what causes it but there are questions like this throughout the win 10 forums. It doesn't seem to happen as often now. Often only answer is a reinstall and it remains a mystery as to real cause.