Question Odd boot behaviour making me paranoid.

Jun 9, 2019
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A few days ago my laptop switched on to a black screen and small white writing telling me there was no boot media present. This persisted across a couple of restarts and went away - but ever since it's had that little flash of white writing, which I can't ever remember seeing before. Might be mistaken, or it might have just been faster before and less noticeable.

It's done similar things on two occasions since, and the last time wouldn't boot at all until I unplugged my external keyboard, which sowed a little seed of doubt: is there any possibility there's something embedded in the keyboard that's been quietly launching itself by pretending to be boot media? Feel free to pour scorn on me for suggesting the idea.
 
the keyboard is an innocent stupid basic input device...barring your giving the laptop to someone in the CIA/NSA, anyway...

Is your laptop equipped with a slow spinning hard drive, or an SSD? (Perhaps a loose connection, often the drive is readily accessible under a removable panel on the underside...; you could power it off and reseat the drive)
 
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Jun 9, 2019
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Further experimentation has yielded the following:

Every time the laptop is booted without the keyboard connected, it has booted normally.

Several times when the laptop is booted with the keyboard connected, it hangs on a black screen or the screen with tiny white writing before the manufacturer's boot logo.

If I plug the keyboard in after boot to any other port than the one it's usually connected to, the laptop says the device isn't working properly and the keys don't light up (though other devices work perfectly on other ports)

Based on this I'm leaning towards there being something non-maliciously wonky with the USB drivers or the hardware in the keyboard itself.
 

NatalieEGH

Honorable
Nov 23, 2012
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Reseating your hard drive is always a good idea.

Before re-installing Windows, I would consider:
  1. Plugging the keyboard into another USB slot if available. If the problem goes away it was the USB port itself that is having the problems.
  2. If you have another keyboard or device you can connect to the USB port, do so to see if the problem appears when booting with those devices connected.
  3. Removing the USB driver for that device and re-attaching the device (which will re-install the driver).
  4. If you have another computer that the keyboard can be attached to, see if the problem migrates with it. If it does, keyboard is the problem.
Only after insuring it is not either the keyboard or USB slot would I do a full re-install. Be sure to backup to another device all files and software (installation files) you wish to keep before you start the re-install or if necessary complete rebuild.
 
Jun 9, 2019
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Reseating your hard drive is always a good idea.

Before re-installing Windows, I would consider:
  1. Plugging the keyboard into another USB slot if available. If the problem goes away it was the USB port itself that is having the problems.
As I mentioned, the keyboard isn't recognised if I plug it into any other slot (It bings as though it has been, and then Windows says it has failed.)

  1. If you have another keyboard or device you can connect to the USB port, do so to see if the problem appears when booting with those devices connected.
I have done that with a few different devices (mouse, microphone, drawing tablet) and there are no problems (and no problems with recognising devices either)

  1. Removing the USB driver for that device and re-attaching the device (which will re-install the driver).
That I haven't yet done. Will try that.
 

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