My computer went to sleep and woke up without the keyboard working. I
removed the drivers, shutting down. I restarted numerous times, nothing restored
it. However, booting into Linux (multiboot) the keyboard works. By the way, I
tried USB and PS2 keyboards. Both drivers have exclamation points in the system
properties in Windows. I hope this intrigues a response from you. I seem to
have lost working drivers and will try a repair install, if necessary.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #56, I look at a keyboard that has stopped working from an obvious
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Keyboard doesn’t work
Well, first of all, I think that booting into Linux was brilliant. It’s
something that I often recommend people try when they are experiencing assorted
different kinds of hardware problems; keyboard ones being a good example.
The fact that the keyboard works, and works well in Linux, implies (as you
might expect) that this is a completely software driven issue on the Windows
Now, the question is what happened?
Good question, I honestly don’t know. And in fact, I think your
recommendation, your thought of potentially doing a repair install of Windows,
is probably the most expeditious solution.
Naturally, I would back up first if you haven’t been backing up already. But
a repair install is exactly what I think the doctor calls for in this case.
Windows repair install
These are things that a repair install should in fact correct for you. If
they don’t, then I suspect you’ve got something else going on. It’s hard to say
A repair install really should clear this up, which is why I almost
immediately lean towards doing that.
Reinstall the drivers
Another approach that you might want to consider (that is short of a repair
install) is for those drivers in device manager that have the exclamation
points – delete them.
This is actually a fairly common way to force Windows to redetect and
reinstall device drivers for devices that are having problems. Typically, it’s
done with USB devices and such, but it’s a very quick way to get Windows to say,
“I have no idea what kind of a keyboard this is. Let’s go figure it out. And
once I figure it out, let’s install the right drivers for it.”
It’s just shy of a repair install; the focus is just on the keyboard. So,
you might try that.
I’ve got an article on deleting
drivers as a way to perform this kind of repair install on a specific
And I’ve also got another article on doing a repair
install of Windows 7.
So, I would suggest either of those approaches. In your shoes, just because
I’m curious, I’d probably try the driver approach first, deleting the drivers
and rebooting and seeing what happens. If that doesn’t work, then absolutely I’d
go directly to the repair install.
And of course, (I have to caveat all this with) the very first thing I would
do is backup the entire system.
Next from Answercast 56 – How do
I open .doc or .docx files in Windows Mail?