My Dell Won't Recognize the Keyboard

Written by cameron holmes
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My Dell Won't Recognize the Keyboard
Look for the green or yellow light indicating keyboard activity. (keyboard #5 image by Adam Borkowski from

If you find that your Dell keyboard is not responding, there are a few ways to check whether it just needs some troubleshooting or if it needs to discarded and replaced. Your computer will likely send out a system error message that indicates a keyboard problem. Sometimes, a simple restart will help the computer recognise the device. If not, conducting a diagnosis run can help you determine the problem.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dell Resource CD

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  1. 1

    Check to make sure that the keyboard plug is connected to its corresponding outlet on the computer's back panel.

  2. 2

    Determine if the keyboard is functioning by looking for activity. You should see a stable or flickering green or yellow light from the top part of the keyboard.

  3. 3

    Test the keyboard out by typing in Wordpad to ensure that all keys work. Remove sticky substances that may have fallen in between the keys with a lint-free cloth, Q-tip or computer cleaning wipe.

  1. 1

    Restart your computer to initiate Dell Diagnostics. Press the "F2" key at the very start of the boot process to access the System Setup screen. Select "Boot Sequence" and hit the "Enter" key.

  2. 2

    Select the CD/DVD/CD-RW drive. Then, insert the Dell Resource CD into the computer drive. Hold down the "Alt" key and hit the "B" key to exit and save changes. The computer will reboot and present the Diagnostics Main Menu screen.

  3. 3

    Choose the "Test One Device" and select the keyboard option from the device list. This will initiate a test that determines whether the keyboard is functioning. If the Keyboard Interactive Test fails, you should replace the keyboard or manually reinstall it.

  1. 1

    Disconnect the keyboard. Restart the computer.

  2. 2

    Click the "Start" menu. Open the "Device Manager" in "Programs."

    In Windows XP, click "Start." From the "Run" menu, type "devmgmt.msc." Select "OK."

  3. 3

    Double-click "keyboard," or right-click the Dell keyboard icon. Select "Uninstall." Restart the computer.

  4. 4

    Turn on the keyboard and plug it back into the computer in its corresponding outlet. Once the computer has finished loading, it will recognise and reinstall the new keyboard device automatically.

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