Keyboard PS/2 to USB Adapters?

What is the situation with PS/2 to USB adapters? I’ve gotten some to connect my keyboard (PS/2) to my laptop and they haven’t worked.

What laptop? What Operating system? What make and model of adaptor? What model of keyboard?

I have one and it doesn’t work

I have one that works 99% of the time. (It seems to reset every hour or two and then I miss a keypress or two if I’m typing.)

However, I’ve also had adapters that look like PS2-USB but didn’t work as such. These could be mouse-only adapters, probably passive adapters for mice. If your adapter has two inputs, one for a keyboard and one for a mouse, you should be good, no need for a driver.

mine just has one input but it’s purple and has a picture of a keyboard on it and doesn’t work with the keyboards I’ve tried
the lights on the keyboard come on but it doesn’t register any typing

I am not concerned about that anymore since I bought a USB keyboard (it was an 7 year old Dell with a 10-15 year old HP traditional desktop keyboard, running Windows 7, and a cheap Chinese adapter)

But I am thinking of getting a used desktop and very much want to use the existing HP keyboard as that is much more comfortable and am wondering if I need to make sure it has PS/2 ports.

There are two kinds of these adapters, ones which do something fancy and ones which don’t. The fancy ones actually convert PS/2 to USB HID, while the dumb ones are pretty much simple electrical connections between the USB and PS/2 sides, and which just tell the keyboard to put itself into USB mode.

For the second type, you need a keyboard that understands it needs to do this special stuff, while the first type can convert most keyboards (there are oddball exceptions like DEC, Sun, etc.)

Had the exact same problem a few months ago when I bought a new computer and wanted to use my existing keyboard. I found there are two types of adaptors and they are even color coded. You need a purple adaptor. Green adaptors look the same but are wired different. Green adaptors will work with mice. Cost me $10 to find out.

THANKS. That looks like that was the problem with the laptop!

Assuming you have a PS/2 socket on your laptop?
If so any purple coloured adaptor will work.

My sort of mnemonic is green cheese is loved my mice etc. Purple not.
Why not stick with a standard IBM keyboard? Either very expensive on-line or given away for pennies. Still the best K/Bs ever made.


No. I suppose most people use the laptop keyboard–but it is too small for me. Likewise I hate the touchpad.

no, it likely isn’t. Terry Kennedy is right, the simple/cheap USB-PS/2 adapters are only pin converters. the keyboard or mouse needs to be able to “speak” both protocols and be able to detect what kind of port it’s attached to in order to work properly.

Simple cheap purple/green converters work to connect (old) USB keyboards/mice to old computers.

Old computers have ps/2 mouse/keyboard sockets.
(Old) usb keyboards can talk ps/2 as well as USB.
(Old) usb mice can talk ps/2 as well as USB.

There are new cheap USB keyboards comming out now that can’t talk ps/2. You can plug them into a ps/2 socket, using a purple connector, and they will power up, but they won’t talk.

ps/2 mouse is actually a different language than ps/2 keyboard, and on many computers you have to plug the keyboard or keyboard converter into the keyboard socket. But some computers, particlularly laptops, there is only one socket that can speak eithor or both languages. Sometimes these sockets are black: sometimes they are multi-colored purple and green.

No ps/2 keyboard I’ve seen can talk USB. No usb socket I’ve seen can talk ps/2. Either would be possible, but I’ve not seen it. To connect a ps/2 keyboard to a usb port, you need an active adapter, like this. Or this