USB Keyboards & CMOS

I just installed some USB ports and a USB capable keyboard in order to bypass a problem with the original kbd port that had blown it’s fuse on the motherboard.

I enabled USB from the CMOS setup, and the keyboard works fine.

However, I noticed that at bootup, the keyboard is not powered until well after the time I would need to hit the DEL key in order to get back to the CMOS settings.

Is there a way around this?



If your system did not have USB onboard and you added it with the card per your description I assume we are dealing with a pretty old system as USB has been around for almost 4 years now. If this is the case you are pretty much SOL re pre OS boot USB hardware activation.

If your system does have USB onboard in the BIOS it will may have a section for enabling “legacy” USB items that will activate USB recognition when the system boots. Make sure this is toggled to “On”. This is a bit a a catch 22 however as you need to get into BIOS mode to enable it in the first place, which you can’t with the current situation.

Sometimes on older systems there are key combos you can hit in DOS that will activate the BIOS but this by no means a universal feature.

I don’t understand - how did you enable USB in the BIOS in the first place if you couldn’t connect a keyboard to it?

Also if the KB wasn’t reconized wouldn’t you get the ‘no keyboard found, hit F2 to continue’ which is sort of self defeating way of acknowlegment, but that’s another beef.

Just adding a little note: I have fixed the blown picofuses on several MBs. The quick and very dirty is to just put a jumper across the blown fuse, that’ll allow you to get into BIOS settings, etc. Then remove it. I take picofuses off old MBs and solder them onto the MB I’m salvaging. (I have a peculiar idea of a fun evening at home.)

A lot of picofuses I’ve seen are green with an amp indicator number on them. But not all are. The size of a 1/8 watt resistor or so. Sometimes there are two (one for PS/2 mouse). Use an ohmmeter.

As mentioned, I simply bypassed the blown fuse in order to get the original keyboard to work so that I could access the CMOS settings.

And yes, it’s an older board (1996?) which means an alternate solution will be needed down the road…

Thanks for all your replies!

if one of the PS2 ports still works, you can get a splitter cable so that mouse and keyboard can both be plugged into the remaining one.

This rarely works. Some PS2 ports are designed for it, e.g., laptops with a single port, but not at all common on desktops.

Even then, the splitter cabling is occasionally non-standard.

So, check with the MB maker first and foremost.

4 years? My former job used to have AT&T Catalyst PCs (oh the joy!) with a manufacture date of 1996 that had USB ports, so it’s much closer to 7 years, not 4.