Using External Keyboard with Laptop

Discussion in 'hardware' started by LenC, Jan 26, 2010.

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  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    The keyboard is difficult to use on my aging vaio laptop, which I would still like to use as a spare. So I thought I could just plug in an old dell keyboard from a long-gone laptop. Wrong!

    Computer wants to install keyboard.

    Assuming I can find drivers for this keyboard, would I do any harm to the computer by installing them? For example,would I permanently disable the laptop kepyboard which I don't want to do? Ideally,I would like to use laptop keyboard when external keyboard is not plugged in.

    What happened to the plug and play concept? WHy can't I just plug in keyboardand run with it? :argh:

    I have XP Pro, fully updated.
     
  2. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    Sure, let it install the keyboard. It won't disable your built-in keyboard. Plug-n'-Play is in action here - you plugged it in and after installing the driver, which usually doesn't take that long, you keyboard is ready to use.
     
  3. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Keyboard is a dell L100. Accrding to dell forum - it is "pure plug/play" no drivers are necessary or available.

    So why does my computer keep trying to install it and expecting me to have drivers for it?
     
  4. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    I've plugged in hundreds of keyboards into laptops, Windows should drive it fine with native drivers, it shouldn't need anything.

    Only thing I can think of, is your USB drivers are whacked on the install, and if USB drivers aren't properly settled in, any USB device (such as that keyboard) will not install properly.

    Maybe go download the latest system/motherboard drivers for your laptop.
     
  5. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    If something were to go wrong with the process you described (that tends to happen to me a lot :oops: ), could I reverse it by restoring a prior Shadow Protect image?

    I assume that is the case, but I want to be sure I wouldn't be irreversibly screwing up the bios or something else I don't fully understand.

    Thank you for both of your responses.

    Le
     
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Yes, you could restore a previous image. Installing drivers does not affect the BIOS.
     
  7. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    I think that the computer wants to install drivers forthe special functions of the keyboard. Otherwise, it should have all the drivers needed at hand. Ignore the driver needed message, and test the keyboard out. It should work.
     
  8. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    That's what I thought at first. So I tried another more generic keyboard - no special features - still got the request to install drivers.

    Neither of the two keyboards I tried will work after cancelling out ofthe driver install request - they are not recognized. Iplan to image system and then follow previous recommendation to update system drivers.

    I'll report back - thanks everyone!
     
  9. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Hi, seems it,s ur motherboard. Modern motherboards have good support for USB devices regardless of your OS, like my wireless keyboard works even in BIOS.

    You will need drivers I think as ur motherbaord is not supporting it. Just my guess.
     
  10. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    So I installed drivers for motherboard. It didn't fix the problem - system still asks for keyboard drivers when I plug in the keyboard. With regard to your suggestion, Aigle, drivers don't seem to exist for this particular keyboard (Dell L100).

    The two keyboards I have tried to use are both Dell - maybe I'll try borrowing a non-Dell keyboard and see if that works.
     
  11. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    The L100 is a common Dell keyboard, the default keyboard used in most of their business grade models, and servers. Standard keyboard layout, no "special" drivers needed, just the generic driver included with a default Windows install since...oh...Windows 2000. I use many of those keyboards, as a Dell reseller, lots come through my office. I use them on many other brand PC systems too. Just...plug them in...wait 15 or so seconds for Windows to install the drivers..and you're off and running.

    The only drivers for keyboards are for those "special function" keyboards....with "hot keys" or programmable keys up along the top.

    The only thing I can think of, is your Sony laptop has some prior special keyboard drivers installed, which Windows is still referencing when installing the drivers for this USB keyboard, and causing Windows to search for something in relation to those prior drivers. Do you have PS/2 ports on the laptop? Wonder what would happen if you used a USB ==> PS/2 adapter to make that Dell keyboard use the legacy PS/2 port...I bet Windows wouldn't even flinch.
     
  12. quintile

    quintile Registered Member

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    How old is that puter?

    Seems if you use a any reg USB keyboard, it should just work!

    I switch out usb mice, keyboards, speakers etc all the time, never once
    was asked for a driver..(on a Dell 6 yrs old..xp home)
    You got plug n play services (and dependents) on?
    Did you uninstall the usb drivers then reinstall in Device Manager?

    Since you didn't say if anything else isn't working...
    maybe something in this link..

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=241965&start=0

    Lots of posts about usb ports n keyboards not workin..
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-10...=245563&messageID=2369315&tag=content;leftCol

    Well, I wrote all this, so posting it, but yeah, what Stonecat said.. :D
    (the usb >>> PS/2 adapter dealie)
     
  13. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    No PS2 port.

    I will take a closer look at those articles when I have more time - nothing jumps out as being immediately relevant to my situation after a quick look.

    The computer is 3.5 years old. It is a vaio vgn-sz230P; it worked well for 2.5 years and then has been a disaster ever since. In fairness to Sony, it was my son's computer (in college) for those 2.5 years and it looks like it was in a war zone. But after 2.5 years, it totally fell apart and my son wound up with a new computer. I've kept it as a spare and replaced harddrive, fan and keyboard. (I should have trashed it, but things broke down one at a time.)

    After replacing HD, I used Sony retore disks to restore back to original, but there have been strange problems from time to time, e.g., sometimes webcam works and other times it doesn't. Based on what I'm seeing and reading here, I assume I have some kind of strange driver issue(s).

    I'll keep thinking about it, but meantime, I can use the built in keyboard.

    Thanks everyone - I really appreciate it - learning a lot from this!
     
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