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Keyboard occasionally nonresponsive on bootup with Debian Sid

Please cc me on replies.  

I've got a couple of problems for which I can't identify the responsible
subsystem, so I thought I'd ask in a general forum like this.  Here's the

Running Debian Sid, various 2.6.x kernels.  

About one out of every three times I boot up my laptop, my keyboard is
totally unresponsive.  The mouse works fine.  I can do machine fn-calls,
e.g., fn-f5 to activate bluetooth, or fn-f7 to switch CRT/LCD.  But the X
server doesn't respond to any keystrokes, and keys like Caps Lock don't
change the status light.  I don't know if the keyboard would work in
console, since I can't switch over there.  (I've never had this problem
occur when I boot up to a lower runlevel, however).  

I was pretty sure this was linked to my specific hardware, but I recently
moved from a Dell Latitude to a IBM Thinkpad X40, and still get the same
behavior.  There's very little in common (hardware) between the two
systems, so I think that excludes hardware.  

On those times when the keyboard doesn't work, it *does* work in the
bootloader (GRUB); it's only after booting up that the keyboard doesn't

Ctrl-alt-del is also non-functional, so the only way I can restart is to
power off.  

Nothing unusual in the log files.  Also occurs with several different 2.6
kernels, including  I'm not sure it has ever happened with a
2.4.x kernel, but for various reasons I can't use those kernels, so I
haven't experimented that much.  

Can anyone suggest a way to hunt down this problem?  I can't even guess
the origin.

(likely irrelevant, but I do get 'atkbd.c: Spurious ACK on
isa0060/serio0. Some program, like XFree86, might be trying access
hardware directly.' a lot in dmesg).  
Adam Rosi-Kessel

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