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Install USB Mouse, Lose Keyboard

Marty wrote:

Thanks for your kind reply.

Mike McCarty wrote:

Recently, my girlfriend decided to try the jump to Linux.
I helped her build a dual-boot system with Windows and Debian
on it. She has run it fine for a couple of weeks, except that
her mouse goes "crazy" sometimes. This occurs both with Debian
and with Windows. So I suggested she has a hardware problem with
the mouse.

I gave her a USB optical mouse I have used before, and it works
just fine with both Windows and with Debian.

However, Debian no longer recognizes her keyboard. It sees the
mouse fine, but not the keyboard. Windows still sees and uses
both the mouse and the keyboard with no problem.

You forgot to mention whether the keyboard is USB or not. (See below)
You also didn't specify what it means to say that "Debian no longer
recognizes her keyboard."  Are you running X when the keyboard is not

Sorry, more details...

Started with PS/2 mouse and PS/2 keyboard. Debian performs as expected,
using KDE with X.

Power down, remove PS/2 mouse, install USB optical mouse.
Power up and select Windows boot. Both mouse and keyboard operable.
Shut down and reboot (no power down).
Select Debian boot.
Debian boots and seems to start KDE normally.
Type in login window, and no characters are echoed for user name.
Try CTRL-ALT-DEL to reboot, and nothing.
It appears that Debian does not recognize the keyboard at all.

recognized?  X has an inherent design flaw that makes it prone to this
problem (although I would expect it to lose the mouse as well).  To
sort it out you could check if the problem occurs on a virtual console,
peferably with no X server running.

Ok, how does one start Debian in this manner?

The motherboard is about two years old with a 2+Ghz Celeron on
it, 512 MB RAM. I have booted Knoppix 3.9 (Debian variant)
and run memtest overnight with no problems indicated.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


The obvious work-around is to try a PS/2 keyboard (or USB, if it's
currently PS/2).  For debugging, if the problem is with USB, I would
look at the hotplug output in the log files.  For example you could
log via ssh and run "tail -f /var/log/messages" and plug and unplug
the keyboard and see what hotplug and the USB driver outputs (or doesn't).
You could also plug and unplug the mouse, while checking the keyboard
and log output.

At present, there are no other computers at that location with which
to do either rlogin or ssh.
We have no USB keyboards.
The mouse (USB) is recognized, but the keyboard (PS/2) is not.

The idea about unplugging/plugging the mouse is well-taken. I'll call
her tonight and report back.

This message made from 100% recycled bits.
You have found the bank of Larn.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!

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