Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

Andrew Farris flyindragon1 at
Mon Nov 16 09:19:17 UTC 2009

On Mon, 2009-11-16 at 00:44 +0000, David Armour wrote:
> ...the boot up screen where you use the arrow keys to select 
> 'recovery' mode doesn't produce any response to key pressing! Booting
> progresses normally otherwise, and once I've logged in
> everything looks and acts much as it has for a number of years now...[1]

2 questions: 
     1. Is your computer an older computer (4-5 years old?)
     2. have you recently switched keyboards (such as from a PS2
        keyboard, to a USB keyboard, or the other way around)?

I had something similar to what you've described happen to me a few
years back on my old computer when I 'upgraded' from a PS2 to a USB
keyboard. I had no keyboard control in BIOS, or with any boot menus
etc... but once the OS booted up everything worked fine. The issue was,
at the time, a bug in the motherboard's BIOS with how it controlled
keyboards... basically it would save the location of the keyboard you
were using in the BIOS settings, and wouldn't scan for a new one if the
previous keyboard wasn't found... hence the behavior. 

If you have BIOS keyboard control, then I don't know... maybe
reinstalling GRUB would help?

Just in case it's helpful: The way I fixed my issue was to plug in my
old PS2 keyboard (and remove the USB), reboot and get into BIOS, and hit
the 'Reset to Factory Defaults' option. Then, just after hitting 'save
and exit' power off, unplug the PS2 keyboard and lug in the USB, then
start up again. It worked fine from then on, though trying to go back to
tfrom 2000-ish range?he PS2 keyboard resulted in the same behavior, and

Even if your issue doesn't fit the same criteria, it still might be
worth while to try. if you don't have an older keyboard (or a PS2 port
for that matter), you can also accomplish the same effect by resetting
BIOS manually with the onboard pin header, or removing the BIOS battery
for 10 seconds or so.

This is of course, assuming a desktop. if you have a laptop, then if you
still want to do it, you will need to figure out how to reset BIOS on
your particular laptop, as most every laptop has a different method.

Hope that helps!

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