Need help trouble-shooting boot mess.

NoOp glgxg at
Mon Nov 16 17:01:53 UTC 2009

On 11/15/2009 04:44 PM, David Armour wrote:
> Hello,
> Jaunty boots, but....
> ...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]

This sounds very similar to a problem that I had last year. I set up a
dual-boot on an old (very old) eMachine for a friend's housekeeper. She
had a Dell usb keyboard, and I could not use the keyboard for Grub. It
would work fine in BIOS, and once booted, but not for Grub. I dug out
the email that I sent to them to fix this, you might try the same:

> Glad it works & all the peripherals came up ok
> (except for keyboard at the Grub menu). It's the first time that I've
> configured a desktop to look like a Mac, so it was fun experimenting to
> get it right.
> She still has a keyboard problem on startup & that bothers me. What
> happens is that the keyboard will work with bios at start, the the Grub
> bootloader starts (that is the menu that allows you to switch between
> linux & windows etc), then it works again at her login screen.
>   The problem is that the bios is set to have the operating system
> control the USB keyboard & Grub isn't an OS. So the keyboard doesn't get
> reactivated again until Ubuntu starts. There is a way to fix this:
> 1. Shut down the computer.
> 2. Turn on the computere and as soon as it starts press DEL (I think
> it's DEL for that machine, if not try F2 or F1) so that it starts the
> BIOS manager.
> 3. Look for a USB Keyboard setting in the BIOS menus and if available
> select so that it does not depend on the OS. I forget what the exact
> menu is, but if you poke in around BIOS you should be able to find it.
> Don't change anything else, only the USB keyboard setting!. Save and
> boot. At the Grub menu (the DOS looking menu) press ESC as soon as it
> comes up. If it halts, you can then use the down arrow to select Win98
> so she can boot into that to see what Win98 looks like on that computer.
> That should fix the keyboard problem.

Note: sounds simlar to the problem Andrew Farris had as well.

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