Installing a New Keyboard – Part 1

Couple months back I picked up a new Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 keyboard to replace my current one. I’ve used it at work for quite a while and thought it would be a good replacement. Being familiar with technology and having assembled a few computers over the years I didn’t give installing it a seconds thought. I figured “great, it gets in tomorrow so I’ll plug it in and start using it.” Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

First off I’m quite fond of my current keyboard (pic to come). I received it as a Christmas present from my brother in 2004. It’s a completely modified Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite with a Half-Life 2 theme, the game was released about a month and a half before hand. You maybe not be able to tell from the picture but each of the keys are the actual keys that came with the keyboard each being modified with the sides being cut off individually. The rust color is also a paint type mixture over the silver and yellow, and on top of them are numerous layers of a lacquer coating which I somehow managed to wear off in a few places. My reason for replacing it is because, quite simply, I wear the hell out of my computer gear. I couldn’t even guess how much I’ve typed on this during the past few years. In addition to the paint beginning to wear in a few places a few of the common letters such as the vowels, backspace, and space bar are jamming. This makes for a consensus stream of typing semi-frustrating at times. I suppose it could be related to cruising around a bumper-car track and suddenly getting it from the front. – a very abrupt stop. It’s not quite at the point of being retired but it is time for it to be moved to another spot where it won’t receive as much use. So, what’s all the fuss about installing the new one?

I’m running a Dell Latitude D620 with Windows XP SP2. The laptop actually came with Vista but since it’s used for a lot of development, and I’m not about to put up with the various Vista issues, and since I had an XP license I decided to format it and install XP. It has a couple usb ports on the back and the side, and since I prefer running dual screen I also have a docking station I connect it up with at home. I have a run of the mill Logitech usbmouse and the aforementioned keyboard is ps/2. For some reason I wasn’t able to get the mouse working in the docking station and since I needed to get some things done I just haven’t looked into it enough and plugged it into the side usb right into the laptop. Worked like a charm. I later purchase the new keyboard and go to install it…device not found. It sees I plugged in a usb type device, but it is unable to detect it as a keyboard. I manually add the device and repeat the process attempted at the assorted drivers. By this time I’ve also installed the Microsoft Keyboard software and driver. I’ve tried at countless combinations with reboots and different usb ports with all of the same result. The message that’s displayed after it attempts to detect the device is

The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software.

Then checking the Device Manager there is a usb device that isn’t found. The device status reads:

This device is not configured correctly. (Code 1)

Which after searching for some time on google find it may have to do with an IRQ conflict. At this point I’m confused for a couple reasons:

  1. How is it a keyboard can cause such a conflict?
  2. Why do other usb devices (mouse, thumb drive, camera, ipod, phone) work just fine?

For those who may be wondering if the keyboard may be broken, it’s been tested on two desktops and another dell laptop. I also checked the driver it uses on the desktops and its the same general hid device driver which I tried on my laptop.

As a side issue with this, I think the problems I have with using the docking station’s usb ports are along the same lines. When it’s in the dock I see an additional unknown usb device with the device status showing:

This device is not configured correctly. (Code 28)

I haven’t looked into this as deeply but since I was focusing on the other. At this point after a friends suggestion I’ll probably end up backing up the laptop, with ghost or another utility, and install a clean build on it and see what happens. We suspect it may have to do with the various dell drivers that need to be installed since there is a EVDO modem and bluetooth in addition to the modem and network card. I’ll definitely post an update but if there are any thoughts or suggestions let me know.

  1. [...] continue on from an earlier installment, Installing a new keyboard – Part 1, I had time to look into this further and every turn I took it became more and more bleak until I [...]

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