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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Keyboards | Keyboard Software Issues ]

BIOS Settings

While BIOS settings differ from one system to another, most systems have very few settings in the system BIOS that are related to the keyboard in any way. I'm going to cover the relevant ones here briefly. You can find a full discussion of the system BIOS here and BIOS settings here.

These are the BIOS settings of most relevance to the keyboard:

  • Halt On / Halt On Errors: This setting tells the system BIOS whether it should stop and prompt the user if certain errors occur during the boot process. One of the settings tells the system to ignore errors related to the keyboard (such as the keyboard being missing) at boot time: typically this is (halt on) "all errors but keyboard". This setting is important for some types of systems, such as servers that run without a keyboard for security reasons. If not set properly, the system will not boot as the BIOS will hang with an error early in the power-on self-test.
  • Keyboard Present: This is a more explicit and understandable version of the "halt on all errors but keyboard" stuff above: when set to "no" the system will assume there is no keyboard on the system.
  • Typematic Delay: The "repeat delay" parameter for the Typematic feature built into many BIOSes. The value is usually specified in milliseconds.
  • Typematic Rate: The "repeat rate" parameter for the Typematic feature built into many system BIOSes. Note that unlike the weird nonsense with odd formulas associated with the MODE command in DOS, this is typically a more normal setting of characters per second.
  • USB Legacy Support: Enables support for USB keyboards on compatible BIOSes.

Next: <Alt> Key ASCII Code Generation

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