[ The PC Guide | Systems
and Components Reference Guide | Keyboards | Keyboard
Software Issues ]
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
- 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.
Key ASCII Code Generation
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