The keyboard works after power up until after I logon. After I'm logged on the keyboard is unresponsive. I can still move the mouse with both the eraser and pad and the mouse buttons work as well.

A little history: I have already replaced the keyboard, not so much to fix this problem, but because a couple of key caps would not stay on. I held out a slim hope that replacing the keyboard would magically fix the problem, but nope.

I discussed the problem with dell tech support. They eventually said the problem was the mother board. I needed to replace it. I'm ok with doing that and will try doing it myself, but I wanted to run it by you experts first.

Is there something else I should try first? If replacing the mb is the solution any advise on how to do that would be greatly appreciated (i.e. Are there step by step instructions on the web somewhere?).

Thank you.

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Update: I just realized that holding a key down does eventually respond by displaying the character and the character will very slowly repeat (like twice a second).

I tried repeatedly pressing a key(and releasing instead of holding it down). I did this like 50 times and the character was never displayed.

Could this be a virus instead of a hardware problem?

hi, yup you're right it could be a virus problem, or try using an external K/B see what's the difference, if still the same, try to use system restore if your OS is XP, have you tried going to command line? see if in the command line your K/B will work or not, if it works then it could be a virus problem...just try..

I tried going to the command prompt and see the same behavior. I'll test the external keyboard shortly. Thanks.

Just tested the external keyboard and see the same behavior there too.

I started the laptop up in safe mode - command line and still encountered that same behavior. Now I don't think this is being caused by a virus. Maybe it is the MB like dell support said.

Since you are willing to replace your motherboard. The best way to do is do a clean xp install.

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