My ESX 4.1 installation can't see the PS/2 keyboard on the server. In fact, to even get through the install, I had to plug in a USB keyboard. Annoying, but that works for the install at my desk. However, in the rack, all the KVM gear uses PS/2 and it doesn't work with the KVM just as it didn't work with a direct PS/2 keyboard.
Doing some searching, I found that there was a change made in one of the 3.5 updates such that the PS/2 ports aren't probed unless they are listed in the ACPI table. There's some opion to override that. Well, great, except that the boot options on ESX 4 seem to be totally different and I've found no documentation on how to add an equivalent option. Trying to use the same option does nothing.
So, VMware, how do I turn off the retarded ACPI scan and make ESX just probe for PS/2 ports as it used to asnd it always should? Relying on ACPI for anything you don't have to is just plain dumb. I've never seen a BIOS that didn't have some flaw in the ACPI implementation. It rarely works right if at all in all my years of experience. ACPI info should be used as the last resort, not as some retarded shortcut to eliminate a proven technique in hardware detection. Please unbust you product!
There are thousands of installations that function using PS/2 keyboards including mine. Over the years I have found that same issue with both Windows and Linux on standalone servers. Try a different keyboard. Try an adapter with a USB keyboard. It has worked for me.
Three keyboards and all are fail (including the one on the KVM). All work in the BIOS, none work in ESX server. The PS/2 port is never even probed. It didn't take long on Google to find that in one of the 3.65 updates (#3 if memory servers correct), that they added a check in the ACPI table before probing the PS/2 ports. If ACPI doesn't know about it, then they don't even look for it. There's a workaround documented for 3.5 since that obviously causes problems, but no workaround documented for ESX 4. Use a USB adapter, you meant to make the PS/2 kVM appear as USB? Yeah, that's $30. Guess waht, alternatives to ESX are FREE. Guess waht I'll be using for VM hoting on the next server in the rack? ZHint: Its not a VMware product...
Edited to remove inappropriate language.
I have also an installation with PS/2 keyboards. But i have the following anecdote:
We purchased this year a HP DL380 G? Server (Newest on the market at these time). After mounting the Server in a rack we'd like to install the OS.
We connected the PS/2 keyboard through a "PS/2 to USB converter" and plug this into the USB Port in the Front of the server... wondering... it was not starting anymore... seems to hanging in the BIOS. After connecting the "Native" PS/2 Ports with the same Keyboard in back at the Server it boot's failurefree.
Sorry that it isn't working for you. What happens when you plug a keyboard directly into the server?? I would still look at other keyboards and if necessary another KVM.
Apparently, I wasn't clear enough... Any keyboard plugged DIRECTLY into hteserver, works in BIOS, but not seen by ESX once that starts. Keyboard plugged in through the KVM, working in BIOS (I can navigate all the settings), does NOT work in ESX. Keyboards plugged in to PS/2 port also worked fine when I booted DOS to update firmware on the SAS controller and check that motherboard BIOS was ewest revision. There is no problem with hardware or with keyboards. Problem is refusal of ESX to use a PS/2 port.
See http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=101185... for work around on ESX 3.5. Where is workaround on ESX 4 for this software problem?