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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

HELP my keyboard doesn't work in my virtual machine!

I have a pretty straightfoward setup. Thinkpad T430 running XP SP 3. Used standalone converter to convert to VM and also resized it down onto a USB hard drive. When given the choice of export formats I chose VMware player 5.0.

Installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Installed VMware Player 5.0. Opened saved VM. Keyboard AND mouse (trackpad) don't work in guest. Work fine in OS, I click in guest, and nothing, stuck at XP login screen.

Ok so I then installed VMware Workstation 9.0 (since updated to 9.0.2). Opened same VM. This time mouse works fine. No keyboard. I checked in Device Manager, It's "Standard PS/2 Keyboard". Can't install tools because I can't log in. I even setup a bluetooth keyboard, then clicked the setting to pass Bluetooth keyboards over. I can click in the guest, try to type on the Bluetooth keyboard, and nothing happens. But I can hit ctrl-alt, get focus back, and alt-tab away so I know my keyboard is working.

This is absurdly simple compared to what VMWare products are capable of. What is going on? I have googled endlessly and found NOTHING of assistance other than checking my device manager on the host.

Please someone help me, this is driving me insane. I've spent hours on what should be a straightforward operation. And I need to get back into that XP Machine!

\Edit: I want to add that when I select the boot into BIOS option I do have keyboard usage. It's something in the virtual machine for XP. But I don't know how to fix it and re-building is not possible.

33 Replies
ShadyMalatawey
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi..

First, I feel like that it's something like u have to login with local admin inside XP machine and then u'll install the required driver for ur keyboard..
one simple Q: did u try an old PS2 keyboard with it..?? and see if it's working..?? then login and install the driver for the normal usb keyboard..???

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

No, I haven't plugged any other keyboards in than the bluetooth. I have access to both USB and PS/2 keyboards, I'll try them.

However, since my system keyboard itself is detected as ps/2 keyboard per device manager, I'm not expecting any different results.

I wonder though..since I can use it in BIOS, is there a key I can hit while windows is starting to force safe mode?

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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

Ok I hit F8, keyboard worked there, tried Safe Mode, it booted to the login screen and keyboard didn't work.

One odd thing - this VM takes forever to start. Like 5 minutes to get to login screen. I'm running with 4GB RAM on a core i5-3220m. The machine is set to use only 512MB RAM. It shouldn't take this long.

I have an XP Pro install CD I just booted from in the VM. It sees my install but doesn't give me the option to repair Smiley Sad. But the keyboard works there.

Also tried booting, hit F8, select Safe Mode With Command Prompt, but that still boots me to a login window where the keyboard doesn't work.

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Jkell311
Contributor
Contributor

I found this on the internet, hope it helps:

VMware KB: Keyboard or mouse do not work in a hosted virtual machine

And the reason why your Virtual Machine is taking forever to get to the boot screen in because if you have under 2108 MB of RAM(this is for me, check on yours) It uses VRAM, Which is Virtual RAM and it uses space off your hard drive to use as ram. So if you have an SSD(Solid State Drive) it shouldn't be that bad it if you have a HDD(Hard Disk Drive) the speed of your virtual machine will be terrible. I have two cores in my VM even though I only have two cores in my computer. Be aware though if you give the VM too much of your computer speed(like all of it) You will not be able to use your computer very well, So I suggest only do this RAM trick if you aren't going to be using your VM and your PC together, Thankyou

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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

Yes I've long since found that KB article and tried the applicapble portions, it didn't change anything.

Remember I can use my keyboard in the VM's BIOS, or to choose a different start up device - it's only when windows loads fully that it stops working.

I thought maybe I can do a repair install, tried one XP SP3 DVD I have and it wouldn't see the hard drive. This despite my first using the included vmscsi.flp then downloading the latest vmscsi-1.2.0.4i.flp image and using that as my floppy and adding as a drive. I press F6, press S, it asks for a floppy, I hit enter and nothing happens.

I got an XP3 SP3 CD from a friend to test, it would only offer to install. No option to repair.

I tried using a bootable CHNTPW cd and to clear my account password so I could at least hit Ok to login then poke around, it said it cleared it but when I try to login it fails.

As far as speed I realized it's because I was still running from the USB 2.0 hard drive I built the image on. Copied it to my SSD and now starts much faster, although seems to linger on the logo window for longer than I would expect before showing me the login screen.

Any other suggestions?

Also wanted to add, I opened the virtual disk file with Winmount, everything looks normal, and c:\windows\system32\drivers has keyboard stuff in it (forget the exact filename). I also plugged a USB keyboard in, verified it work at the BIOS/boot selection screen, and it also didn't work once windows loaded.

There must be SOME obscure entry I can add to the config file for this machine to change how the keyboard works.

Edit2: I just noticed when I boot from the DVD that does see the hard drive, it sees only the partition and how much is in use and free - it doesn't see a windows installation on it. (Despite that I can boot into Windows on it). That's probably why I'm not getting the repair options! Like I said I opened the hard drive file and it looks ok to me - anyone know what the windows XP looks  for to determine if Windows is installed?

Edit3: Just booted Hiren's Boot CD and went through and inspected all the standard XP loadup files. They look fine. Also used a builtin registry editor to check my services. Nothing unusual there. However I should note that this VM was built from inside a corporate windows install that has various remote acccess utililties as well as Afaria hardware level encryption, which also has a service that runs which I couldn't find. Since I built the VM from inside Windows however the encryption is irrelevant, just wondering if some service is interfering or perhaps intentionally blocking access since it detects a change...

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ShadyMalatawey
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi.. Sorry for my late reply..

IMO, if u connected PS2 keyboard, it will work and then logged in with it..then u'll need admin password to install a driver for USB Keyboard.. or bluetooth one..
It met me a lot for physical PCs in my old Corp. where we applied policy on USBs and they need admin password to install any USB driver.. and I think it's the same case here..

For slow boot, It's for just what Jkell311 mentioned about vRAM and SWAPPING on hard drive..

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

This is a laptop with no PS/2 ports.

Keep in mind, device manager shows my builtin keyboard to be a "Standard PS/2 Keyboard". Also as I mentioned I already moved the VM to the laptop's SSD and speed is fine now.

The USB and bluetooth keyboards were just testing.

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ShadyMalatawey
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That's why Im saying try to use PS2..
The driver is there installed..and there's now driver isntalled for USB Keyboards..
Did u try to change USB Compatibility settings in the VM Settings menue-> USB..???
Try that too..

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

Again, I have no PS/2 port.

Yes, I tried changing to those settings already, when I was trying to get a bluetooth keyboard to work. No difference.

I booted into Hiren's boot cd and checked the entire file system and registry, I see nothing awry. But like I said Windows can't see the install to repair it - but it still boots to a windows login. I can use the keyboard before windows boots but not after.

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dariusd
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If you remove the USB Controller from the VM's virtual hardware, the VM will fall back to using virtual PS/2 keyboard and mouse, even if your host only has USB.  We can quite happily present a virtual PS/2 keyboard and mouse to the guest regardless of what the host's hardware is.  (Trust me, you don't need a PS/2 port for your VM to have a virtual PS/2 keyboard!)

Try removing the USB Controller entirely and then power on your VM, then see if the guest recognizes the keyboard.

Cheers,

--

Darius

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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

I've made a little progress - I  did clear my password, so I can click login. As it was loading my startup items I tested the keyboard with ctrl-esc and the Start menu popped up. Suddenly the "Add New Hardware Wizard" popped up and said new hardware had been found etc. I said check online for drivers. If failed. After that point my keyboard didn't work. Used the mouse to install VMware tools. Also confirmed internet works by opening Chrome and seeing my web pages pop up.

So I used the mouse to get to device manager. Under keyboard it's listed as "Standard 101/102 keyboard or Microsoft Natural Keyboard" with the yellow exclamation mark. Double clicking it shows  an error along the lines of "this device could not be loaded because the registry entry is incorrect or missing" (or something similar, I need to bring it back up again to get the exact error). Tried to Uninstall it then use the Add New Hardware wizard, it found it exactly the same and couldn't find a driver for it.

Powering down the system now to try disabling USB Controller. Although I need USB passthrough of a wireless USB adapter, that was the whole reason to do this - so  I could put Win 7 on my laptop but still have my XP available with its proprietary Wifi software to access my corporate network.

Will edit once it reboots without a USB Controller...

Edit: Removed USB controller, rebooted, and now I can move the mouse but can't click anything - so can't click Ok to login. *sigh*

Edit: Adding USB Controller back lets me click with mouse again. Connected a USB keyboard, couldn't connect it to the VM, added the USBdeveiceHIDLast=true line to my config file (the other shorter line something like  USBdeviceHID=true was already set). Connected the keyboard to the VM, it didn't work at the login screen, windows detected it and installed the driver for it, but then IT showed up in Device Manager with the Excalamation and the same error as the other keyboard: Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged

It just detected the keyboard and added the driver successfully and yet the registry entry for it is already incomplete or damaged?? Doesn't make sense. I wish I could do a repair reinstall of XP, but like I said before, the XP CDs that even see the hard drive don't see a Windows install on it. And I did get the floppy VMware SCSI driver loaded, I had it set to the image but not connected to the VM. I connected it to the VM, booted XP again, added the VMware SCSI driver from floppy, and it still doesn't see that there is an install of Windows on the C drive. It just gives me the install options of install with or without format - and my understanding is install without format will wipe my installed programs essentially. I need a repair reinstall and can't get one. And even a boot to safe mode with command prompt I lose keyboard once Windows loads.

Edit: Got my hands on an XP SP2 CD that DOES see the windows install. Doing a repair reinstall, then I'll install SP3 - IF the keyboard works. If it doesn't then I've screwed my XP VM up even worse by going down to SP2.

Edit: Nope, even in the XP SP2 setup screens the keyboard doesn't work. Great. Now I'm stuck at an activation screen. I suppose I could clonezilla off my nice Win7 install, reimage back the XP image I made with clonezilla (using dd since it was encrypted), retry making a VM, reimage with win7, and try all over again. I've already spent at least 8 hours on this. Forget it, I'm done. Oh and now I can't even mouse around in XP as it's demanding a key - even if the keyboard were working I don't have one as this system was shipped with win 7, has the cert for that on it, but our wonderful corporate IT department ruined it by putting XP on. Thus why I wanted Win 7 on but still the ability to access the corporate wifi via the XP client.

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XWAVG
Contributor
Contributor

I had the same issue, keyboard and mouse does not work inside the mac VM, and it is resolved now.

My solution:

In mac VM, Edit settings, Edit USB, Select USB 1.1.


billyhollis
Contributor
Contributor

I had the same problem, also on a Lenovo (W520 for me). I solved it by uninstalling the Synaptics touchpad software, using Programs and Features from the Control Panel.

I rebooted the VM after the Synaptics uninstall and the keyboard came to life.

Hope this works for you too. (If you see it - I could understand why you would give up by now. I almost did.)

OscarDavey
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hello,

Did VMware  Tools installed on Guest OS?

Try to install or reinstall it.

Hope will help.

Yours, Oscar

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kingneutron
Expert
Expert

--Thanks so much for your post, you really helped me! Smiley Happy I was gonna give up on my Win7 P2V from a Lenovo Thinkpad T510 because the in-VM keyboard wasn't working, and saw your tip.

--Uninstalled the "Thinkpad ultranav driver" and rebooted, and keyboard came back OK!

./. If you have appreciated my response, please remember to apply Helpful/Correct points. TIA
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jb0nez
Contributor
Contributor

Ahh sadly I can't try these new tips..I ended up breaking my XP VM by trying to pull some DLLs from XP SP2 and put them on. Then I cracked the LCD Smiley Sad

Once I get it repaired though I will try, thank you for the responses.

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oski1993
Contributor
Contributor

How did you uninstall the ultranav driver? I take it you were somehow already logged into the account?

I'm in a similar situation where I've created a Lenovo Thinkpad Win7 Pro VM, the mouse responds on the login screen, but the keyboard does not, so I'm not able to login... and therefore have no chance to uninstall anything. I've tried the various USB 1.1/2.0 settings not he VM but it didn't help.

Like others here, I can enter the BIOS screens and the keyboard responds as expected, so am also thinking it's a driver issue. Safe mode similarly is non-responsive to the keyboard.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.

virtuocraze
Contributor
Contributor

I was having this issue with my vm's not accepting input from my mouse or keyboard as well. I'm on a Dell Precision M6700. What I did was turn off the touchpad via the control panel app (as I use a docking station 99% of the time) and this brought my input devices back to life in the vm's. Thanks to the previous poster for the idea!

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ZaneP
Contributor
Contributor

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