Will a notebook start up normally if the keyboard is faulty?

  1. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 327
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
       #1

    Will a notebook start up normally if the keyboard is faulty?


    A couple months back I replaced the keyboard of my HP Pavilion notebook (as the previous one was having some key problems). I did an "unconventional" replacement, because prior to buying a replacement keyboard, I did not know that HP changed their notebook designs to make the keyboard no longer a separate replaceable item--you have to replace the whole top cover (keyboard + touchpad + bezel) as one unit, which is much more expensive. Since the individual keyboard was being offered by eBay sellers, I presumed this could be replaced normally. Much to my surprise when I dismantled the notebook, I found the keyboard was "hidden" underneath the motherboard and a metal bracket plastic riveted to the top panel (not meant to be replaced).

    Anyway, I was successful at replacing the keyboard after popping all the plastic rivets, extracting the old keyboard, and installing the new one. The system powered up A-OK.

    Fast forward to today, several months later... my HP Pavilion notebook shows signs of power (power light comes on, fan comes on) but I'm not getting any display. In a dark room I can tell that the display has some life to it, as it becomes slightly lit. But I never see the HP startup logo or any other display signs of booting up.

    I tried booting up hitting the F2, F8, F9 and F10 keys on separate boot cycles and that did nothing. I did notice something else odd, though. The back light does not come on when pressing F5. Also, muted speakers is not showing the orange LED light. Therefore, I must conclude that the keyboard has failed somehow.

    So, if the keyboard somehow becomes faulty, will the system refuse to boot up normally? If I plug in a USB keyboard (getting one soon), will this "bypass" a faulty in-board keyboard?
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,462
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hazarding a guess, could be anything from your 'CMOS' battery to hardware failure... given your disassembly skills, should be easy to check the battery.

    You don't mention BIOS beep codes either...

    Clearly there's no point suggesting a live boot disk.

    Were you using it normally recently?
      My Computers

  3. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 327
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Hazarding a guess, could be anything from your 'CMOS' battery to hardware failure... given your disassembly skills, should be easy to check the battery.
    You don't mention BIOS beep codes either...
    Clearly there's no point suggesting a live boot disk.
    Were you using it normally recently?
    I was using it normally. It was in sleep mode last I used it, but then it hibernated. That's happened many times before and with the new SSD I installed, start-up is very fast.

    I haven't changed the CMOS battery, but it's only about 5 years old. I've got older laptops that haven't needed CMOS battery changes.

    I don't hear any BIOS beep codes. I think I have both of my active notebooks set to quick boot, so I don't get a BIOS progress screen or any beeps.

    But with it on either battery or AC power, the power button LED is on, I hear the fan (and feel it blowing). When plugged in, the charging LED light is orange (will turn white when 100%). If there was some unusual issue with the SSD, I'd see a "No Operating System Found" type message on the screen. I don't see anything. But the really weird thing is that the keyboard appears to be inert. In the past when I've first turned on the computer, the F5 button is active and turns the keyboard LED's on/off at will. It's not doing anything.
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  4. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 327
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #4

    OK, this is odd...

    On a lark, I tried to start the laptop again. THIS TIME... it started up.

    The event viewer revealed something interesting. Aside from the usual Distributed COM error I've seen other times,
    The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {D63B10C5-BB46-4990-A94F-E40B9D520160} and APPID {9CA88EE3-ACB7-47C8-AFC4-AB702511C276} to the user NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE SID (S-1-5-19) from address LocalHost (Using LRPC) running in the application container Unavailable SID (Unavailable). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.
    The other entries were "Windows Update started downloading an update."

    So... WTH? WHY, is Windows attempting an update download at this stage, before any kind of information displayed? The user is left with a blank screen wondering what is going on. My WiFi signal wasn't particularly strong, so it could've taken a long stretch of time to complete. I had done a forced shutdown and reboot several times today and each time in the event viewer I can see in the log that the Windows Update started again right after attempting to power up.

    I'm mystified.
      My Computer

  5. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,745
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #5

    Will a notebook start up normally if the keyboard is faulty?
    Possibly. There is a setting in older BIOSes, maybe newer ones, about "Halt on Error, except keyboard". That would allow a computer to continue booting if a keyboard was bad or not found. It was a feature we used when I worked in a shop in the latter '90s that allowed for rebooting a Server through the Internet.
      My Computers

  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,462
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #6

    Is it somehow possible that some update sequence had started around the time you hibernated?
    It was in sleep mode last I used it, but then it hibernated.
    A blank screen still seems puzzling, but maybe what you've observed could be related to interrupting the sequence. Just a guess.. I suppose looking at your Update History or event log might show more if you look at the appropriate date/time. But if it's working ok, best to just move on.
      My Computers

  7. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 327
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #7

    dalchina said:
    Is it somehow possible that some update sequence had started around the time you hibernated?
    A blank screen still seems puzzling, but maybe what you've observed could be related to interrupting the sequence. Just a guess.. I suppose looking at your Update History or event log might show more if you look at the appropriate date/time. But if it's working ok, best to just move on.
    If I recall correctly, there was an update pending to install, but I had postponed it. There have been occasions when I've postponed an update and then some time later Windows just decides to apply it on it's own volition without my consent. Perhaps that's what occurred and somehow coming out of hibernation state upset the normal procedure, causing the omission of any on-screen reporting of the update progress. In all other cases when I've explicitly given the OK to update, I see a progress indication at restart and again if it requires a full restart for further updates to apply.

    What really baffles me is how this state usurped any keyboard activity. Normally from a complete cold boot, I have F5 control over the keyboard back light, immediately after starting power. In this case, I did not. Nor any control via F2, F8, F9 or F10. The only time I could understand that happening is if a BIOS update was being applied.

    Anyway, good to know... and next time if this happens, I'll just let the computer sit and wait with AC plugged in until Windows finishes its business.
      My Computer


 

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