Trouble with Bios

(John Jones) #1

Is anyone else having problems with the keyboard working in bios? I cannot get the keyboard to work while in bios for either of my computers. I have the keyboard plugged into a usb switcher where I can switch between my gaming computer and my laptop(both plugged into the same monitor). The keyboard works flawlessly on both computers while in windows but when in bios I can’t get it to work. And I can’t use it go get into Bios. I have to reboot the computer into bios from windows. Any ideas?


(Gergely Nagy) #2

We have done some work recently to make this scenario more manageable. I’ll explain the details below, but before we go there, I’d recommend updating your firmware to the latest version of Model01-Firmware. That should work out of the box for many BIOSes, and for those where it does not, you should be able to hold Left Fn + Esc + Shift (assuming the factory layout) to put the keyboard into a mode compatible with older BIOSes.

The gist of the issue is that there are two modes a keyboard can report what keys are pressed: boot mode and report mode. The first is what pretty much everything supports out of the box, but it has a limitation of only being able to accurately report 6 keys pressed at a time (thus it is often called 6KRO, short for 6-key roll over). The second, report mode is what people refer to when using the term NKRO (N-key rollover).

The USB spec says that keyboards should start in report mode, and the host must tell them to switch to boot when it can’t speak report mode. This… doesn’t always happen. The spec also says that despite report being the default, the host should nevertheless, tell the keyboard to switch to report mode. Needless to say, this doesn’t always happen, either. There are a number of other complicating factors that make it next to impossible to both support the keyboard working in BIOSes, and NKRO under supporting operating systems. We have a bit of logic to make it as painless as possible, and make it work most of the time. For the times it does not, the Left Fn + Shift + Esc combo (all on the left half) will toggle between boot and report mode, thus enabling you to put the keyboard into boot mode before entering the BIOS.

Mind you, there may be a chance that the BIOS does not recognise a keyboard if it is “plugged in” after entering the BIOS. In this case Left Fn + Shift + ESC will not help, and we do not have a solution for this case yet. I think we still can figure something out, but we’d need to determine first if we’re dealing with this situation.

So, I’d suggest you first try an updated firmware, and see if it works out of the box. If it does not, try the Left Fn + Shift + ESC combo. If that still does not work, then try entering the BIOS, plug in a keyboard that normally works in it, and see if the newly plugged in keyboard is recognised. If you do not have enough keyboards (you’ll need one to enter the BIOS, and another to plug in later), then plugging the working keyboard out and back in might still exhibit the same problem… And that’d give us enough hints to proceed further with the issue.

(John Jones) #3

I know little of Arduino programming. I have done a little with some programming of things from Adafruit website to make flashing lights project. I started the compile of the firmware about 2 hours ago and it is still compiling. Should it take this long? I haven’t gotten an error code and it is still only about 1/3 of the way through according to the green bar.

(Jim Tittsler) #4

No. The flashing process only requires 10 to 15 seconds.

(John Jones) #5

Thanks for the reply. I went to a second machine I have here and installed the software from scratch and now it works as I thought and you verified above. I am going to get a book on arduino programming because I want to make some changes but have no idea how to do that. Basically I use this with a switcher to use 2 computers with the same monitor. I want the color of the keyboard to be a base of the green but still be able to change it with the LED key. How could I accomplish this? Any help appreciated.


(Jim Tittsler) #6

You may want to start a new topic to get a wider audience, since we have drifted a long way from Trouble with Bios

Does the switching of machines happen with a magic keyboard combination (in which case you might be able to catch that to change the color) or does it happen externally (in which case you might be able to set up some bidirectional communication facilitated by the Focus plugin).

(John Jones) #7

I have a USB hub that has a switch button on it to switch from one to the other. It would be nice to have a different color for each machine to verify which machine I am attached to. But honestly right now I would just settle for having a color picked (like green) automatically when the keyboard powers up. Every time I switch it goes back to the all off default and I have to cycle the LED button until I get to the colors. Just having some solid color by default would be awesome. Thanks for the help,


(John Jones) #8

I am starting a new topic.