How can I get my Dell Optiplex to see a USB keyboard DURING boot process? (So I can get to the BIOS.)

Dell Optiplex
PS/2 keyboard
USB keyboard
I cannot boot up my PC I just purchased. It gets to a screen that says no boot device is available. (This is not a hardware problem, I just need to format the drive.) I have a Windows XP disk and wish to install that onto this computer. Sounds easy to this point right? Well I did not realize when purchasing this used Dell computer that it does NOT have any ps/2 adapters for an older keyboard or mouse. That's kind of useless before you get to Windows. The boot order is currently set to hard drive first. There is also no floppy drive in this machine. Even get this, I have an adapter that changes the ps/2 ending to a USB ending on my keyboard and STILL cannot get any response from this machine. The exact model is a Dell Optiplex GX280. I fell like I cannot be the only person that has had this problem, as this machine is sold without a ps/2 port so... I believe that when you buy new from Dell that they probably provide a disk with all the drivers or something of the sort so that you can use a USB keyboard during startup. Anyway, I bought used, so I have no such access to this media. Do you have any suggestions? I would appreciate ANY ideas of a remedy to this problem.

Answer Wiki

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I had the same problem with my logitech keyboard on the same model computer as you.  What I did was press the F-Lock key located on the upper left hand side of my keyboard and then re-booted.

Old Answer:

I would imagine to start with that your keyboard is not truly capable of being a usb keyboard, just because you have a convertor doesnt mean it will work as the keyboard still requires the hardware to tell the pc what it is.

So unless you are sure that the keyboard works with a convertor on another pc then you will need to purchase another usb keyboard.

Drivers are not required for keyboards to work at the bios level, however there is sometimes an option in the bios to enable legacy usb mode (but this mode is normally on motherboards that have both ps2 and usb connections).

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    please i have dell optiplex gx 280, but during booting the keyboard is not active, so i can not get in BIOS. the keyboard which i use in epro and it has a usb pin, however my dell does not have ps2 ports May be what is the proper keyboard for this kind of machine?
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Stevesz
    Wambura, You probably should have opened a new discussion. You need a USB keyboard at this point to be able to access the BIOS level functions.Any USB keyboard should be recognized, but is should be a pure USB keyboard, not one with a converter from PS/2. I recently found one, with a mouse, for just under $20. Not much of a keyboard, but it is not often used, and it works fine on an older machine, such as you are talking about.
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  • CaptainBob
    Just tried for 20 minutes with a "generic" USB keyboard and OptiPlex wouldn't recognize the keyboard in time to press F12 to enter setup. Found a Dell brand USB keyboard, and it worked on the first try.    
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  • cchawawa
    I have a dell optiplex 380 that the usb are not working so I cant boot how do I enable my usb so that I can go to bios
    10 pointsBadges:
  • maria555
    Answer is, open PC, remove battery, put back battery, usb= now live
    10 pointsBadges:

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