Grub and USB Keyboard Issue

This is a very short post about a problem I had yesterday. First off I have a PC with Windows 7 and Ubuntu installed. When I boot my computer, I can choose with my server keyboard the OS I want to boot into using Grub. That keyboard is connected to a KVM switch, so I can switch between my server and my main computer. Unfortunately, my Apple keyboard cannot be used with the KVM so I have this Logitech low profile keyboard tucked away beside my server.

The problem was that all of a sudden I couldn’t change OS alternative in Grub using any of my keyboards. Now, this has never happened before. In fact, the keyboard is loaded OK when the computer has loaded into Ubuntu, just not when I get to choose OS in Grub.

My great Apple keyboard, not loved by the BIOS.

Ah, I can hear your thoughts, you are thinking:
-Try to enter the BIOS
Ok…gah I can’t because of the keyboard… and how can I change the USB settings in the BIOS if I can’t enter the BIOS in the first place?

-Well, Grub has alternatives, so you could use the “command line” alternative.
…but that requires that the keyboard is loaded at that time, which it isn’t!

My server keyboard.

So the first Grub alternative is Ubuntu, which actually let me change the Grub settings, see http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2124383. But I figured I could try something else until I do something that “dangerous”.

I found out via https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=143479 that I could use an old PS/2 keyboard as a failsafe. Why didn’t I think of that?! In fact, I didn’t know that my computer actually had DIN connector and it works for both a mouse and a keyboard.

I just happened to have a KeyTronic keyboard in my room, tucked away after I had cleaned out my cellar. I plugged in the keyboard and I can finally change between the alternatives in the Grub menu.

The answer to my prayers, the Keytronic.

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