While booting, Esc, up/down arrow keys and 'e' key not working

asked 2017-03-06 15:34:54 -0500

vkg gravatar image

updated 2017-03-07 09:14:52 -0500

Hello. For the last month, I have been having problems accessing certain keys in Fedora 25. I am using the 4.9.13-200.fc25.x86_64 kernel on a HP ZBook 15u G3.

Here are the symptoms:

During boot:

1) When booting, pressing Esc key does nothing at all. This means that I cannot get into my BIOS!

2) When booting and upon being presented the grub menu of installed kernels, I cannot use the up/down arrow keys to choose a kernel, neither can I use the 'e' key to edit. Nothing happens when I press these keys, and eventually the grub timeout occurs and the default kernel is booted.

After boot:

1) Pressing the up/down/left/right arrow key dims the screen brightness. I have to go to the Settings->Power option to increase the brightness.

2) Normally, when I am in presentation mode hooked up to a projector, FN+F4 allows me to cycle through my displays. Not any more. FN+F4 now toggles between putting the laptop in Airplane mode.

3) FN+F5 and FN+F6 should reduce/increase screen brightness. They do nothing.

4) Miraculously, I can increase/decrease the volume by FN+F8 and FN+F9, respectively.

Any question how I can get some of my keys back? Especially the ones that will allow me to go into my BIOS and choose/edit kernels while I boot.

Any help will be much appreciated. And, thanks in advance!

Update: Tue, Mar 7 2017: I plugged in a USB keyboard; now using the USB keyboard, I can get into the BIOS. While in the BIOS, I can use the USB keyboard's arrow keys and escape keys to move around. The native laptop keyboard is still unresponsive. However, after I leave the BIOS and am in the grub menu, faced with a choice of kernels, none of the keyboards --- USB or native --- is responsive. I cannot use the arrow keys to go up and down the kernel list.

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Seems to me you have an issue with you the keyboard of you machine. Fedora or Grub will only affect your keyboard after it boot, so the issues mention on boot means you keyboard is not responding at that moment therefore it may not respond after boot. In a way that is confirm when you use an external keyboard that work correctly. Hope it help.

aeperezt gravatar imageaeperezt ( 2017-03-07 09:47:14 -0500 )edit

if arrows do brightness, sounds like the FN modifier key on the left side of the keyboard is stuck, as if being held down. Pull the battery, clean the keyboard, and see what happens.

SteveEbey73701 gravatar imageSteveEbey73701 ( 2017-03-07 10:55:42 -0500 )edit

Thank you both for your comments. The thing is, the laptop is only 3-4 months old, so the keyboard appears pretty clean. Also, if I use a USB keyboard, I can enter into the BIOS. But the same USB keyboard does not allow me to choose the kernel from the grub2 list! So it looks like a cascade of things going wrong. If all else fails, I will try to pull the battery and see what happens. Although the way they design these laptops now, it is really hard to open up the outer shell. Thanks a lot.

vkg gravatar imagevkg ( 2017-03-07 12:43:42 -0500 )edit

Anything that happen before entering Grub options means that you have an issue on your bios or a hardware issue on your notebook. Not related to the OS. So I'm afraid we cannot help.

aeperezt gravatar imageaeperezt ( 2017-03-07 16:31:28 -0500 )edit