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Re: cannot boot OpenBSD 3.6 without keyboard plugged in
- To: misc_(_at_)_openbsd_(_dot_)_org
- Subject: Re: cannot boot OpenBSD 3.6 without keyboard plugged in
- From: Nick Holland <nick_(_at_)_holland-consulting_(_dot_)_net>
- Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2005 11:02:40 -0500
Jeremy Bowen wrote:
> Rod.. Whitworth wrote:
>>I have seen an electronics magazine called "Silicon Chip" (in
>>Australia) a year or two ago describe how to take an old keyboard and
>>cut off a bit of its PCB and use it on a DIN plug to fake the keyboard.
> While this might be a possible solution, isn't this a classic case of
> "fixing the symptoms, not fixing the problem" ?
> It would be better to get to the bottom of what is actually going on.
> I'm sure most programmers have seen cases of patches that have been
> applied to cover up/ mask various bugs without actually figuring out
> what the root cause of the bug was.
> If some part of the initialisation is probing the keyboard, then it
> would be nice to find out why that is hanging. Kludgeing an old keyboard
> cable on the back of the PC doesn't sound particularly elegant or robust.
Unfortunately, the OP's machine is a fairly unusual beast. I might even
go as far as to say it has a bug in its design, at least if the majority
of PC systems out there get to vote on such things. Any workaround for
such a "bug" would require extensive testing on other machines to make
sure it didn't expose other issues on ten times as many machines as it
"fixed" (note: ten times a very small number is still a very small
number). We wouldn't want it to break even ONE existing machine.
Imagine your response if you did a remote upgrade on one of your nice
rack mount systems, and it didn't reboot because we exposed a bug in
your machine in the process of fixing something on a ten+ year old machine.
Further, in order to fix this problem, one of our developers who is
knowledgable in such things would have to actually have a machine which
exhibited this problem. (heh. The OP could ship us the computer..and
then, in effect, the problem would again be solved. :)
Fiddling with boot code is scary. VERY scary. Most other problems can
be worked around in some way, but if the machine won't boot, you will
have trouble working around anything. You won't find a lot of
excitement about fixing a problem like this...
Anyway, back to the OP's problem...
Couple ideas that occur to me, one of which I just sent off-list to Lars
Hansson because it was way too off topic, then realized, it *might* just
solve the problem:
(many?) Compaqs won't boot at all without a keyboard, because they
are busy helping you by alerting you to the "problem". HOWEVER, there
is a way around this: in the BIOS config, set the machine to require a
boot password. This will prevent the machine from booting at all until
a password is entered. Now, you set the machine to be a "server" --
this lets the machine boot without waiting for the password to be
entered. Now, you can unplug the keyboard and all is right with the
world (except if you DO plug a keyboard in, you have about five seconds
to enter the PW before the kernel starts to boot, and then, you will
never have console keyboard until the next reboot). This works on
Compaqs, no idea if it would work on your machine. BTW: locate the CMOS
clear jumper on your machine before trying this. ;)
Another idea, if you are willing to spend a few dollars to experiment
would be to plug a USB keyboard to PS/2 adapter (and probably a PS/2 to
AT adapter on a machine of this vintage). This might fix your problem
nicely, as the machine thinks it has a keyboard. Granted, it would be
cheaper to take an old keyboard, cut the electronics out of it, put it
in a plastic bag, and toss it inside the computer (short version of
Rod's suggestion), but in theory, you could "hot plug" a USB keyboard
into the thing any time you wished. Of course, by the time you spent
$20 or so on adapters, you could have picked up a newer machine without
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