Can I start a Compaq without a keyboard??

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by John S., Jun 17, 2004.

  1. John S.

    John S. Guest

    I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    technical problem:-

    I belong to a voluntary organisation and we've been given a
    "mature" Compaq Presario desktop computer. Apart from having an
    apparently faulty floppy drive controller it works OK.

    I would like to use it simply for file backups, switch it on when
    needed and backup files to it through its network card.
    However, I don't want to have lots of wires and space taken up
    with the peripherals - so no monitor, keyboard or mouse.

    Problem is, it won't start without a keyboard connected. An error
    message is displayed saying there's a keyboard fault and "Press
    F1" (there's great logic for you).

    I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.

    Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?

    Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    (the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).

    Could this be done simply by getting a spare plug and wiring a
    suitable resistor or whatever between the appropriate pins?

    I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance,

    John Selby.
     
    John S., Jun 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. John S.

    theseus Guest

    John S. wrote:

    > I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    > technical problem:-
    >
    > I belong to a voluntary organisation and we've been given a
    > "mature" Compaq Presario desktop computer. Apart from having an
    > apparently faulty floppy drive controller it works OK.
    >
    > I would like to use it simply for file backups, switch it on when
    > needed and backup files to it through its network card.
    > However, I don't want to have lots of wires and space taken up
    > with the peripherals - so no monitor, keyboard or mouse.
    >
    > Problem is, it won't start without a keyboard connected. An error
    > message is displayed saying there's a keyboard fault and "Press
    > F1" (there's great logic for you).
    >
    > I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    > looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    > allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.
    >
    > Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?
    >
    > Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    > which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    > (the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).
    >
    > Could this be done simply by getting a spare plug and wiring a
    > suitable resistor or whatever between the appropriate pins?
    >
    > I would be grateful for any suggestions.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > John Selby.


    Yes its possible to make a dongle if there isn't a bios setting
    This article from Silicon Chip magazine may help you
    http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_30634/article.html
     
    theseus, Jun 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. John S.

    Dave Taylor Guest

    (John S.) wrote in news:40d177af.7737586
    @news.paradise.net.nz:

    > I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    > looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    > allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.
    >
    > Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?


    Go to the general page with date and time, hard drives etc
    Look at stop on errors at bottom
    set it none

    Ciao, Dave
     
    Dave Taylor, Jun 17, 2004
    #3
  4. John S.

    Malcolm Guest

    John S. wrote:

    > I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    > technical problem:-
    >
    > I belong to a voluntary organisation and we've been given a
    > "mature" Compaq Presario desktop computer. Apart from having an
    > apparently faulty floppy drive controller it works OK.
    >
    > I would like to use it simply for file backups, switch it on when
    > needed and backup files to it through its network card.
    > However, I don't want to have lots of wires and space taken up
    > with the peripherals - so no monitor, keyboard or mouse.
    >
    > Problem is, it won't start without a keyboard connected. An error
    > message is displayed saying there's a keyboard fault and "Press
    > F1" (there's great logic for you).
    >
    > I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    > looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    > allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.
    >
    > Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?
    >
    > Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    > which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    > (the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).
    >
    > Could this be done simply by getting a spare plug and wiring a
    > suitable resistor or whatever between the appropriate pins?
    >
    > I would be grateful for any suggestions.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > John Selby.
    >
    >
    >

    Hi
    You need the following...it still comes up with the error, but does
    continue on.

    SP0667.EXE - NO_F1.COM

    All Compaq 386 and 486 based machines have the ability to run without a
    keyboard attached. Some Compaq machines allow the user to select this
    mode of operation by selecting "Network Server" mode in their setup program.
    For those that do not offer this option NO_F1.COM is a DOS based program
    that is run one time which sets a bit in CMOS that instructs the BIOS
    not to wait for a keystroke after displaying the "Press [F1] to
    continue" message.

    This Softpaq (SP0667.EXE) replaces SP0378.EXE which is an older
    version of NO_F1.COM.

    Download via ftp at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp0501-1000/SP0667.ZIP

    --
    Cheers
    Malcolm
    =======
     
    Malcolm, Jun 17, 2004
    #4
  5. John S. wrote:
    > Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    > which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    > (the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).
    > Could this be done simply by getting a spare plug and wiring a
    > suitable resistor or whatever between the appropriate pins?


    I've seen these available, just don't remember where sorry.

    --
    Dave Hall
    http://www.dave.net.nz
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jun 17, 2004
    #5
  6. John S.

    Mr Bond Guest

    On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 10:52:09 GMT, (John S.) wrote:

    >I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    >technical problem:-
    >
    >I belong to a voluntary organisation and we've been given a
    >"mature" Compaq Presario desktop computer. Apart from having an
    >apparently faulty floppy drive controller it works OK.
    >
    >I would like to use it simply for file backups, switch it on when
    >needed and backup files to it through its network card.
    >However, I don't want to have lots of wires and space taken up
    >with the peripherals - so no monitor, keyboard or mouse.
    >
    >Problem is, it won't start without a keyboard connected. An error
    >message is displayed saying there's a keyboard fault and "Press
    >F1" (there's great logic for you).
    >
    >I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    >looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    >allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.
    >
    >Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?
    >
    >Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    >which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    >(the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).
    >
    >Could this be done simply by getting a spare plug and wiring a
    >suitable resistor or whatever between the appropriate pins?
    >
    >I would be grateful for any suggestions.
    >
    >Thanks in advance,
    >
    >John Selby.
    >
    >


    I can't help you with the dummy keybord thing, but it will/should boot
    if you plug a PS2 mouse into the keyboard port. A mouse takes up a
    lot less room than a keyboard as I see it.
     
    Mr Bond, Jun 18, 2004
    #6
  7. John S.

    John S. Guest

    (John S.) wrote:

    >Problem is, it won't start without a keyboard connected. An error
    >message is displayed saying there's a keyboard fault and "Press
    >F1" (there's great logic for you).
    >
    >I've hunted round the BIOS settings and can't find anything which
    >looks like it could be used to disable the keyboard test, or
    >allow it to continue booting without a keyboard.
    >
    >Can anyone suggest if it is possible to get around this?


    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. From those I've tried so
    far:-

    1) There's no setting provision to control "stop on errors" in
    this BIOS

    2) Plugging a PS2 mouse into the keyboard connector doesn't fool
    this particular machine.

    3) Enabling the Network boot option brings up a message "Network
    Boot F12" on startup, which of course requires the keyboard.

    I will download the SP0667.EXE - NO_F1.COM utility and try it.

    Just my luck that this machine has a faulty floppy drive
    controller, so I will need to get its network card set up before
    I can transfer the file to its HDD.

    Anyway, thanks again for the friendly advice.

    Cheers, John Selby.
     
    John S., Jun 18, 2004
    #7
  8. John S.

    RdM Guest

    (John S.) wondered:

    : Alternatively, would it be possible to make a "dummy" keyboard
    : which fools the BIOS into thinking there's a keyboard present
    : (the actual keyboard has the small (PS2?) plug on the cable).

    In some keyboards a quite small circuit board is unpluggable.
    It may be all that is needed. Maybe keep the LED's.
    I saved one somewhere here once, not sure what plug it has..
    Not sure about a Compaq kb internals either. Have a look;-)
     
    RdM, Jun 18, 2004
    #8
  9. John S.

    RdM Guest

    : : In some keyboards a quite small circuit board is unpluggable.
    : : It may be all that is needed. Maybe keep the LED's.
    : : I saved one somewhere here once, not sure what plug it has..
    : : Not sure about a Compaq kb internals either. Have a look;-)
    :
    : I found it, and I'm going to be naughty and trial a 5kb grey jpg.
    : (Try a 500% magnification if it comes through :=})
    :
    : Ross M

    I might add, since the resolution is less than on preview, that the LED's in
    this instance are on the board. There is an un-needed earth tag. It works.
    The keys are merely disconnected i.e. in an unpressed state. It's a PS/2 plug.
    <update>
    I recall now that this came from a Compaq DeskPro that had had a beer spill!!
    All you may have to do is unscrew the back of yours and extract the same kit.
    If the SP patch works;- you're home, and host! [Standard Disclaimer Applies]
    --
    Ross Matheson
     
    RdM, Jun 18, 2004
    #9
  10. John S.

    John S. Guest

    Malcolm <> wrote:

    >John S. wrote:
    >
    >> I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    >> technical problem:-

    (booting Compaq without an attached keyboard)
    >>


    >Hi
    >You need the following...it still comes up with the error, but does
    >continue on.

    ........
    >
    >This Softpaq (SP0667.EXE) replaces SP0378.EXE which is an older
    >version of NO_F1.COM.
    >
    >Download via ftp at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp0501-1000/SP0667.ZIP>--
    >Cheers
    >Malcolm


    That did the trick. Now shows the error message then continues to
    boot after a couple of seconds.

    Many thanks Malcolm.

    (Now my next challenge is to figure out how I can shut the
    computer down via the network connection)

    John Selby.
     
    John S., Jun 20, 2004
    #10
  11. John S.

    Collector_NZ Guest

    John S. said the following on 20/06/2004 21:16:
    > Malcolm <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>John S. wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    >>>technical problem:-

    >
    > (booting Compaq without an attached keyboard)
    >
    >
    >>Hi
    >>You need the following...it still comes up with the error, but does
    >>continue on.

    >
    > .......
    >
    >>This Softpaq (SP0667.EXE) replaces SP0378.EXE which is an older
    >>version of NO_F1.COM.
    >>
    >>Download via ftp at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp0501-1000/SP0667.ZIP>--
    >>Cheers
    >>Malcolm

    >
    >
    > That did the trick. Now shows the error message then continues to
    > boot after a couple of seconds.
    >
    > Many thanks Malcolm.
    >
    > (Now my next challenge is to figure out how I can shut the
    > computer down via the network connection)
    >
    > John Selby.
    >
    >
    >

    Simple to shut down, use vnc Gives you complete remote control over the
    system, assuming it has ATX type soft power control

    www.realvnc.com/
     
    Collector_NZ, Jun 20, 2004
    #11
  12. John S.

    Malcolm Guest

    John S. wrote:

    > Malcolm <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>John S. wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I wonder if someone can help out with a (hopefully) simple
    >>>technical problem:-

    >
    > (booting Compaq without an attached keyboard)
    >
    >
    >>Hi
    >>You need the following...it still comes up with the error, but does
    >>continue on.

    >
    > .......
    >
    >>This Softpaq (SP0667.EXE) replaces SP0378.EXE which is an older
    >>version of NO_F1.COM.
    >>
    >>Download via ftp at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp0501-1000/SP0667.ZIP>--
    >>Cheers
    >>Malcolm

    >
    >
    > That did the trick. Now shows the error message then continues to
    > boot after a couple of seconds.
    >
    > Many thanks Malcolm.
    >
    > (Now my next challenge is to figure out how I can shut the
    > computer down via the network connection)
    >
    > John Selby.
    >
    >
    >

    Glad to be of help :)

    --
    Cheers
    Malcolm
    =======
     
    Malcolm, Jun 20, 2004
    #12
  13. John S.

    John S. Guest

    Collector_NZ <> wrote:

    >John S. said the following on 20/06/2004 21:16:


    >> (Now my next challenge is to figure out how I can shut the
    >> computer down via the network connection)
    >>
    >> John Selby.


    >Simple to shut down, use vnc Gives you complete remote control over the
    >system, assuming it has ATX type soft power control
    >
    >www.realvnc.com/


    Ahahh, come to think of it I have VNC and Tight VNC on a CD ROM
    somewhere.

    It's not an ATX power supply, but all I want to do is shut
    Windows 98 down properly - don't mind pushing the OFF button
    after that.

    Thanks, John Selby.
     
    John S., Jun 21, 2004
    #13
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