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I'm attempting to install Ubuntu 12.10 onto my older laptop. I power up the computer, pressing F12 to load the boot menu. It offers me to load from the hard drive and from my USB, but my and Tab both don't work at that point (hardware issue).

What would be a workaround for me in this situation? Is there a way I can change the functions called on the keys for example?

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What's your question exactly? Do you have an issue with Ubuntu not working with some of your keyboard keys? Is the keyboard broken and are you trying to find a workaround for it? – gertvdijk Jan 16 '13 at 22:44
My keyboard keys are broken, and I'm trying to find a workaround. By changing (for example the f3 key to down). – user116943 Jan 16 '13 at 22:45
How do I remap them? – user116943 Jan 16 '13 at 22:47
Made it an answer. It's a very common question. – gertvdijk Jan 16 '13 at 22:48
Thank you, I will vote up. – user116943 Jan 16 '13 at 22:50
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Just get an external keyboard and use that for the installation.

At the setup screen (boot menu) or even at the installation selection screen, no kernel is alive yet, so you have nothing to fiddle with. (read: no options, no workaround for your current hardware faults)

After installation, you can get rid of that external keyboard after you've remapped keys on your laptop's keyboard. That is a very common other question:

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