Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a computer that I dual boot between Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7. I installed Windows first, and Ubuntu second.

When I boot, the GRUB menu comes up, showing me the option to select to boot to Ubuntu at the top of the list, and to boot to Windows at the bottom.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, any key I press on the keyboard (connected by USB) does not get any response, so I can't actually select to boot to anything but Ubuntu (which is the default selection).

Once Ubuntu loads and I am at the log in screen, then the keyboard (and mouse) work perfectly normally thereafter.

Why would my keyboard not work only during GRUB? And how do I fix it?

share|improve this question
Does your keyboard work in the BIOS? Bit of a shot in the dark guess hence its a comment not an answer, but maybe USB Legacy Mode in BIOS (you may need a PS/2 keyboard to turn it on? :). – Caesium Nov 21 '11 at 12:46
In many BIOSes this functionality is named "USB Keyboard/Mouse support for DOS". – Michael K Nov 21 '11 at 13:26
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Solution: First attach a serial port keyboard. Go into BIOS settings and enable legacy USB support. Then reboot with just USB keyboards. Grub is now accessible.

share|improve this answer
What if it's 2013 and nobody owns serial keyboards? – Timmmm Sep 12 '13 at 18:55
@Timmmm: I'm not some technician providing customer support for everyone out there with a USB keyboard problem. I'm just one guy who had a problem, and I found a solution, but no one is claiming it is the solution. If this answer doesn't help you, then simply ask a new question, and reference this one by saying you have a different circumstance. Or you can continue leaving mildly sarcastic comments and seeing if that helps, but in my experience I've never seen it lead to useful suggestions. – Questioner Sep 13 '13 at 3:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.