Windows XP Keyboard Errors

We ran into an issue where the (PS2) keyboard and mouse stopped working altogether. In the Device Manager, it showed them as having errors, and the message was “A driver (service) for this device has been disabled. An alternate driver may be providing this functionality (Code 32).”

After uninstalling all drivers that may conflict (IntelliPoint), and trying to redo the standard PS2 drivers, nothing. Until I stumbled upon this old post from Google Groups that pointed the way to a registry key that did the trick.

Navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services, then look for the special service i8042prt and set the value of “start” to “1” (automatic). At this point, you can either reboot or try the command-line option of net start i8042prt, which should work as well. Restarting did the trick for us in this case.

12 Replies to “Windows XP Keyboard Errors”

  1. Hi Tom –

    Unfortunately, I have no idea! It was a while ago (as you can tell by the date) that I wrote this, and it did the trick for me. As far as I was aware at the time, the setting controlled both the mouse and keyboard.

  2. I actually have to be the one to report a failure! =( I have the same error message and changed this registry setting but it did not fix the error with my keyboard. I was able to fix the mouse by uninstalling and plugging in a USB mouse, when it loaded, I rebooted with the PS2 and it worked, however, this is not the case with the keyboard. Is there anything else in this part of the registry that would only control the keyboard driver being installed properly?

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