How to Hook Up a Keyboard to a Computer

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A keyboard is one of two essential input devices for a basic computer. It allows a user to form written words to communicate with the computer as well as others. There are an array of keyboards available on the market with different features. Whether you are purchasing a new keyboard or replacing an old one, hooking it up to your computer is a simple task that almost anyone can perform.

Things You'll Need

  • Software
  • Drivers
  • Determine what type of port your computer has. A Personal System 2 (PS2) port resembles a circular area with six circular holes and one rectangular hole. A Universal Serial Bus (USB) port is a slim rectangular shape bisected by a rectangular prong.

  • Consider any features you would like your keyboard to possess. Keyboards are available with wireless capabilities, illuminated buttons and buttons that establish pre-set shortcuts.

  • Ensure your operating system supports the keyboard you have selected. This information can be found on the back of the keyboard's packaging.

  • Purchase a keyboard with the appropriate attachment to fit your computer's port. A USB port requires a USB keyboard and a PS2 port requires a PS2-compatible keyboard. Make sure your keyboard has the features you prefer and is compatible with your operating system.

  • Examine the instructions to see whether any additional software or drivers need to be installed. Most basic keyboards do not have any additional requirements.

  • Install any additional software or drivers, if necessary.

  • Turn off your computer and plug in your keyboard's cord into either the USB or PS2 port.

  • Turn your computer on and access your computer's settings to check that your keyboard is properly installed and functioning.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most newer computers have a feature called "Universal Plug N Play" that automatically detects and installs new hardware.
  • Operating system compatibility is necessary to ensure that all keys on the keyboard function properly. For example, a keyboard manufactured for a Windows computer comes equipped with a key to bring up the Windows start menu. A Mac computer does not use the start menu, and therefore this key would not work.
  • If you experience problems with the installation of your keyboard, call the manufacturer's support number provided with your keyboard.
  • To customize the functions of the keys on your keyboard, access your computer's settings menu. From there, you can change the character repeat delay, repeat rate and cursor blink rate.

References

  • "The PC Doctor's Fix It Yourself Guide"; Adrian Kingsley-Hughes; 2004
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