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KVM switch locks up

 

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I use a Miniview 4 Port KVM switch by manufacturer Iogear. The product is used in an environment of 3 PCs running

  • Windows XP (Compaq ipaq)
  • Windows 2000 (Hewlett Packard Pavilion)
  • Windows XP (Compaq with Duron processor)

The HP machine sometimes runs Mandrake Linux instead of Windows 2000.

I switch between the 3 stations using the (left) Ctrl + Alt + (1,2,3) shortcut. This works fine but once in a while the ipaq with Windows XP will lock up. In particular what happens is that the keyboard behaves as if the ALT key was pressed permanently. Sometimes it behaves as if the CTRL key was pressed permanently.

This can be quite disturbing in particular for someone who operates mostly with the keyboard and does not use the mouse. Imagine typing and X in your word processor and it actually executes Alt+X = 'Close application'.
Not good.

Update:In a few cases it helped to press both ALT keys simultaneously (or both CTRL keys, if it acts as if CTRL is pressed). Then release both modifier keys and you can enter text again. This has worked a few times, but not every time.


I have not found a way to programmatically remove the 'Alt' status from the keyboard in this situation. The only solution so far is to shut the affected machine down, physically turn the power off, wait a couple of seconds and start it up again.

Only the Compaq ipaq with Windows XP is affected from this problem. I've had this KVM for over a year now and am happy with it except when I had these lock-ups. It happened about 5 times in the one year of ownership.



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Comments:

2006-08-02, 19:56:58
anonymous from United States  
That is because you are using a cheap taiwanese KVM switch that doesn't handle the full range of keyboard and mouse emulations that exist. Try an Avocent KVM switch. They OEM to HP/Compaq, Dell and IBM. They cost a little more but they work.
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