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MacBook Pro Keyboard doesn't work in Windows 8

42688 Views 56 Replies Latest reply: Oct 31, 2013 5:44 AM by Mookie Merkk RSS
  • kjmathew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 27, 2012 9:09 AM (in response to deperkins)

    I have the same problem trying to boot to Windows 8 on Boot Camp:

    * Keyboard does not work. Caps Lock key works: LED lights up and Windows says "Caps Lock is on".

    * Unable to enter password, so stuck at login screen.

    * On-Screen Keyboard does not work. Error: "Could not start On-Screen Keyboard".

    * Tried booting up Boot Camp partition via VMware Fusion 5. Keyboard still does not work!

    * On-Screen Keyboard popped up ONCE with VMware Fusion 5. Logged in and the keyboard worked normally from there on.

    * Didn't reset login password, so still stuck at login after a reboot.

    * On-Screen Keyboard refuses to work at the login screen even with VMware Fusion 5.

    * Whatever this problem is, it seems specific to the login screen. Keyboard input is working in Narrator Settings at the login screen.


    Anyone know of a solution?! Thanks in advance!


    System Configuration:

    * MacBook Pro 13" mid-2010 (4GB RAM, 500GB Momentus XT HDD)

    * OS X Version 10.8.2 (Mountain Lion with updates current as of Sat 27 Oct 2012)

    * VMware Fusion Professional Version 5.0.1

    * Boot Camp: Upgraded to Windows 8 Pro 64-bit from Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Boot Camp 3.3.

  • IcoolerthnU Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 27, 2012 11:02 AM (in response to kjmathew)

    I have the same problem.  Boot camp 4.0.  Late 2011 Mac Book Pro on an upgrade installtion of windows 8.


    At least i got my touchpad working by switching to a basic windows driver then back to the apple one.

  • metroidnemesis13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 27, 2012 7:45 PM (in response to IcoolerthnU)

    Same problem as everyone else. I was also having crashes when trying to install updates (I think, it was hard to tell because I was doing a lot at once). Can't get an external keyboard to work. It should be noted that if you turn on filter keys you can hear the key sound in Windows and the up arrow pulls up the lock screen, so the keyboard definitely works but it just doesn't actually enter form data into the password box. So basically I'm locked out of my Windows side and can't develop in Visual Studio for my college classes...

  • metroidnemesis13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm running the Windows 8 RTM x64 on a late 09 Macbook Pro 13 inch.

  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 Level 6 (10,550 points)

    If you depend on your computer for college classes why would you upgrade to an unsupported Windows 8?


    Go back to Windows 7 in Bootcamp or run Windows 8 in a virtual machine like Parallels, Fusion, or VirtualBox.

  • metroidnemesis13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @BobTheFisherman Because I figured RTM, meaning Release to Manufacturers, would be supported enough to use on hardware. Windows Vista Boot Camp drivers worked perfectly with Windows 7 betas through the final version, so I was under the assumption that the boot camp drivers would work just as well in 8. Obviously I was wrong. They must have done some serious overhauling with the kernel and system.


    I have Windows 7 x64 on my desktop, and I'm downloading VS 2010 again... luckily I still have the key.

  • Ryblack Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Oct 28, 2012 12:46 AM (in response to kjmathew)

    Exactly the same problem i have!

  • Gorban Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 28, 2012 11:21 AM (in response to deperkins)

    Not sure if it helps but I have my info the problem. On some bootups to Windows 8 on my early 2012 Macbook Pro, non-function keys on the keyboard do not function but some keys like Enter/Escape/F1-F12 seem to work. But since I have a password that's not enough so I cannot login. When this happens the on-screen keyboard gives an error.


    I have 3 languages installed: English, Japanese, and Macedonian in that priority order

    Every time that the keyboard works on startup, the language defaults correctly to English, other times English is hidden from the menu until I press escape and select a user (but it still doesn't work). When English is hidden Japanese always shows up first but when I switch to Macedonian I can't get the display text to switch back to Japanese even though it can show up selected in the popup menu.


    This might be related to a problem I had with the keyboard in Windows 7. After I setup Macedonian language, everytime I switched to it I could not switch back to English. I installed Japanese so I could put it in alphanumeric mode and still login if English was ever de-selected. Could probably be fixed with a driver that recognizes the keyboard as a standard 101-key US English keyboard instead of the custom region that Apple uses.

  • kjmathew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 28, 2012 11:57 PM (in response to deperkins)

    SOLVED! Found a clean workaround after 200+ restarts and experiments. Hope this frees up folks who were stuck over the weekend:


    [1] Shift-Restart from the login screen to enter Windows RE (Recovery Environment) command prompt.

    [1.1] Shift-Restart >> Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options >> Command Prompt

    [2] Use regedit.exe to enable hidden Administrator account.

    [2.1] Ref: -windows-7-and-vista/

    [3] Restart and login to [passwordless] Administrator account.

    [4] Run netplwiz from the Run dialog box [invoked using Windows-R] to reset your user account password.

    [5] Logoff and login to your [passwordless] user account.

    [6] Wait for a real fix



    * VMware Fusion Professional Version 5.0.1 - Allowed me to browse on OS X and experiment with the Windows installation on my HDD at the same time.

    * Tuxera NTFS version 2012.3.4 - Will let you edit C:\Windows\SysWOW64. Won't let you edit C:\Windows\System32 though, but Windows RE will.


    P.S: It doesn't look like the On-Screen Keyboard's "Could not start On-Screen Keyboard" error is because of the 64-bit osk.exe being invoked from a 32-bit app. I even edited the registry and managed to bring up notepad.exe instead of osk.exe at the login screen. Keyboard still did not work! Well, I'm glad I got to learn so much in the process - Had never really used Mac OS X until now .

  • kjmathew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2012 1:56 AM (in response to kjmathew)

    Apparently, installing Boot Camp 4.0 causes the keyboard to fail even beyond the login screen. Uninstall Boot Camp 4.0 (setup.exe >> Remove) and things start working again!

  • kjmathew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2012 8:54 AM (in response to kjmathew)

    I have a feeling the keyboard problem has to do with a faulting Boot Camp driver at C:\Windows\system32\drivers\KeyAgent.sys. Note that when the keyboard fails to work, even the On-Screen Keyboard fails to launch.

  • kjmathew Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2012 10:36 PM (in response to deperkins)

    Easiest workaround: Install Boot Camp 4.0 (should work for 3.x also) and simply rename C:\Windows\system32\drivers\KeyAgent.sys to prevent it from loading. Works!


    [1] Shift-Restart from the login screen to enter Windows RE (Recovery Environment) command prompt.

    [1.1] Shift-Restart >> Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options >> Command Prompt

    [2] Type C: (or whatever Windows installation drive letter is listed by running bcdedit | find "osdevice")

    [3] Run ren C:\Windows\system32\drivers\KeyAgent.sys C:\Windows\system32\drivers\KeyAgent.sys.bak

    [4] Restart


    I guess Boot Camp 4.1 should fix this.

  • Gorban Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 31, 2012 3:34 PM (in response to deperkins)

    Before I tried to rename the KeyAgent.sys file in system drivers, about 1 in 2 startups the keyboard did not work and I was unable to login; and, when I was able to login, the system worked fine without issue until it was shutdown again. After renaming, 10 in 10 attempts so far, I can login just fine. But now, the system has a bluescreen within a minute or two every single time with message BAD_POOL_HEADER. It is possible that a Windows update for the Radeon display driver could be relevant though, I will try to reinstall the Boot Camp video drivers. Also others with a similar issue said they fixed it by disabling Generic PNP Monitor in Device Manager.

  • Knakalodin Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2012 10:28 PM (in response to Gorban)

    There is a far less complicated solution to the nonresponsive keyboard problem in Windows 8 that works great for me without tweaking drivers and settings. This works every time for me. I have done this more than a dozen times in a row with my wireless Apple keyboard and mouse without fail so far. If it works for me maybe it can work for you:


    From  Mountain Lion launch BOOTCAMP from the  Startup Disk utility in System Preferences and restart your machine. When Windows 8 launches and you discover that the keyboard is unresponsive just calmly shut down your computer. Wait ten seconds then do a cold boot up of Windows 8. As usual, the keyboard will not work but don't panick as you will soon be running Windows 8. The last step is to restart Windows 8 by hitting the restart button. While your system reboots continually tap the "option" button until it boots up completely and don't stop until you hear Microsoft's chime and..... ABRACADABRA!!!




    All smiles from now on!


    Your wireless keyboard and mouse should work now and the greatest thing about it is that jumping back to the Mac OS environment is a piece of cake and as smooth as possible. Again, this has worked over a dozen times for me and will most likely be my temporary Windows 8 solution, for the time being, until Apple comes up with a new keyboard driver that repairs this issue. If it works for you, please let me know!


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