Troubleshooting issues when a mouse or keyboard stop functioning during installation or upgrade of an ESX/ESXi host system
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Troubleshooting issues when a mouse or keyboard stop functioning during installation or upgrade of an ESX/ESXi host system


Article ID: 309748


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article assists you in troubleshooting a situation where your mouse or keyboard stop functioning during or after an ESX/ESXi host installation or upgrade.

  • The mouse or keyboard stops functioning when attempting to install or upgrade ESX/ESXi Server system.
  • Unable to complete ESX/ESXi host installation because the mouse no longer moves.
  • The keyboard and mouse were functioning but when the media test completes, they no longer work.
  • The upgrade completed but after rebooting the mouse and keyboard no longer work.


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESX Server 2.5.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x


To troubleshoot a mouse or keyboard that is no longer working after an ESX/ESXi host installation or upgrade:

  1. Verify that you are using a USB keyboard or mouse. If you are not using a USB keyboard or mouse, check your keyboard and mouse on a different server to confirm the issue is not hardware related. If you are using a USB keyboard or mouse, ensure that Legacy support is enabled if your BIOS supports it.
  2. Verify that your BIOS is at the latest revision. Problems have been seen with USB devices during or after ESX/ESXi host installation when servers have not been using the latest BIOS revision. For more information, see Checking your firmware and BIOS levels to ensure compatibility with ESX/ESXi (1037257).
  3. Check if the USB drivers are in your modules.conf file if you have completed the installation or upgrade but your USB devices are not working:
    1. SSH into the service console as root. For more information, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892). For ESXi, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0 (1017910).
    2. Edit /etc/modules.conf and add the following two lines to the end of the file:

      alias usb-controller usb-uhci
      alias usb-controller1 ehci-hcd

      Note: Alternatively, you may need to load alias usb-controller usb-ohci depending on your hardware.
    3. Reboot the server.
  4. Occasionally, all USB devices, including the keyboard and mouse, stop functioning during ESX/ESXi Server installation. This may occur after the initial selection in the graphical or text mode installation, that is, after pressing Enter or typing esx text on the initial installation menu.

    To workaround the issue, specify noapic at the initial installation menu:
    • For the graphical installation, rather than just pressing Enter, type esx noapic and press Enter.
    • For the text installation, type esx noapic text and press Enter.
  5. Verify that your mouse pointer does not fail to move when installing ESX Server 3.0.1 on a PowerEdge 6950 Server. When installing ESX Server 3.0.1 on a PowerEdge 6950 with either a directly-connected mouse or console re-direction through the Dell Remote Access Card (DRAC) 5, the mouse pointer fails to move. This issue occurs because of a USB scheduler limitation in the 2.4 Linux kernel used by the VMware ESX Server installer. To workaround the issue, perform a text-based install, or use the Tab key to move between fields in the graphical install.

    Note: To perform a text-based install type esx text and press Enter at the install mode selection screen.
  6. Verify that your keyboard and mouse are functioning during or after installing ESX Server. Look at the BIOS setting on your server to make sure USB support is On with BIOS support or Legacy mode is enabled.

    Note: Normally, pressing a button during system startup enters the BIOS. Follow the on-screen instructions as the key to press depends on the hardware manufacturer and model.
    • Dell, Intel, HP, Compaq, VMware, Phoenix BIOS, SONY - Press the F2 key.
    • AMIBIOS, Award BIOS, most generic systems - Press the Delete key.
    • Compaq (prior to HP acquisition in 2002) - Press the F10 key.
    • Toshiba: Press CTRL+ESC, ESC, or F1 on newer models.
    • IBM, AMD BIOS - Press the F1 key.
    • For other models, see the startup screen for the BIOS setup key.

      The following issues have been observed during the installation process when the USB controller BIOS option is set to On without BIOS Support, specifically on PowerEdge 6950s:
    • The keyboard does not work when choosing the kernel boot option. Eventually, the process times out and boots ESX Server host by default.
    These issues appear because the GRUB loader does not support USB. To use the keyboard to select the boot image, set the USB option in the BIOS to On with BIOS support.

    Note: In some cases, a wireless keyboard still does not function even after this BIOS option is changed. In this case, try changing to a wired USB keyboard.
  7. Determine if you are using a non-US keyboard, while trying to install or upgrade. Choose the Custom installation method. This option allows you to choose your keyboard type during the installation. Choosing the Default installation option is not supported.
  8. Determine if you are completing the installation or upgrade using an Avocent Keyboard Video and Mouse Switch (KVM). The problem may be due to the USB speeds supported by your KVM. This problem is resolved by upgrading the firmware on the Avocent switch. For more information, see

    Note: This link was valid as of June 20, 2012. If you find the link to be broken, provide feedback on the article and a VMware employee will update the article as necessary.

    When you have upgraded the firmware, change the USB speed of the IQ module from 2.0 to 1.1:
    1. Go to Unit View>Appliance>Appliance Settings>Port>IQ Modules.
    2. Select the check box of the IQ module you want to change.
    3. Click Set USB 1.1 Speed.
    Alternatively, after upgrading the switch firmware:
    1. Upgrade to DSView 3.4
    2. Click DSR in the Units view.
    3. Change the USB speed.
  9. If you are using Avocent KVMs and the installation completed but the mouse and keyboard are no longer working after a reboot, check if you have multiple KVM switches cascaded. Cascaded Avocent KVM switches prevent USB keyboard and mouse drivers from loading. Un-cascade all Avocent KVM switches.

Additional Information

For more information, see:
Opening a command or shell prompt
Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.x, and ESXi 6.x
Checking your firmware and BIOS levels to ensure compatibility with ESX/ESXi
ESX/ESXi ホスト システムのインストールまたはアップグレード中に、マウスまたはキーボードの動作が停止する場合の問題のトラブルシューティング
对在 ESX/ESXi 主机系统安装或升级期间鼠标或键盘失灵的问题进行故障排除