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Keyboard and Mouse

1.  Interfaces: PS/2, serial, USB

PS/2 works generally better in DOS than USB. Old serial mice should work also.

2.  Look at your ports

2.1  If you have PS/2 ports

Then the preferred and safest solution is to use / buy a PS/2 keyboard and mouse.

2.2  If you have an USB keyboard or mouse and still PS/2 ports

It’s recommended to buy an USB to PS/2 adapter.

Some adapters fully translate the USB data to PS/2 data, some rely on that the keyboard actually supports the PS/2 protocol. But most USB keyboards do anyway.

2.3  If you have no PS/2 or you dislike to buy an USB to PS/2 adapter

It’s recommend to enable “BIOS legacy emulation” features in BIOS settings. More about this below.

If “BIOS legacy emulation” is not available hope for luck and search for an USB driver, see below.

2.4  BIOS “legacy emulation features”

Since cca 1999, most BIOS’es provide sort of “emulation” for USB keyboards and mice - accesses to those devices through BIOS INT’s do work without any special USB driver. Most (if not all) motherboards without PS/2 ports will have this BIOS feature. But it might conflict with drivers for other USB devices in DOS.

USB keyboards or USB mouse will also work in DOS if the BIOS has a feature called something like “USB keyboard support” or “legacy keyboard support”.

If you are connecting by PS/2 (either directly with PS/2 keyboard/mouse or with PS/2 adapter) better deactivate this BIOS feature because it may conflict otherwise.

The BIOS legacy emulation works well for keyboard.

But for a mouse this “solution” is not always optimal, can provide “unprecise” mouse control only or cause conflicts with drivers for other USB devices.

2.5  Keyboard drivers

Connected by PS/2 or by USB + BIOS legacy emulation enabled

You don’t need a driver for PS/2 keyboards in DOS, except if you want another layout than the keyboard is internally hardwired to. For this to work, use one of the many different “KEYB” drivers. Some of them provide multiple layouts in one driver, some are hardcoded to one layout.

Connected by USB without BIOS legacy emulation available

Last resort only! Look at DOSUSB by Georg Potthast in USB .

2.6  Mouse drivers

To get mouse to work in DOS you need in any case a mouse driver.

Connected by PS/2 or by USB + BIOS legacy emulation enabled

Just use the current version of CTMOUSE 2.1b4 (with optional wheel support, check the /O switch). Older versions are ( bold are more worth to try): 1.9, 1.9.1a1 , 1.9.1a2, 2.0a4  (with support of wheel), 2.1a3 ). CTMOUSE usually works well and is the smallest and “most free” mouse driver for DOS. Alternatively there are some drivers provided by Logitech , if CTMOUSE does not work for you or you suspect a problem comes from it. Logitech’s drivers are using more memory, but can use DPMS of DR-DOS when available.

DOS PS/2 (or after activating legacy support in BIOS) and serial mouse drivers:

Connected by USB without BIOS legacy emulation available

Last resort only!

3.  See also

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Page last modified on June 26, 2014, at 02:17 PM