KVM

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Postby Marrea » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:05 pm

Ram wrote:Try setting the BIOS options for legacy from Auto to Enabled.


Hi Ram

Thanks for this. I should have mentioned in my previous post that I did actually try this, but unfortunately it made no difference.

I have now discovered that wyliecoyoteuk was quite correct about switching off at the mains. If I leave the mains switch on when I turn the computers off, then mouse and keyboard are recognised when I next boot up. If I turn the mains switch off, they are not and I have to go through the rigmarole of unplugging and re-plugging the USB cable - sometimes on both computers - before the keyboard and mouse will respond.

I must say I am slightly disappointed about this, as I do like to turn the computers off completely at night. There is no mention of having to keep the mains switch turned on in the Belkin installation guide, nor can I find anything about it in the FAQs on their site.

Oh well, when I think about it, we always leave the TV, Sky box and DVD Recorder in standby mode at night, so leaving the computers' mains switches turned on isn't going to make a lot of difference is it? :roll:

I just wish some reference to this point had been made in the instructions.
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Postby Ram » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:58 pm

I leave all my PC stuff plugged in and unplug the TV and Surround Sound, DVD is plugged in but does have an off switch, Sky and Digibox are left on stanbyby.

Thinking about the KVM, it must be something todo with the ATX power supply as they leave a trickle of juice running through the motherboard.

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Postby ollie » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:49 am

Sorry, I should have asked this first up. Having the KVM turned on and selected to the correct computer before turning the computer on is important, not just for the USB keyboard and mouse but for the correct screen resolution. Many OS default to 640x480 8-bit colour or 800x600 16-bit colour if they don't find a monitor during the boot process. This is even after being set-up and running a high quality monitor.

Windows is notorious for having a dummy spit if it thinks the mouse and keyboard have been removed after starting up, so KVM must keep responding to the Windows polls for these two devices.
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Postby Marrea » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:39 pm

ollie

Funnily enough the monitor is the one thing I haven't had any problems with. It is always recognised (whether I have switched off at the mains previously or not) and always retains the 1440x900 resolution.

The Belkin Switch works perfectly as long as I leave the mains switch turned on after shutting down the computers.

It doesn't work if I turn the mains switch off after shutting down the computers, even if I select the correct computer on the KVM remote before powering on the computer.

What I am going to do is either:

(1) Break the habit of a computing lifetime and leave the mains switches on after shutting down the computers.

(2) Continue with the habit of a computing lifetime and carry on switching off at the mains after shutting down the computers. If I follow this method I shall simply use the monitor part of the KVM switch and plug the keyboard and mouse directly into whichever computer I want to use.

The second method is what I used to do all the time (pre-Belkin switch, that is) with my Iiyama CRT monitor. It had two VGA inputs, so I was able to have a cable permanently plugged into the monitor port of each computer. I hardly ever wanted to have both computers on at the same time, so all I had to do was simply swap the mouse and keyboard over if necessary, ie if I wanted to use computer 2 when the previous day I had been using computer 1.

Quickly pulling out and plugging in a USB cable is no sweat but those blooming thumbscrew things on VGA plugs drive me up the wall, especially if they don't have a slot in them so you are forced to unscrew and screw them up with your fingers.
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Postby ollie » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:15 am

I have my computers running through a UPS and use both computers (and both laptops) daily, so I don't tend to shut everything down. They go into sleep mode to cut down on power usage but the UPS is being charged 24/7 anyway.

Is the Belkin switch powered, or does it just draw power from the monitor and USB cables?
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Postby Marrea » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:02 am

ollie wrote:Is the Belkin switch powered, or does it just draw power from the monitor and USB cables?

There's no separate power switch for the Belkin, so I assume it draws its power from the USB cable (and maybe the monitor as well, I'm not sure).

What I find strange is that the BIOS is set to recognise "USB devices" at boot and it does that on both computers for things like keyboard, mouse, external USB hard drive, printer etc. etc. But it does not recognise the Belkin switch (which surely is also a "USB device") unless I leave the mains power switch on. For all the other aforementioned devices I can turn the mains power switch off and the computers will still pick them up.

There is obviously a lot about computer technology I still have to learn. :wink:
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Postby ollie » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:35 am

Sorry for keeping the questions coming, I'm just interested in this problem.

Is the USB cable for the Belkin KVM plugged into the USB ports connected directly to the motherboards? The ports near the PS/2 ports, serial ports, etc or ports that connect via an extension cable at the front of the box or an adaptor that takes up a space where PCI card like a dial-up modem would be located.

Gosh, I hope you can understand what I mean :roll: It just doesn't come out quite right when typing it up :lol:
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Postby Marrea » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:48 am

ollie wrote:Sorry for keeping the questions coming,

No problem at all, it's very good of you to show such an interest.

ollie wrote:Gosh, I hope you can understand what I mean :roll: It just doesn't come out quite right when typing it up :lol:


Yes, I understand what you are asking (at least I hope I have interpreted correctly!) :)

Computer 1 (Asus P4B533-V mobo) has six USB ports. Four of these are on the back and are motherboard located, ie they are all on the same metal plate which houses the PS/2, on board VGA, serial, parallel, Ethernet and on board sound ports. The other two are on the front of the computer. I have the Belkin KVM plugged into one of the four ports at the back of the computer.

Computer 2 (Asus P4R8T mobo) has four USB ports. Two are on the back and are motherboard located, ie on the same plate which houses the PS/2 etc. etc. ports. And two are on the front of the computer. I have the Belkin KVM plugged into one of the two ports at the back of the computer.

(Neither computer has any USB ports on a PCI expansion card.)

So both Belkin KVM base USB cables are plugged directly into the motherboard.
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Postby ollie » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:22 pm

Hmmm, that's strange that the KVM connected keyboard and mouse aren't being detected at the same time they would be during a regular cold boot. I'm wondering if a delay of say 10 seconds in the boot process make any difference? It's very easy to add this into /boot/grub/menu.lst or /etc/lilo.conf if you use either of the most common boot managers.

Also, IIRC you dual boot the computers with Windows, does the same problem occur when booting into Windows?
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Postby Ram » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:45 pm

Ollie, from one of Marrea earlier posts in reply to WCU

I obviously need to do a lot more testing of this product but I found this morning when I turned on computer 1 (Win XP and Fedora) that I was unable to select Fedora from the boot menu because at that stage the keyboard wasn't recognised. So I had to wait for it to boot into the default o.s., Win XP. The keyboard and mouse were still not recognised. So I removed the usb plug from the computer, waited a few seconds, plugged it back in, and the keyboard and mouse then became active.

It's not going to be much use to me if I can't select individual operating systems from the boot menu, and this business of having to keep taking the usb plug out and plugging it back in again is ridiculous.

Still haven't done any proper testing with my Linux distros.

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Postby Marrea » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:58 pm

ollie wrote:I'm wondering if a delay of say 10 seconds in the boot process make any difference? It's very easy to add this into /boot/grub/menu.lst or /etc/lilo.conf if you use either of the most common boot managers.

Also, IIRC you dual boot the computers with Windows, does the same problem occur when booting into Windows?


ollie
Computer 1 dual boots Windows XP and Fedora 7. Computer 2 multi-boots Windows XP and (currently!) Linux Mint, Fedora 9, Ubuntu 8.04, SUSE 11.0, SUSE 10.3, Mandriva 2008 Spring, PCLOS2007 and Zenwalk 5.0.

I use the Windows NTLDR bootloader as my primary boot manager on both computers, with a 30 second delay. Windows XP is the default on both computers and, as the keyboard is not recognised at boot (even with a 30 second delay) if I have turned off at the mains at the previous shutdown, I have no choice but to sit and wait for the computer to boot into Windows. Once into Windows and following some deft unplugging and replugging of the Belkin, the mouse and keyboard eventually respond and I can at that stage reboot and choose Linux if necessary.

However, as I confirmed in my post of 24 September, as long as I leave the mains switch turned on after computer shutdown, everything is hunky dory and both keyboard and mouse are detected at boot. So I can't really complain that the KVM doesn't work - just that it doesn't work in quite the way I would prefer. But, hey, I'm happy. It's no big deal. :)
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Postby Marrea » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:06 pm

I thought I would just bring you up to date on my KVM problems. I eventually gave up on the Belkin switch altogether and instead relied on an old Proview TFT monitor when I was using my Asus Terminator computer, which is still my Windows XP/Linux multiboot machine. But I now have a different main desktop computer running Windows 7 which I bought a couple of years ago to replace my old Evesham desktop.

Well I got fed up with the clutter of having two monitors permanently on the desk so yesterday I went to Maplins and bought an Aten CS62U 2-Port USB KVM switch and it is brilliant. In addition to KVM it also has an audio switch and it is controlled not with a separate remote (as the Belkin was) but with the Scroll Lock key (a procedure which towy71 mentioned earlier in this thread). I don't have to leave the power on at the mains when I shut down. If I just turn one computer on it automatically recognises which one, no matter whether that was the last one I was using or not, and keyboard, mouse, monitor and audio all work. And there are no problems in Linux either - so far only tested in Ubuntu 11.10 but if it works in that hopefully it will work with other distros too.
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Postby dandnsmith » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:30 am

I've only ever tried 2 KVM switches, and both worked with linux, Windows and any mix.
First used scroll-lock for switching, and switched VGA and PS2,
second uses mechanical DVI switching and PS2 .

Next problem will be when either the PC output cannot be one of those 2, or I have a PC without both KB and Mouse on PS2 - not far away in time now, I fear
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:53 am

Marrea wrote:I thought I would just bring you up to date on my KVM problems.


After nearly four years! Bloomin' 'eck Marrea, you must have been pretty preoccupied with other things. ;)
Bye, Rhakios
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Postby Marrea » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:29 pm

You’ve no idea how time-consuming adjusting to retirement can be. :D
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