"ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

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"ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-10-16 @ 09:52

Hi, suddenly the escape key on my keyboards is not working anymore in the DOS mode or in DOS windows on my Windows 98 Pentium 3.
I tried several keyboards and none of them's escape key is working, otherwise the key works just fine in Windows 98 itself and in other programs, it's only in DOS programs that it doesn't work at all.
It's a very important key, because in configuration programs such as the setup.exe of certain DOS games, I can't go back in the menu, I can't even exit some games that bring the menu when you press ESC without having to alt-tab out of it or resetting the PC if it's in dos mode.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-20 @ 13:13

Changed keyboard type or deleted keyboard settings out of config files? https://www.computerhope.com/keybhlp.htm
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-20 @ 14:47

Afaik, it was possible to block "system keys" inside MS-DOS windows. Did you check that option? Can't remember where this was set, haven't used Windows 98 for quite a long time.
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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-10-21 @ 09:45

When Windows 98 starts up, it automatically executes "keyb it" to set my keyboard in its Italian layout (or else I have wrong position for symbols such as , . - ò ç ° ù ì and more)

I just checked and the autoexec.bat file is completely EMPTY, should I only add the "keyb it" line ?

EDIT: I only added "keyb it" in the autoexec.bat, restarted the computer and now it's working... it was missing the keyboard layout in DOS mode, I think.
Although now when I launch a program that uses exclusive DOS mode (as if I do "restart in DOS mode"), the computer goes black and nothing appears until I hard reset it.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
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Elia1995
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Location: Italy

Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby oeuvre » 2017-10-21 @ 12:37

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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-21 @ 12:48

Elia1995 wrote:Although now when I launch a program that uses exclusive DOS mode (as if I do "restart in DOS mode"), the computer goes black and nothing appears until I hard reset it.


Dang, keyb shouldn't have made it do that. At what point does it blank, before BIOS screen, after the first splash but before the system summary boot screen? After it says starting DOS?

Did you edit autoexec.bat with a plaintext editor (like notepad or edit.) so it didn't leave any funny characters or control codes in it?
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby tabm0de » 2017-10-21 @ 14:32

Usb keyboard? Usb keyboard dos mode enable in bios?
naa, nothing yet...
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Re: "ESC" key not working in DOS prompt on Windows 98

Postby Elia1995 » 2017-10-21 @ 16:50

I'm using a PS/2 keyboard.

BitWrangler wrote:
Elia1995 wrote:Although now when I launch a program that uses exclusive DOS mode (as if I do "restart in DOS mode"), the computer goes black and nothing appears until I hard reset it.


Dang, keyb shouldn't have made it do that. At what point does it blank, before BIOS screen, after the first splash but before the system summary boot screen? After it says starting DOS?

Did you edit autoexec.bat with a plaintext editor (like notepad or edit.) so it didn't leave any funny characters or control codes in it?


All works fine, Windows 98 works fine, but if I do "restart in DOS mode" from the start menu, it goes blank and nothing appears until I hard reset the PC.
Same thing happens when I launch some DOS games that require to restart in DOS mode rather than launching in dos prompts.

I edited the autoexec.bat with notepad, just added "keyb it" to it and nothing else, it was completely blank before.
Currently assembled vintage computers I own: 11

Most important ones:
A "modded" Olivetti M4 434 S (currently broken).
An Epson El Plus 386DX running MS-DOS 6.22 (currently broken).
Celeron Coppermine 1.10GHz on an M754LMRTP motherboard
User avatar
Elia1995
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Posts: 651
Joined: 2016-4-21 @ 12:45
Location: Italy


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