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How to use Bluetooth peripherals with Windows 8

Why Bluetooth and Windows 8 Developer Preview don't mix

Many Windows 8 users have reported problems with keyboards and mouses that connect via Bluetooth. Our Helproom Expert advises one reader.

QUESTION My Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 worked fine with a Belkin Bluetooth dongle until I decided to dual-boot the Microsoft Windows 8 Developer Preview. The Bluetooth drivers don't load in the new OS until after Windows has itself loaded, so I'm unable to press Enter to boot into Windows 8 directly, F2 to enter the Bios or F8 for Safe mode. Wireless keyboards that come with a dedicated Bluetooth dongle don't have this problem – how can I get around it on mine? Alok Modi

HELPROOM ANSWER Many other users have reported the same issue with this keyboard. The short answer is that you probably won't be able to make it work in the way you would like.

Your PC's Bios doesn't have built-in support for Bluetooth devices. Until the operating system has started up and the Windows drivers have loaded, there can be no communication between your Bluetooth keyboard and the PC.

When a Bluetooth keyboard is bundled with a USB adaptor, the two items are designed to work together to get around this problem. This often involves the Bluetooth adaptor itself managing a wireless connection with the keyboard, and then tricking the PC into thinking it's a standard USB keyboard. Once the OS has loaded the adaptor can switch to full Bluetooth mode, often enabling additional functions.

It may be possible to get your keyboard to work in Bios mode by purchasing a new dongle that's able to spoof the USB protocols to the PC and set up its own Bluetooth pairing with the keyboard. However, we don't know of a device that's capable of functioning in this way with the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000.

The cheapest solution would appear to be to buy a budget USB keyboard (possibly a compact mini model for convenience), which you can use for those rare occasions when you need to access the Bios or Safe mode.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice.

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