Mechanical Keyboards – Corsair Strafe RGB Unresponsive Fix

I purchased a Corsair keyboard because I was having a hard time finding a professional keyboard outside of the “gaming” market. The market seems to lump quality keyboards into “gaming” and “other” where “other” was mostly missing the mark for my requirements. So, the Corsair was what I went with and it all was great until it wasn’t.

The keyboard for some reason quit, became unresponsive, and was not recognized by Mac, Windows, Linux, or Unix systems. Additionally, I could not get the keyboard to be recognized at boot-time by the BIOS on several top-name-brand PCs.

I was disappointed, because my Corsair did not even default to the functionality of cheap $10.00 keyboard by allowing common BIOS boot keys to be recognized. Meaning, I could not get to the BIOS or setup menus on a common PC using the correct keys on a Corsair keyboard.

A quality mechanical keyboard, regardless of software and firmware should at minimum be able to enter setup and BIOS, but this was not the case with my Corsair product.

Regardless of operating system (Linux [Debian, Ubuntu], Windows 7, 10, and Unix) all I could get was an unresponsive RGB rolling-rainbow effect. I completely gave up and considered tossing it into the trash. Fortunately, I didn’t do that; I just stopped using it until I could do more research to figure out if there was any way to save my keyboard from the trash bin.

After weeks of searching I happened to stumble upon a 31 second YouTube clip, where; buried in the comments, was a reply that actually saved my keyboard from the trash bin.

The fix, as quoted from the YouTube comments as follows:

ok, So i figured it out. Why this information is nowhere on the internet to be found is beyond me but Ill let you guys know what I had to do after opening a support ticket with Corsair. Unplug the keyboard completely then plug in ONLY the USB connection that DOESNT have the arrow graphic printed into the plastic of the cable. Plug in the one with the little keyboard logo, but BEFORE you plug it in, make sure you are holding down the escape key. I just did this and my PC instantly recognized it. Hope this helps!

See the clip here:
Corsair RGB Unresponsive YouTube Fix

An undocumented fix, unplug it, hold down the escape key and plug-in only the USB cable labeled with a keyboard image. It worked!  So, I will not be purchasing any more Corsair products until their keyboards can at-minimum default to a dumb keyboard usable at boot time regardless of features, firmware, or software supplied. I hope this post helps any users of Corsair products.

In the future I’m looking at the following keyboards and after some research here are some alternatives for mechanical keyboards.

Some links from Amazon, YouTube, and including links to custom keyboard manufacturers.

CODE 104-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard with White LED Backlighting – Cherry MX Blue

CODE 87-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard with White LED Backlighting – Cherry MX Clear

Roccat SUORA – Frameless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Roccat Gaming-Keyboards Horde-AIMO

RGB Mechanical Keyboard, Rottay 16.8 Million RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Brown Switches 104-Key Anti-ghosting and Fully Programmable for PC&Mac Gamers and Typist

Redragon K561 VISNU 87 Keys Anti-ghosting RGB Backlit Waterproof Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches

RGB Mechanical Keyboard LED Gaming Lighting,Hcman Backlit Wired Computer illuminated Keyboard Blue Switches,Metal Panel 100% anti-ghosting 104 Keys Gaming Keyboard for PC & Mac Gamers

Max Keyboard Custom Design – Self Design Colors and more

Open Source Build Your Own Mechanical Keyboard

Cooler Master MasterKeys S PBT- Tenkeyless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, Cherry MX Red Switches, Thick 1.5mm PBT Keycaps

Input Club Open Source Keyboard

Cheap $45 Mechanical Keyboard Round Up!

Cheap $25 Backlit Keyboard Round Up!

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