I installed LMDE Xfce 'Testing' with Update Pack 3 on an external hard drive using an Asus EeePC 1005P netbook. After a few initial teething problems everything except that pesky monitor brightness problem was working just hunky-dory (hardware, wireless, Skype, etc.). I booted the HDD from my wife's HP Pavilion DV7 and it worked just fine on that unit. I also then booted the HDD on my desktop unit and it also worked AOK.
Now, when I try to boot the HDD back on the Asus unit, I run into a problem. Everything boots and I get the user log-in screen. Type the username and password and access is granted. Then my keyboard starts giving me strange characters (not unintelligible or Arabic/Chinese just incorrect - 3 for L, 6 for P etc.). I'm unable to type terminal commands, use my browsers or do anything that requires keyboard input, although the touchpad and cursor seem unaffected.
The problem doesn't care whether I'm using the 3.0.0 kernel or the 2.6.39 version. I also tried recovery mode but, to be honest, I've never used that before and didn't really know what to do except continue to log in, where the problem still exists. The HDD seems to work fine when taken back to the other computers so it appears that problem is unique to the Asus netbook.
It would seem that there is something in the user settings that's at fault because the problem doesn't exist until after I've logged in. I've checked the 'Keyboard Layout' settings and they were unchanged on 'Use system defaults'; which worked fine before. I've also tried re-setting to the 'Asus Laptop' and 'Generic 105' keyboard settings without success.
That's the limit of my diagnostic skills. I'd love to post some system stats here for you but I can't use the terminal. System Profiler tells us:
AT Translated Set 2 Keyboard
I should be able to copy and paste any other relevant information from the GUI if required.
EDIT= The netbook went to screen saver and now I can't enter the password to re-enter the system. Any suggestions other than to switch the power off?
EDIT2= Solved that problem by plugging in an external keyboard which I've just found out works fine, in case someone was going to ask that question. So the problem is definitely isolated to the Asus keyboard.