Record Typing on any Keyboard with Tiny Device.

Laptop / Desktop Keystroke Recorder ("KeyCarbon Raptor")

Product upgrade notice: This product is not compatible with the majority of modern laptops and desktops. This product is not compatible with any laptop that does not have a MiniPCI slot, which includes all laptops with a Core 2 Duo or newer chipset, manufactured after 2007. This product is very difficult to install in desktop PCI mode for USB keyboards; therefore it is only recommended for desktops with PS/2 keyboards. For more information, contact customer support.
Laptop keystroke recorder or logger      

Record typing on a laptop or a desktop with a "KeyCarbon Raptor" device. Installs in seconds.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Any questions? The FAQ has the answers.

  • This FAQ has 18 months worth of product feedback from customers, worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions for the KeyCarbon Raptor series of products.

Introduction Questions

What is the KeyCarbon Raptor?

The KeyCarbon Raptor is an electronic device used to record all keystrokes on a laptop or a desktop. It is compatible with 50% of laptops, and 98% of desktops.

The device plugs into the Mini-PCI slot of a laptop, or the PCI slot of a desktop, and begins to record keystrokes instantly by looking at stray electronic signals on the computer motherboard. It even records BIOS passwords typed before the operating system is loaded. As the device is 100% passive, it does not consume operating system resources, cannot be detected by software running on the laptop or desktop, and does not require drivers.

The device won't pop up any messages to the user, as it is completely invisible to Windows and Linux - in fact, it is invisible to any software running on the computer.

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How do I install the KeyCarbon Raptor device?

For laptops: Ensure that the laptop is powered off. Open the cover on the base of the laptop that houses the Mini-PCI slot. Insert the KeyCarbon Raptor card. Power on the laptop, and press some keys on the laptop keyboard. Every time you press a key, you should see a light flash on the KeyCarbon Raptor card.

For desktops: Ensure that the desktop is powered off. Open the case of the desktop. Insert the supplied PCI card adaptor (containing the KeyCarbon Raptor) into the motherboard of the computer. Power on the desktop, boot into your operating system, then press some keys on the PS/2 keyboard. Every time you press a key, you should see a light flash on the KeyCarbon Raptor card.

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How do I determine if my laptop is compatible?

Your laptop will be compatible if it contains a "Mini-PCI" slot. Your laptop is not compatible if it only contains a "PCI Express" slot.

To determine compatibility, choose any method from the options below:

Option 1 (download a file showing compatiblity). Download a file which contains most laptop models; check to see if your laptop is compatible.
Download Excel spreadsheet v1.01 with a list of compatible laptop models.

Option 2 (tech support from laptop manufacturer): Phone/email technical support for your laptop, and ask them this question: "Is it possible for me to install a Mini-PCI card in my make/model of laptop".

Option 3 (self researched): Follow these steps (this should take approximately five minutes):    

  • Download the user manual for your laptop.
  • See if the user manual mentions a "Mini-PCI" slot. If it mentions a "PCI Express" slot, then the laptop is not compatible. For more information on "Mini-PCI" slots, see Mini-PCI slots on Wikipedia.
  • Check that the slot is accessible from the outside of the laptop. The easiest way to find this out it to look for the diagram showing the bottom of the laptop, if it has a removable panel labeled "Mini-PCI expansion slot" then the unit is compatible.
  • The KeyCarbon Raptor works with every brand, with the possible exception of Hewlett-Packard (HP). Some Hewlett-Packard laptops do not officially support 3rd party Mini-PCI cards. Some Hewlett-Packard laptop user manuals have the statement "To comply with FCC regulations, Mini-PCI slots on this laptop do not support 3rd party Mini-PCI expansion cards". 

Option 4 (slower - takes up to two business days): Find the make/model of your laptop; email it to support@keycarbon.com . To speed up the reply, include the laptop user manual, or a link to the laptop user manual, in the email. We will check the laptop to see if it is compatible with the KeyCarbon Raptor (ie: it has a Mini-PCI slot). To find the make/model of your laptop, turn it over, and type out any text written on the base, the more text the better.

Option 5 (place the order - automatic cancel if laptop is incompatible):

  1. Place the order on the online ordering page.
  2. Add the make/model of the laptop into the "notes" section.
  3. If the laptop is not compatible, we will email you, and cancel the order.

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How do I determine if my desktop is compatible?

Choose from one of the two options below:

Option 1: Check the user manual or the motherboard.

  • Check to see if there is a spare PCI slot inside your desktop computer. 98% of desktop PC's have a PCI slot in them. For more information on what a PCI slot looks like, see PCI slots on Wikipedia.

Option 2: Find the make/model of your desktop; email it to support@keycarbon.com. We will check the desktop to see if it is compatible with the KeyCarbon Raptor, and reply within one business day. There is a 98% chance that your desktop is compatible.

Option 3 (automatic cancel if desktop is incompatible):

  1. Place the order on the online ordering page
  2. Add the make/model of the desktop into the "notes" section.
  3. If the desktop is not compatible, we will email you, and cancel the order.

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How do I record keystrokes with the KeyCarbon Raptor device?

Simply plug the unit in - the unit starts to record keystrokes from the internal laptop keyboard, or desktop PS/2 keyboard, from the moment that it receives power. It records keystrokes on the internal laptop keyboard by looking at stray signals on the Mini-PCI bus inside the laptop. It records PS/2 keystrokes on on a desktop, by looking at stray signals on the PCI bus of the motherboard of the desktop.
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How do I download the keystrokes from the KeyCarbon Raptor?

There are two methods to download the recorded typing. The first method is to remove the MicroSD card, and plug it into a flash card reader. You can then read the log of keystrokes. The second method is to remove the KeyCarbon Raptor card, and plug a USB cable into it. The card acts like a USB memory stick, popping up a USB drive under Windows or Linux. You can then copy the .klr file onto your computer. After you have copied the .klr file to your PC, you must decode it using the "KeyCarbon Windows Utility". This utility can be downloaded from this website.
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Can I record keystrokes on one computer and retrieve them on another?

Yes. You can unplug the device, it will not forget the log of typing. The device uses non-volatile flash memory, just like a USB memory stick. The device does not need batteries to hold its memory.
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How do I change the password?

Version v1.0.0 of the KeyCarbon Raptor firmware does not have the ability to change the password for the encrypted log. Future versions of the KeyCarbon Raptor firmware will have this ability. You can easily upgrade the firmware on the KeyCarbon Raptor by copying a file to the MicroSD card inserted into the slot in the KeyCarbon Raptor card. The procedure of upgrading the firmware is safe, quick, and easy to perform.
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Does the KeyCarbon Raptor work on external keyboards connected to the laptop?

No. To record keystrokes from an external keyboard attached to the laptop, you will need a standalone keystroke recorder such as the KeyCarbon USB Series or the KeyKatcher.
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What happens if the keystroke log fills up?

The card can record up to 64 million keystrokes. This is approximately 15 years worth of typing.
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Are the keystrokes are safe, even if device is unplugged?

Yes. The device contains non-volatile flash memory, just like a USB memory stick. It does not lose its memory if it is unplugged.
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Will the KeyCarbon store non-printable keystrokes such as Alt, Ctrl, or Function keys?

Yes. Any non-printable character is converted into a series of printable characters. For example, the "escape" key is listed as "<esc>" in the log. F1 becomes "<F1>" in the log. Alt becomes "<alt>" in the log, and so on for every other non-printable keystroke.
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Why would I want a KeyCarbon Raptor device when I can use a keylogger program available off the internet?

There are many reasons why a software keystroke logger may not always be a the easiest option. If the laptop is password protected, it will be almost impossible to install a software keylogger. The KeyCarbon Raptor device installs in seconds, even if the laptop is powered off. It will also pick up passwords used to access the BIOS before boot up.
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How long can the password be?

Any length.
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Questions - can I record keystrokes from a desktop PC?

Can I record keystrokes from a USB keyboard of a desktop PC?

Yes. For more information, see the USB recording overview page.
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Can I record keystrokes from a PS/2 keyboard of a desktop PC?

Yes. For more information, see the PS/2 recording overview page.
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Questions - can the device be detected?

Can the KeyCarbon Raptor card be detected by special software?

No. The card is 100% passive. It simply looks at stray electrical signals on on the Mini-PCI slot, and decodes the keystrokes from this. As the card is 100% passive, it does not require drivers, and is compatible with any operating system running on the laptop. As the card is 100% passive, it is undetectable by any software running on the laptop. The KeyCarbon Raptor card is undetectable by any antivirus or adware program.
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Does the device show up in Windows "Device Manager"?

No. As the device is 100% passive, it is invisible to the operating system.
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Does the device require drivers?

No. As the device is 100% passive, it is invisible to the operating system, and does not require drivers. This also means that the device can work with any operating system, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS/2, etc.
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Common Customer Questions

Q. Is it possible to change SD (or micro SD)card to higher capacity? (e.g. 1GB or 2GB)
A. Yes. There is a slot on the unit which accepts a SD card with up to 2GB capacity. 4GB and larger cards are not supported.

Q. Is it possible to know the recorded keystrokes without withdrawing SD card?
A. You can withdraw the SD card, copy it, and replace it. You can do this while the KeyCarbon Raptor card is up and running.

Q. Is there anyway to know or copy the contents in the SD card to the USB memory or something like that?
A. Yes, you can simply remove the SD card, even if the computer and card are powered up, copy it, and replace it.

Q. Are you certain that it is undetectable by any software (like anti virus) or in any way without diassembling?
A. Yes. It is 100% hardware. No software at all. The OS cannot even detect it, as it is at the hardware level.

Questions - Troubleshooting

How can I reformat the Micro-SD card?

Sometimes, if the KeyCarbon Raptor is not working properly, using a freshly formatted Micro-SD card can fix any problems that the device is experiencing.

Follow either method 1 or method 2.

Method 1: The easiest way:

  1. Purchase a new Micro-SD card, insert this into the KeyCarbon Raptor.
  2. The Micro-SD card is freshly formatted, from the factory.

Method 2: The cheapest and quickest way:

  1. Follow one of the following two steps (follow step 2 if you don't own a Micro-SD flash card reader).
    1. Either: Insert the Micro-SD card into its adaptor (supplied), then insert the SD card into a flash card reader.
    2. Or: Use the KeyCarbon Raptor itself as the flash card reader. Remove the entire KeyCarbon Raptor card from its socket, including its Micro-SD card, plug a USB cable into the USB socket on the KeyCarbon Raptor card, then plug the other end of the USB cable into the computer.
  2. The Micro-SD card is now accessible from Windows as a "mass storage" device.
  3. In Windows Explorer, find the new drive letter that represents the Micro-SD card.
    1. To do this, right click on the drive letter, and click on "Properties", then check that the size of the Micro-SD card is 512MB. If its any larger (in the gigabyte range), then you have the wrong drive letter, you could inadvertently wipe the hard drive of your computer, so unplug everything, and go back to step 1. Another clue as to what drive letter it is, is to see which drive letter appears when you insert the USB cable.
  4. Right click on the driver letter, click on "Format".
  5. Check that the size of the drive is 512MB. WARNING: make sure that you format the right drive letter. If you format the wrong drive, you could inadvertently wipe the hard drive of your computer. If unsure, find somebody that is familiar with Windows.
  6. Select "FAT" or "FAT32" (but not "NTFS") as the type format.
  7. Click "Format" to format the Micro-SD card.
  8. The Micro-SD card is now freshly formatted.

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The Micro-SD card will not insert properly?

In certain rare cases, it is possible that the Micro-SD card will not insert properly into the socket. This problem can be easily fixed.

The problem is caused by the tiny spring-loaded slider, on the left hand side of the card socket, getting stuck in the "down" position. This means that when a Micro-SD card is inserted, there is no positive "click" sound, and the Micro-SD card does not lock into place.

To fix this problem, insert a miniature screwdriver, or a paperclip, into the left hand side of the socket. Push down very gently, at an angle, until the spring loaded slider clicks back up. Note: this procedure does not require much force.

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How do I use a PCI riser to fix problems on certain rare desktop PC motherboards?

If you are using the KeyCarbon Raptor on a desktop PC (rather than a laptop) and the card does not record properly, you can try the following solution.

Certain rare motherboards switch off the data signals to unused PCI slots. This is to enhance the EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) rating of the motherboard by reducing stray radio signals produced by unused PCI slots.

As the KeyCarbon Raptor card is 100% passive (ie: it never drives signals onto the PCI bus) it is effectively invisible to the motherboard. The motherboard then switches off data signals to the PCI slot occupied by the KeyCarbon Raptor card. This KeyCarbon Raptor is then unable to record any data from this slot.

The solution is to piggyback signals from a legitimate PCI card, such as any RS232, parallel port, USB, firewire or modem PCI card. Insert a PCI riser card, insert the legitimate PCI card into a spare slot on the PCI riser, then insert the KeyCarbon Raptor into the other slot on the PCI riser. Because the computer motherborad detects signals on that single PCI slot, it will drive signals to that slot.

It is rare that this solution would be required. This solution has worked for a certain eMachines motherboard for a single customer.

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keycarbon money-back guarantee

Your device fitted the bill perfectly ... Thankyou for making my job easier! - Linda Robinson

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[After using the device] I can't tell you how many articles I have lost over the years when Windows flakes out. - Shane McGlaun, About Computer Peripherals, www.about.com.

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... Unlike software-based keyloggers, the device can be easily removed and a record of the keystrokes can be retrieved from any computer .... - Ruben Schewarz, Dominion Post Newspaper, 30th January 2006.

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