|The manufacturer specific software is for the functions of the special buttons on the keyboard, and for enhanced settings utilities that are often merely improvements of the ones already built into Windows.|
No manufacturer specific software is needed for basic keyboard functions such as typing a colon - standard drivers built into Windows are used for that.
If you didn't change your keyboard layout or keyboard language settings in Windows, either or both of which could affect what character you get when you try to type standard characters, typing a colon should work even if you load no manufacturer's drivers for the keyboard at all.
In that case, your keyboard is probably defective......
- check for keys or buttons that are stuck in their down position
- if the keyboard is corded there may be damaged wires inside the cord, often where the cord enters the keyboard. It is common for wires to be damaged there after the keyboard has been used a lot, but if the cord has been yanked on the wires could be damaged even if the keyboard hasn't been used much yet. Sometimes wiggling or re-positioning the cord near where it enters the keyboard will allow the keyboard to work normally temporarily.
Try another keyboard.
If you don't have one handy, you can make do in a pinch by using the On Screen Keyboard built into Windows.
This works in XP - I assume it's also there in Vista too.
Start - Run - type: OSK (press OK)
The On Screen Keyboard should appear.
Place the blinking cursor wherever you want the character you can't get the keyboard to produce to appear. Then click on the keys or buttons on the on screen keyboard to type the character you want.
E.g. In this case, click on Shift, then the colon key.