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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Working on my laptop, at seemingly random times my keyboard starts producing different characters from what I type. It's not a wholesale remapping, as repeatedly pressing the same key will generate a string of changing characters, usually coinciding with moving across the keyboard (for example, if I press aaaaaa, it might return ertyui -- consecutive letters, from left to right, on the keyboard).

    A couple times when this has happened I've immediately run a virus scan, with negative results. Thus, I don't think it's a virus (no guarantee, of course).

    This seems to be related to Firefox and/or Thunderbird, so I've posted a query in their forums, as well. It could well be unrelated to them, though, so I'm also asking here. At the very least, closing Firefox (sometimes just one tab) and/or Thunderbird usually clears the problem up. Maybe it's something in my computer, but it seems strange that it would appear to affect only those two applications.

    I'm running Windows XP, SP3. The laptop itself is an obscure brand, but I think manufactured by Acer. Aside from Firefox and Thunderbird, the only other software consistently running when this occurs is ZoneAlarm Extreme Security.

    If anyone has seen something like this, or has any suggestions on what to explore, I'd be grateful!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I wonder if the keyboard driver has become corrupted. You may be able to look in Control Panel/Harware or Keyboard (don't really recall in XP) or possibly Device Manager to update the driver.
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  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    I would do the following in an attempt to narrow down the cause to hardware fault or software.

    A Linux based LiveCD (runs completely of CD without installation) might be useful in this situation to give you a completely different software perspective. Have you tried running a Ubuntu LiveCD and typing up a letter for example to test for the issue?

    Depending on the frequency of this issue it may be a quick analysis.

    Have a read here for more information.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD

    Edit:

    As Joe mentions below if you can get hold of a USB keyboard, try that to help in the process of elimination. Provided the laptop supports USB?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Liesse View Post
    If anyone has seen something like this, or has any suggestions on what to explore, I'd be grateful!
    How old is the laptop? I've seen whole sections of keyboards malfunction on laptops. It could be a key stuck, dirt, or keyboard failure.

    Can you try an external keyboard?

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I was also contemplating the fact that you may be at the end of life for the keyboard/laptop, but if it might be a software problem this might be something to try prior to retiring the laptop. Being an obscure brand I would be surprised if repairs ccould be done, but you never know. The other consideration, is the laptop worth the dollars to T/S and repair a defective keyboard.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Haven't been able to try any, yet, because the machine has developed other problems (apparently RAM-related) since my original post and I'm constantly afraid the next time it boots will be its last. I'm currently borrowing another computer to check out new ones -- when I can least afford it, naturally. I'll report back if anything comes of the keyboard issue.

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    I was having problems with a keyboard a few years back and it was determined here in the lounge that I had a leaking sippy cup. Hence everytime I took a sip of milk! it was leaking on my keyboard.
    Thanks John
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