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Windows 7: Laptop auto-completing every input field with dashes

07 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Laptop auto-completing every input field with dashes

I have a crazy issue going on that started 48-hours ago. Every input field that is displayed is immediatley filled with an endless stream of dashes -------- and I cannot stop it.

Even the Microsoft button immediately launches search and starts filling this with dashes. Excel starts and then immediately fills the first cell clicked with dashes - pages of them if I let it continue. I have Norton 360 which reports nothing untoward and have checked the keyboard to make sure the keys are not sticking (they are not) but it seems bizarre. I have tried everything and have managed to negotiate to restore - but (as ususal) restore just wastes your time going through the process and reporting that the restore hasn't worked 30-minutes later. Other odd things are happening too - restore only shows one restore point ands when I click to see more, I get a flash of other restore points available and immediately the screen changes to just show one restore point again.

I have taken the memory out and tried each of the two modules on it's own - this changes nothing.

Have I got a virus or trojan? The last thing that has happened is random folders opening and closing....

I have Win 7 32-bit Home Premium fully service packed to latest spec.




My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello beingcp and welcome to Seven Forums.

Since system restore isn't working and you're having all of these odd issues, it's possible that some kind of malware has taken over your machine. You could try doing a full scan with the free Malwarebytes after updating the data base. It has good success finding things other antimalware programs seem to miss.

Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free download that removes viruses and malware from your computer

You could also try another free tool from Microsoft called Standalone System Sweeper.

Please post back and let us know the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium
Laptop auto-input problem

Ok - thanks for the advice regarding Malwarebytes and the Microsoft tool. I tried both - the Malwarebytes cleaner took 8 hours to get to a point where it died with a message "Malwarebytes has encountered an error and must close..."

Tried a second time with same result. Used the tool to do a quick scan but it found nothing,

The MS tool scanned everything for 6 hours and reported no problems - it completed the scan with no warnings or quarantines.

This really got me scratching my head. I have unplugged everything from the USB ports and this has made no difference - I thought I had got the problem beat when the auto-filling started again and I unplugged a Solar PV data meter (USB) and the auto-complete stopped. But I now have a laptop that won't boot into the POST (this happened before and was the basis of me thinking I had a memory module problem).

So - no further forward. The flag telling me that there is a backup in progress is still showing (or it was before the laptop refused to boot) so I have no idea what is going on - I don't know if this is a harware or software problem now.

I am at the extent of my knowledge of what to do next - anyone got any suggestions? I want to rip out the hard drive and extract the data but I am not sure I should do this at the risk of transferring any malware problem to my desktop - same with backups; do I restore these to another machine or is this just asking for trouble?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Try starting your machine in Safe Mode to see if the issues persist. Particularly if you now have additional restore points to choose from.

Safe Mode

You could also try running a Clean Startup (aka Clean Boot) to see if you can isolate any program or services conflicts.

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Laptop auto-completing every input field with dashes

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