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Windows 7: Laptop keyboard is acting crazy

01 Nov 2015   #1
hassannoob

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 
Laptop keyboard is acting crazy

Hi guys, my keyboard is constantly turning on and off the shift key on its own in an unpredictable manner. It makes typing extremely annoying and interferes with operating windows on my laptop.

Not sure if it's the laptop hardware itself is the issue or something else like a virus etc, because the problem is replicated using the on-screen keyboard and external keyboard as well.

I've ran an Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus scan and everything seems to be OK. Any help or advice will be highly appreciated. The laptop is a LEnovo Thinkpad E420, thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Nov 2015   #2
cyclops

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Could be due to sticking keys. First thing I'd suggest is to turn the computer upside down and firmly tap the underside to try dislodging debris which might be under the keys. Laptop keyboards are capable of catching lots of unwanted treasures inside.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #3
hassannoob

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
Could be due to sticking keys. First thing I'd suggest is to turn the computer upside down and firmly tap the underside to try dislodging debris which might be under the keys. Laptop keyboards are capable of catching lots of unwanted treasures inside.
Tried that but didn't help. I've removed the key and cleaned the area underneath it as well. Still doesn't explain why the external keyboard is acting the same way as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Nov 2015   #4
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Greetings, hassannoob, and welcome to Seven Forums!

I have a quick question, when using the on-screen keyboard (OSK.exe) can you visually see the shift keys "light up" like they do when you physically press them? And if so, can you possibly isolate the source of the seemingly random shift efx? Like do they ever light up when you are not touching the keyboard? Same frequency as when you type? Do some keys tend to cause them to behave this way more than others?

If it's not a problem that suddenly came out of nowhere, it is PROBABLY your keyboard to be honest. It would be difficult to separate it diagnostically from the MOBO circuitry. But keyboards are generally inexpensive and are truly not that difficult for many models of lappies to replace, assuming that you have enough general computer skill that you are willing to do it at your own risk of course. Only you can be the judge of that.

One last thing that could help isolate the source possibly - do you have or can you download a copy of a Linux bootable CD, like Ubuntu, that would allow you to NOT INSTALL the Linux OS to your hard drive but SPECIFICALLY CHOOSE THE OPTION that is for booting from the disc only. See if the problem persists outside of the Windows OS. It's not a bad disc to have around anyway, often comes in handy.

There could simply be something stuck under the key (however, this sounds like it's unlikely from your description). Also if you've spilled something on the KB in the past it may have corroded the contacts or the pads.


Let me know how it goes!

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #5
hassannoob

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rubyrubyroo View Post
Greetings, hassannoob, and welcome to Seven Forums!

I have a quick question, when using the on-screen keyboard (OSK.exe) can you visually see the shift keys "light up" like they do when you physically press them? And if so, can you possibly isolate the source of the seemingly random shift efx? Like do they ever light up when you are not touching the keyboard? Same frequency as when you type? Do some keys tend to cause them to behave this way more than others?

If it's not a problem that suddenly came out of nowhere, it is PROBABLY your keyboard to be honest. It would be difficult to separate it diagnostically from the MOBO circuitry. But keyboards are generally inexpensive and are truly not that difficult for many models of lappies to replace, assuming that you have enough general computer skill that you are willing to do it at your own risk of course. Only you can be the judge of that.

One last thing that could help isolate the source possibly - do you have or can you download a copy of a Linux bootable CD, like Ubuntu, that would allow you to NOT INSTALL the Linux OS to your hard drive but SPECIFICALLY CHOOSE THE OPTION that is for booting from the disc only. See if the problem persists outside of the Windows OS. It's not a bad disc to have around anyway, often comes in handy.

There could simply be something stuck under the key (however, this sounds like it's unlikely from your description). Also if you've spilled something on the KB in the past it may have corroded the contacts or the pads.


Let me know how it goes!

Mike
Yes, they actually do light up indicating the shift is activated on the OSK. I cant isolate a source or even sense a pattern in shift activation. When I type, it definitely will trigger it after a few sentences or more. It will also occur when I'm not typing although less frequently. Pressing the backspace key (on the physical keyboard only) will definitely trigger the shift functionality, and it can only be disabled if i press the shift button followed by clicking the two shift buttons on the OSK respectively.

I suppose I need to replace the keyboard, but just wanted to be sure of the root cause before spending money on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #6
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Yeah, KB problems can be quite strange!

Did it start suddenly, or how did it it's onset occur I guess is what I'm trying to ask. If suddenly, how long ago and might you have a system retore available before it's initial occurrence?

The Ubuntu disc is really a good way to rule-out any software conflicts, improper or corrupt drivers, or even system files without having to do any real work to test any of this stuff individually.

Here is a link hat might help you burn a DVD:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #7
hassannoob

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rubyrubyroo View Post
Yeah, KB problems can be quite strange!

Did it start suddenly, or how did it it's onset occur I guess is what I'm trying to ask. If suddenly, how long ago and might you have a system retore available before it's initial occurrence?

The Ubuntu disc is really a good way to rule-out any software conflicts, improper or corrupt drivers, or even system files without having to do any real work to test any of this stuff individually.

Here is a link hat might help you burn a DVD:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto
It happened last week, after 3 years of ownership, when I booted up the laptop and couldn't log in as my password used numbers and the shift makes them as symbols.

I will try the ubuntu cd method and see how it goes, thanks for that btw.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #8
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Might it still be covered under warranty? It's barely been a month, you should look into that possibility.


Can you check and see if there is a system restore point that predates the problem?

Here is a link to a well explained tutorial here on Seven Forums describing how to preform a system restore System Restore

A System Restore CAN be undone and does NOT affect your files, it just reverts things like settings, drivers and updates to that previous point in time. So be sure to find one that was AT LEAST before the problem was first seen!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #9
hassannoob

windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rubyrubyroo View Post
Might it still be covered under warranty? It's barely been a month, you should look into that possibility.


Can you check and see if there is a system restore point that predates the problem?

Here is a link to a well explained tutorial here on Seven Forums describing how to preform a system restore System Restore

A System Restore CAN be undone and does NOT affect your files, it just reverts things like settings, drivers and updates to that previous point in time. So be sure to find one that was AT LEAST before the problem was first seen!
The warranty is no longer valid as the laptop is over 3 years old already, and I did try system restore and logging into the safe mode to diagnose the problem but tO no avail. I even removed and plugged back in the keyboard from tHE LAPTOP BUt IT STILL DIDNT HELP> SORRY FOR THE CAPS IT IS REAALLY HARD TO TYPE WITH THIS PROBLEM>
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2015   #10
rubyrubyroo

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
 
 

Ahhh..3 YEARS! Me thoughts me reads 3 WEEKS! Sorry about that.

You removed and plugged back in the external keyboard or the actual laptop keyboard? If you have tried the latter, then your perfectlycapable of trying to remove the laptop KB and watch the OSK.exe shift keys to see if they still light up. If they stop it suggests that the key(s) or integrated chip that resides on the KB itself to encode the keys you press into a more serial like ribbon cable is the causative agent, ergo replace laptop keyboard (~$40-$50). In the mean time leave laptop KB unplugged and plug in External USB KB for use without issue (hopefully).

But if the shift keys light even when you unplug the laptop board from the MOBO, then it's probably NOT the keyboard, but still can't rule out S/W issue in this case, but more likely a bad chip on the MOBO itself. Hopefully not so!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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