Is my ctrl key activating itself?



Over the past couple of weeks or so, I've noticed some strange things
happening when I'm using Office or Windows mail. In Word, I may be typing a
document and suddenly the next text I type becomes underlined... or a new doc
opens... or the save window opens.. or the text will change its justification
(eg move from left hand side justification to centre justified). In Windows
mail, an email I'm typing will suddenly save itself in the drafts folder...
or the mail will delete itself.

In normal operation, I think that each of these actions can be activated by
pressing ctrl and a letter key, simultaneously.... but I'm not pressing the
ctrl key.

I type reasonably quickly... so it's hard to be certain... but I think that
these various strange occurances happen when I've typed the specific key that
would activate the specific function - if I also pressed ctrl at the same
time.... but I'm not pressing ctrl. For example, if I type a U, the next
letters I type will sometimes be underlined... as if I typed ctrl + U at the
same time.

I have another problem I'll mention... just in case it is related to the
above... or it helps to shed any light on the issue. Cut, copy and paste
seem to be a bit hit or miss. Sometimes if I press ctrl c and then ctrl v
(in order to copy and paste)... it doesn't paste anything. Sometimes if I
try to copy... it doesn't copy anything. Sometimes, if I paste... I just get
some words that look like an error message about my email account.

Thanks for reading my question... I'd be very interested to read if anyone
has experienced this issue... and how they fixed it.

Dusko Savatovic

You may try to change your keyboard.
If you have a wireless keyboard, there may be some interference. If that's
the case, try with wired keyboard.

If you are using laptop, the interference may come from touchpad. Dell
laptops have been known to suffer from similar symptoms.


Thank you Dusko.

It's a Sony Vaio laptop... which has a touchpad. I've always had the 'tap'
feature switched off on the touchpad (ie the touch pad can only be used for
cursor movement and scrolling text etc. With the tap feature switched off...
all other features can only be accessed by pressing the buttons on the touch
pad... which I'm not doing while I type.)

But I guess it could still be some kind of interference from the touchpad.
I've never found a way to switch the touchpad off completely. Is that just
my ignorance... or, for laptops, is it a deliberate design to ensure
touchpads cannot be switched off totally?

Thanks again.

Dusko Savatovic

Yes, laptop keyboards are less robust than desktop. Having changed several
laptops, I can say it's sort of general rule. After some time (I'd say three
years), some keys become less responsive. If in your profession you're
dependant on some heavy typing you'd have to find a solution:
- have your keyboard replaced
- have your keyboard thoroughly cleaned
- get yourself a desktop keyboard (sort of defies the role of laptop)
- get yourself a heavy duty (military style) laptop. I did install one
Panasonic Toughbook, but I wouldn't know how good they are.
- get used to and live with it

Good luck


Thanks Dusko.
The disappointing thing is... the laptop is only 10-11 months old.. and has
never suffered the typical laptop accidents, like having coffee spilled on

I may see if the problem is covered under warranty... but as I need my
laptop for work, I guess warranty claims will mean it has to go away for a
while. Not very convenient.

Thanks for your help.

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