STILL getting keyboard funnies!

  • Thread starter J. P. Gilliver (John)
  • Start date

J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Even after restoring my system to a new hard disc, I'm still getting
keyboard funnies. They arise with the internal netbook keyboard, an
external USB keyboard, an external USB one _with the internal one
disconnected_, and _even with the on-screen keyboard_!

I've done a full system scan (besides, I can't see what good this would
do any malware).

I _haven't_ figured out what sets it off. Nor what cures it. When it
happens, I've _I think_ found that stopping certain processes in task
manager _sometimes_ restores normality (is there a batch command,
something like "Stop", that will kill a given process by name?);
conversely, sometimes just opening NotePad+ and typing a few characters
fixes it; and I _think_ sometimes it just gets better on its own. On the
whole, I _think_ it doesn't happen more than once in one session.

What actually happens? Well, as I said I'm not sure if something
specific triggers it or it just starts; what I notice is that I try to
type away, as I'm doing now, and I suddenly notice my typing isn't
appearing. On further investigation, it's _as if_ one of the extra keys
- and it seems to vary among shift, alt, alt gr, Ctrl, Windows, and
context - is stuck (for example, typing e may cause an explorer window
to open, as if I'd typed Win+e); hence my experimenting with the various
keyboards, thinking it was a hardware fault. Sometimes, though, things
work differently in different applications - I may be able to type in
NotePad+, but not in my news/email software, or in a box in Firefox, and
I can't see how a hardware fault would work like that. (As I've said,
_sometimes_ it seems that just typing a few keys in NotePad+ brings it
back for other applications.)

What's further puzzling is that I have (and have had since well before
this started happening, which was about September IIRR) Leeos's "noisy
keyboard", which makes noises as I hit keys, different ones for
different kinds of key such as apace bar, enter, etc. (makes it sound
rather like a typewriter); and even when the problem is operating, such
that I'm typing away but nothing's appearing on screen, all those noises
are present as normal: so _some_ part of the system is registering my
keypresses, but something seems to be stopping (or interfering with)
them getting to the applications (but different interference for
different applications). I don't think it's a keylogger, though: it's
operation seems too random.

The only thing I can think of that I did around the time this started
happening was install (I think it's called) AllChars, a utility which
for example if you press _and release_ Ctrl, then 1 then 2, will produce
the "half" character, and other fairly intuitive combinations. (Useful
on a system with no numeric keyboard; I know the codes for lots of odd
characters, but that's no good if I can't enter them.) But that seemed
to work fine when I installed it, and still does if it isn't one of the
ones I've killed trying to fix things.

I'm stumped! Any thoughts?
 
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P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
Even after restoring my system to a new hard disc, I'm still getting
keyboard funnies. They arise with the internal netbook keyboard, an
external USB keyboard, an external USB one _with the internal one
disconnected_, and _even with the on-screen keyboard_!

I've done a full system scan (besides, I can't see what good this would
do any malware).

I _haven't_ figured out what sets it off. Nor what cures it. When it
happens, I've _I think_ found that stopping certain processes in task
manager _sometimes_ restores normality (is there a batch command,
something like "Stop", that will kill a given process by name?);
conversely, sometimes just opening NotePad+ and typing a few characters
fixes it; and I _think_ sometimes it just gets better on its own. On the
whole, I _think_ it doesn't happen more than once in one session.

What actually happens? Well, as I said I'm not sure if something
specific triggers it or it just starts; what I notice is that I try to
type away, as I'm doing now, and I suddenly notice my typing isn't
appearing. On further investigation, it's _as if_ one of the extra keys
- and it seems to vary among shift, alt, alt gr, Ctrl, Windows, and
context - is stuck (for example, typing e may cause an explorer window
to open, as if I'd typed Win+e); hence my experimenting with the various
keyboards, thinking it was a hardware fault. Sometimes, though, things
work differently in different applications - I may be able to type in
NotePad+, but not in my news/email software, or in a box in Firefox, and
I can't see how a hardware fault would work like that. (As I've said,
_sometimes_ it seems that just typing a few keys in NotePad+ brings it
back for other applications.)

What's further puzzling is that I have (and have had since well before
this started happening, which was about September IIRR) Leeos's "noisy
keyboard", which makes noises as I hit keys, different ones for
different kinds of key such as apace bar, enter, etc. (makes it sound
rather like a typewriter); and even when the problem is operating, such
that I'm typing away but nothing's appearing on screen, all those noises
are present as normal: so _some_ part of the system is registering my
keypresses, but something seems to be stopping (or interfering with)
them getting to the applications (but different interference for
different applications). I don't think it's a keylogger, though: it's
operation seems too random.

The only thing I can think of that I did around the time this started
happening was install (I think it's called) AllChars, a utility which
for example if you press _and release_ Ctrl, then 1 then 2, will produce
the "half" character, and other fairly intuitive combinations. (Useful
on a system with no numeric keyboard; I know the codes for lots of odd
characters, but that's no good if I can't enter them.) But that seemed
to work fine when I installed it, and still does if it isn't one of the
ones I've killed trying to fix things.

I'm stumped! Any thoughts?

So why haven't you removed AllChars ? If it is re-installable,
you can put it back if the problem is still there.

*******

You can get a copy of devcon here. Unzip with your favorite unzip
program. The i386 folder has devcon.exe for a 32 bit system.

http://support2.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q311272

devcon stack * > output.txt
notepad output.txt

For example, this is my keyboard entry.

ACPI\PNP0303\4&B6AFFD&0
Name: Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Setup Class: {4D36E96B-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} Keyboard
Class upper filters:
kbdclass
Controlling service:
i8042prt

It has one upperfilter defined and no lowerfilter that I can see.
If a third party program wants to "Listen in", I would expect
some difference in that output.

This is the output for my hard drive, showing both kinds
of filters are present.

IDE\DISKST3500418AS
Name: ST3500418AS
Setup Class: {4D36E967-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} DiskDrive
Class upper filters:
PartMgr
pssnap
Controlling service:
disk
Class lower filters:
vidsflt

I think the vidsflt was possibly put there by Acronis.

I don't think such a listing is worth much to you, especially
given the difficulty of mapping an entry, back to
the program that put it there. It may give you some
materials to use in a Regedit search.

Paul
 
M

micky

Even after restoring my system to a new hard disc, I'm still getting
keyboard funnies. They arise with the internal netbook keyboard, an
external USB keyboard, an external USB one _with the internal one
disconnected_, and _even with the on-screen keyboard_!

I presume you've updated the keyboard driver, or rolled it back, or
reinstalled it, or all 3? Maybe rolling it back will get it to the one
in use before allchars was installed.

IIUC scans look for viruses etc that many people have, or that at least
one person has reported to he antivirus company. Aren't there many ways
a driver could be messed up without it affecting anyone but you?
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

micky said:
I presume you've updated the keyboard driver, or rolled it back, or
reinstalled it, or all 3? Maybe rolling it back will get it to the one
in use before allchars was installed.

Interesting idea. Trouble is, I can't think of why a corrupted driver
would work fine, then start sulking, then after I've messed about
killing processes in Task Manager and/or pressing odd combinations of
keys when in NotePad+ start working again. (And I don't remember ever
changing a keyboard driver. [I don't think AllChars really interrupts
the keyboard driver - it just looks for a single tap of the control key.
Besides, it seemed to work - and still does.])
IIUC scans look for viruses etc that many people have, or that at least
one person has reported to he antivirus company. Aren't there many ways
a driver could be messed up without it affecting anyone but you?

I guess so! But again, I don't see why - if it's messed up - it should
work, then not, then work again. (And I also can't see what good it'd do
a virus writer for it to malfunction _in the way it does_.)
 
M

micky

micky said:
I presume you've updated the keyboard driver, or rolled it back, or
reinstalled it, or all 3? Maybe rolling it back will get it to the one
in use before allchars was installed.

Interesting idea. Trouble is, I can't think of why a corrupted driver
would work fine, then start sulking, then after I've messed about
killing processes in Task Manager and/or pressing odd combinations of
keys when in NotePad+ start working again. (And I don't remember ever
changing a keyboard driver. [I don't think AllChars really interrupts
the keyboard driver - it just looks for a single tap of the control key.
Besides, it seemed to work - and still does.])
IIUC scans look for viruses etc that many people have, or that at least
one person has reported to he antivirus company. Aren't there many ways
a driver could be messed up without it affecting anyone but you?

I guess so! But again, I don't see why - if it's messed up - it should
work, then not, then work again. (And I also can't see what good it'd do
a virus writer for it to malfunction _in the way it does_.)

Me neither, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Any port in a storm.
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

I've now checked, and there is no option to roll back to a previous
driver; I presume it's just using the basic keyboard driver that comes
with Windows XP. According to device manager, I think the internal
keyboard appears as a PS/2 - though since the same behaviour appears
with a USB keyboard ... I looked on Samsung's website and couldn't find
any driver for the keyboard, new or original (the netbook is a Samsung
NC-20).

I did find mention of the same fault - or what sounded like it - on
Toshiba machines; they definitely said it _isn't_ a hardware problem.
They didn't have a suggestion, though, other than holding down both
shift keys and F7 for several seconds (which didn't seem to work) and
using KeyTweak to turn off the relevant key (which I haven't tried
because I saw somewhere in either that thread or in download reviews of
it that changes made by KeyTweak need a reboot, which usually clears the
problem anyway, till next time).
changing a keyboard driver. [I don't think AllChars really interrupts
the keyboard driver - it just looks for a single tap of the control key.
Besides, it seemed to work - and still does.])
IIUC scans look for viruses etc that many people have, or that at least
one person has reported to he antivirus company. Aren't there many ways
a driver could be messed up without it affecting anyone but you?

I guess so! But again, I don't see why - if it's messed up - it should
work, then not, then work again. (And I also can't see what good it'd do
a virus writer for it to malfunction _in the way it does_.)

Me neither, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Any port in a storm.
Indeed! But I've scanned. (Incidentally, the Tucows file of KeyTweak
2.30 rang bells with my AV software - said it contained an Ad virus or
something like that - which the MajorGeeks one didn't. Though I then
found I already had it installed anyway.)

TOUCH WOOD, keyboard is working OK for the moment; I'm avoiding CTRL+
combinations (and Alt+, Win+ ...) as I have a vague feeling those are
what sets it off. (Though once it's started sulking, pressing any or all
of them again, multiple times, doesn't cure it.)
 
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