More like WRONG arrow key, amirite?
October 25, 2008 7:52 PM Subscribe
My laptop's right-arrow key is remapping itself. Any tips for diagnosis or repair?
posted by Rhaomi to computers & internet (10 answers total)
The right-arrow key on my laptop is behaving badly. It seems to be wildly remapping itself several times per second, varying between a few keys. After a little testing, here's what I found out:
- Inside a text field, pressing it will produce either "n/ " or "b". It varies between the two randomly with repeated keypresses. Example:
n/ bbbn/ n/ / bn/ / n/ n/ bn/
(Yes, I realize it typed "/" twice in the middle there -- no clue why)
- When it does type "b", it also minimizes whatever application I'm using.
- When testing in Notepad, pressing the arrow also displays the little underscores under "File", "Edit", etc. that usually appear when you press "Alt", suggesting this key is getting selected, too.
- To see exactly how the key was working, I brought up a driving game that has an area in the menu to test the controls -- pressing the acceleration key will fill up a bar slowly to the maximum speed, for instance. I mapped this function to the arrow, then pressed it. Instead of filling the bar smoothly, it caused it to jitter around a bit but never increase, as if I was lightly tapping the key over and over again.
- Lastly, and most puzzling: the problem comes and goes, seemingly not tied to any one program or process. It'll be there when I boot up, disappear for awhile, then return for no visible reason.
I thought the problem was rooted in a Windows Update I had recently added that XP had been nagging me to install, but rolling back to the pre-Update (and pre-problem) state via System Restore didn't fix it. Rebooting does nothing, either. And I don't have any spyware or viruses, to my knowledge -- my AV software hasn't given me any warnings lately.
My laptop is a Dell Latitude D820, running Windows XP SP2.
Any thoughts? Are there any Microsoft diagnostic tools I could run to repair this irritating little problem?