Computer Keyboard Misbehaving
July 22, 2011 8:48 AM   Subscribe

My laptop spontaneously decides to treat every keypress as a character different from what I actually press. How can I fix this?

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 with windows XP (SP3). Fairly often my keyboard flips out in the middle of typing and decides to remap most of the keys to something different. I haven't been able to figure out what I'm typing that is causing it, but here's what I have been able to figure out.

1. It starts when I'm in the middle of typing
2. It only affects the app I was typing in, the other applications are fine
3. It goes away when I shutdown the app and doesn't return when I reopen it
4. When it does occur it seems to occur in the same way. That is, the same keys map to the same erroneous character.
posted by Green With You to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's possible you're pressing ctrl+shift, which swaps keyboard layouts, and it's changing you to some other language's keyboard.
posted by brainmouse at 8:51 AM on July 22, 2011

Which keys are being remapped and what are they being remapped to?

There is a Windows shortcut which toggles between the different installed keyboard layouts, which I've fallen foul of before. It's something quite common like Alt-Shift, but you can disable it in the Control Panel.
posted by matsho at 8:53 AM on July 22, 2011

That seems to be it. I tried it and was able to toggle between 'normal' and the 'incorrect' layouts. Once brainmouse told me the key combination I found this website showing how to fix the issue. My computer was set to use both US and United States-Dvorak layouts. I removed the Dvorak layout rather than change the key or disable the key combination.

posted by Green With You at 8:59 AM on July 22, 2011

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