Random repeating keys
June 19, 2007 7:51 AM   Subscribe

So I am having this problem with keystrokes randomly repeating in all Windows XP programs.

I will be typing along merrily and all of a sudden a key will start repeating (helloooooo), for like 15 characters then stops suddenly. This occurs every 10 or 15 minutes of use.

I have looked at all the usual suspects. I have tried different model keyboards (USB), updated drivers, different ports, nothing seems to stop this behavior.

It there is also some weird behavior with the mouse as well, when I click on some text (in all programs), it selects chunks of it (not the whole paragraph) instead of just placing the cursor.

Has anyone seen this before?
posted by corpse to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and no stickykeys or other accessibility options are enabled. Also tried the repeat rate of different settings, it's just a random behavior.
posted by corpse at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2007

corpse, I have no solution but this has happened to me on two different machines. (IBM Thinkpads) MY IT department thinks it's because of iTunes, the only other software I've downloaded onto both machines. I think it's because Thinkpads suck, but since no one else has complained about the same behavior, the help desk guys say it's all on me.

Let's hope someone has an answer.
posted by pomegranate at 8:19 AM on June 19, 2007

I've seen it.

It happens to me on wireless keyboards as they start to run out of batteries. Probably not your issue...

The mouse thing happens to me if you mash the shift key 5 times in a row or something like that, or if my wireless keyboard is running out of batteries and thinks that shift is still down from the last time I pushed it...

Does the mouse behave like the shift key is down? or the CTRL key?

Is it a laptop?

figure out what key it is mimicing... that could help diagnose it.
posted by magikker at 8:21 AM on June 19, 2007

The first thing I'd suggest is to try a different keyboard to see if it's an issue with the keyboard or the software environment. (If it's a laptop, the handling of the built-in vs. external keyboard might be different enough for this to be inconclusive, though.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 8:52 AM on June 19, 2007

Best answer: You could have a buggy USB system (chipset, any of the subsystem components) - any sort of signal or power fluctuation could do weird things like that. If you still have a PS2 port, try that, and see how it works. If it's a desktop and you can find a cheap USB add-in card, that's another thought, but I'm not sure I'd want to spend the money on that, if you could find someone with one that would let you test it.
posted by pupdog at 9:03 AM on June 19, 2007

My new install of Ubuntu does this with my laptop keyboard. It sucks. How long have you had XP installed? Is this a recent occurrence?
posted by philomathoholic at 11:15 AM on June 19, 2007

This probably isn't it, but is your keyboard in one of those sliding trays that's attached under your desk? Any chance a key is getting pinched down? A few months ago, I had a situation where it seemed like I would get forever stuck in spell-check mode. I couldn't cancel out of it, or do much of anything else for that matter. Turned out my F8 key was getting slightly pressed by the underside of my desk, which was repeatedly launching the spell-check operation.
posted by mauglir at 11:35 AM on June 19, 2007

These issues happen with a plug-in keyboard, the laptop keyboard, a plug in mouse, and the laptop thumb-button. (at least in my case, don't mean to derail you corpse) It's not mechanical, though I sure wish it was!
posted by pomegranate at 11:58 AM on June 19, 2007

I've seen this when I have something between my wireless keyboard/mouse and the... (connecting station? wireless signal thingie? mouse recharger? no idea what it's called).

Usually it's my cell phone or iPod that's in the way, so there must be some kind of electro-interference.
posted by desjardins at 2:34 PM on June 19, 2007

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