Scrolling on its own...
September 5, 2007 4:57 PM   Subscribe

My Tablet PC scrolls on its own unless I hit Caps Lock. What gives? Also, anyone know good tech support in or near Philly?

I'm typing this on a library computer right now. My Tablet PC is only a year and a half old yet has many problems. One is my touch screen is not working but my main problem right now is that I can be viewing a page in IE or Firefox or in Word or Notepad typing a paper and it would just start scrolling down. If I tried to go back up, it would try but just force itself down.

I noticed that having the Caps Lock on fixes this problem somehow BUT THEN I WOULD HAVE TO TYPE LIKE THIS, which is annoying. Also, when this starts happening, my Shift key would go back a page on Firefox or IE. So if I'm trying to type a capital or a question mark on a form like this one, it would just bring me back to the last page. If I held down shift, it would bring me back to my first page. Restarting the computer would fix this for five minutes. It would happen again.

I reformatted the computer and it still happens, so it's a hardware problem. My warranty expired in June and I'm an idiot for not renewing it (please don't focus on this), so I can't send it to Gateway.

My best bet is to go somewhere to have it fixed but I'm not sure of any places in or around Philly.

So, (1) What might be causing this problem? and (2) Where could I get it fixed?
posted by daninnj to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh yeah, I never dropped it but broke a keyboard out of rage (yeah, I know). I got a replacement from Gateway back when my warranty was valid and that one worked until this started happening.
posted by daninnj at 4:59 PM on September 5, 2007

Sounds like they keyboard is shorted on either the up or left arrow. Does it stop scrolling if you hold down another key besides caps lock?
posted by lostburner at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2007

Response by poster: Nope, only caps lock.
posted by daninnj at 6:02 PM on September 5, 2007

First off - You might want to look at this post about BIOS updates and maybe do an update yourself. Not the exact same problem, but probably worth trying.

Next, I'd suggest unplugging the keyboard and plugging in a USB keyboard, and seeing if the problem persists.

(I'm Philly-local, and if you're uncomfortable with a screwdriver I can triage it in your presence - No charge. I got mine and a dozen-or-so others fixed over the years.)
posted by Orb2069 at 7:45 PM on September 5, 2007

That's surprising, but I'd still say it's a keyboard or mouse problem. When computers seem to be working, but individual programs are acting weird, it's a sign that an input device is broken. Maybe there's a short in the USB bus sending a "scroll" signal. The paging up sounds like "shift + (uparrow) = page up." The symptom with the caps lock sounds like it gets distracted from the constant "input" from the up-arrow, perhaps by some other constant input that the caps lock sends while it's engaged. I know that OS X stops a key-repeat (if you're holding a key) when you press another key, and this applies to the arrows too.

I'm getting pretty deep into low-quality speculation. Basically, I think you need to replace either the keyboard, the touchpad, or the USB bus they're on (possibly some combination depending on the construction of the laptop). You might also find success by disconnecting any or all of the above and using the computer with an external version. You'll benefit from a take-apart manual, if you've got the cojones. You can sometimes find one online.
posted by lostburner at 9:54 PM on September 5, 2007

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