Ask the Doctor: The Dirty Shift

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IronJeff

I've seen this problem many times, and it seems to be an issue with Windows XP.

I've disabled Sticky Keys on my wife's laptop, and also disabled Sticky Keys in my Windows VM running on my Mac. The problem occurs often on the laptop, but it has happened occasionally in the VM as well.

When it happens in the VM, the keyboard continues to work fine in the host OS. proving that it isn't a dirty keyboard issue, but most likely a Windows issue (and probably unrelated to Sticky Keys).

Seems to be triggered by some key-combo involving the shift key, and mashing the keys close to the left shift eventually fixes it.

Anyone else have any luck identifying the key-combo?

 

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nsk chaos

hmmm.....this happens sometime with my desktop too. im not so sure that its the key board but it might be. i usually fix this issue by rebooting my computer. hope this helps and save u a few bucks. XD

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I Jedi

At first I also thought it was a stickie key issue. I wonder why he didn't just try a different keyboard after awhile?

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anonuser

My first impression was that the user wasn't familiar with stickykeys (the program) and hadn't deactivated it.  I personally disable it.  Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Keyboard > uncheck "Use StickyKeys".  There are other features that can be deactivated under the 'Settings' button.

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QUINTIX256

replacing the keyboard on the laptop itself, not pluging in a usb keyboard. I'm not sure where you all got the idea that the Doc suggested adding a keyboard. If that is done the laptop is pretty much useless as a laptop.

http://www.google.com/products?q=HP+ZV6000+keyboard

You can have your recession. I'm not participating.

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HokieTechie

If all I needed were a single cheap keyboard, I would probably head to Walmart. If shipping is considered in the cost, they are likely cheaper than web vendors.

 

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Seana7a7

This is the funniest computer related question Ive ever heard.  

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Marcus_Soperus

The advice on diagnosing the keyboard is pretty good, but the remedy is update: not as easy as it sounds way off.

I'd add one extra diagnostic step: I'd make sure the keyboard controller hasn't gone wonky by plugging in a spare USB or PS/2 keyboard and trying it for a few minutes. If the problem persists, it points beyond the keyboard. However, it's likely the problem is confined to the onboard keyboard.

Here's the problem with the remedy: the user's running a 3-year old laptop, not a desktop. If the keyboard's shot and the user totes it around, it's going to require an OEM replacement to fix it (meaning either a trip to the repair shop or a DIY job that's a lot trickier than working inside a desktop PC). Update: These keyboards are cheaper than I thought, but working inside the unit can be tricky. Here's a link to the repair manual (PDF).

However, if the laptop never goes on the road, the advice to pick up a cheap keyboard will work out. 

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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anonuser

The problem with your added diagnosing is that no matter how many USB keyboards you plug, the integrated one will always be connected and enabled, until you disconnect the ribbon yourself.

It pretty much renders your extra diagnosing pointless. A waste of time and money. ;)

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Marcus_Soperus

I suggested that extra step because of my own experience several years ago with a bad keyboard. By using an external keyboard, I was able to verify that the problem was with the keyboard itself, not the keyboard controller. Anyway, I'd borrow a keyboard from another PC (or friend's PC), not buy one.

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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lancethepants

lol, true.

I've never heard of being able to disable laptop keyboards, but I may stand corrected.  Otherwise adding another won't tell you much. :)

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