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phantom keyboard input


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#1
thedude5000

thedude5000

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My notebook:
Dell Vostros 1000
AMD Athlon X2
1.70 Ghz.
2G Ram


Long story short:
I have a Dell Vostros 1000. I bought this notebook new and it had Windows XP installed. I installed a 64-bit version of linux (ubuntu) for a few months. I then switched to Win XP 64-bit. Then I returned to Win XP 32-bit.

The Problem: Programs like the screen saver and my bank's virtual keyboard detect a keystroke from the keyboard and therefore do not work properly. The problem has persisted despite an OS change.

Details:
The problem started after the installation of Win XP 64-Bit. It continues under the current Win 98 installation. Both Windows versions were installed from legit licensed copies.

Whenever I try to run the screen saver preview it runs for between 1-5 seconds then turns off like an event was detected.
On my bank's web site they use a virtual keyboard that will not work if it detects keyboard input. It gives an error message that tells me to use the mouse to click on the virtual keyboard and not use my actual keyboard (also 1-5 seconds after the virtual keyboard gets focus).

The keystrokes do not appear in notepad, or anywhere else I've noticed at all.

Here are some things I've tried:
Restarting (ha!)
Updating the driver
Running a full Symantec scan with an updated database.
Bazooka!

I even cleared my all my cookies and tried my bank in IE6 and IE7 and Firefox.

The reason I'm posting in hardware is because this has persisted through at least one OS install.

Anybody have any ideas/solutions?
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#2
Mephitus

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a lot of things like that wont show up in notepad... what you are going to need to do is boot to pure dos and watch the keyboards port to see whats coming in.... (to make sure its not a hardware problem)


how to do this?... well... i can give you a copy of a qbasic program (along with qbasic) that will show you the scancodes of the keys being pressed (even the phantom ones) and if a key is up or down....

you say your current install is w98?? that makes things easier (it has dos underneath) but if not youll need to make a dos disk and put the files on it...

to run it type qbasic /run keyscan.bas

note; this program will say 'key down' for ceartain normal keys such as 'break' and the windows specific keys (break has a special function and the windows keys arent native to the original IBM design)

to stop the program either hold ctrl and hit break (will drop you back to dos) or simply remove the floppy/cd and reboot....



anyone else out there know how to sniff the keyboard port without windows getting in the way (or getting dust in your nose :) )?

Attached Files

  • Attached File  keys.zip   287.03KB   80 downloads

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#3
thedude5000

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Thanks so much for the quick reply! I just got out of classes for the day and tried out this advice and it resulted in the the message

0
key down

I am attaching a screen shot of what I saw. How should I interpret this?

Attached Thumbnails

  • screenkeydown.JPG

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#4
Mephitus

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well... you really need to run it from pure dos cos the virtual dos environment in windows wont work right... what this is trying to do is see if there is a hardware problem (since you said it survived through two OS installs)


how to interpret what you see? when its running it shouldnt do anything till you press a key... thats normal keyboard activity.... but if it does something -without- you pressing keys then thats the phantom keyboard problem... basically you run it and wait.... (press a few keys to see what it does when it gets keyboard input)....

interesting to note however.... i see a trackpad icon in your system tray in that screenshot.... some trackpads are sensitive to humidity/heat.... which may be why the screensavers dont last... (if there is some residual moisture on the pad the cursor can jitter even if your hand/finger isnt anywhere near it)

but you said this is a keyboard problem... so lets look at that route first..... or if you want and if its possible... disable the trackpad (completely) and use a normal mouse and see if the screensaver and phantom keys problem disappears...


sorry for the jumbled reply... my brain isnt working to good today...
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#5
thedude5000

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The reason I strongly suspect the keyboard is because on a site that requires "virtual keyboard" that accepts input via mouse only gives me the error message it used to give if a key on the keyboard was hit while the dialog box that receives the password was in focus.

I'll try that program in dos in a few. Any new ideas in the meantime?
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#6
thedude5000

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I ran the following code and got the output attached. If anybody has a better program that will narrow in more I would appreciate it. As far as I can tell that could be any one of several keys.


import java.awt.Frame;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;
import java.awt.event.KeyListener;

@SuppressWarnings("serial")
public class Main extends Frame {

private KeyListener k;

public Main(){
super("Yarg");
k = new KeyListener(){

@Override
public void keyPressed(KeyEvent e) {
System.out.println(KeyEvent.getKeyText(e.getKeyCode()));
}

@Override
public void keyReleased(KeyEvent e) {
System.out.println(KeyEvent.getKeyText(e.getKeyCode()));
}

@Override
public void keyTyped(KeyEvent e) {
System.out.println(KeyEvent.getKeyText(e.getKeyCode()));

}};
this.addKeyListener(k);
this.setSize(50,50);
this.setVisible(true);
}
public static void main(String[] args) {
new Main();
}

}

Attached Thumbnails

  • yarg.jpeg

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#7
Mephitus

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ok... this is odd... that java program said the same thing as my basic one did....


that a key with the scancode '0' is being held down... i thought this was a jittery key problem... not constant... and it is coming from the hardware...


according to http://www.win.tue.n...es-1.html#ss1.4 ; "0" means keyboard error... and since you said it crossed two OS installs it most likely means you need a new keyboard... (or a new laptop......)

but first (with the laptop off of course) try taking the keyboard out... -gently- disconnecting it from the motherboard (will be connected via slide-in ribbon cables... might be one might be two... each manufactuer is different... just be carefull not to yank one of them) and then use a regular keyboard.... pref in the ps2 port if it has one but USB works too... and see if the keyboard problem is still there..... if it isnt then you just need a replacement keyboard for the laptop... if its still there then the keyboard controller on the motherboard is messed up and you may just need a new laptop.......


your phantom keypresses arent keypresses at all... its the keyboard controller screaming 'error!'
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