I'm having the weirdest problem with my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1501, Windows Vista Home Premium, 2 GB RAM, "AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-50 1.60 GHz" processor). I can only say that it like Windows is detecting a phantom key that is being constantly pressed, even when I'm not typing. This causes some big and small problems...
- In Windows Live Messenger, the word wheel (contact/web search box) constantly has focus. When I click somewhere else in the window, it loses focus but it immediately returns there.
- When I'm typing a document in Word, I am unable to use the quick access toolbar or spell checker. The spell checker seems to think that I'm making an edit to the word/phrase when I'm not. Because of this, I can't select the suggested correct word. The quick access toolbar (the small toolbar that fades into view when you select text) fades out immediately.
- In Gmail, when I type ? in order to bring up the keyboard shortcuts help box, it shows and then disappears.
- In Firefox, tooltips that appear when I hover over a link or image show and then disappear almost immediately.
- In Narrator, the robotic lady doesn't read aloud dialogues but "unknown key" over and over again. Unchecking the "echo user's keystrokes" checkbox fixes this.
- The laptop never idles. It will never set my Windows Live status to "away", nor will it ever sleep or turn off the monitor.
In the past, I've managed to fix this problem by taking out the laptop keyboard, shaking the dust from between the keys, cleaning the ribbon thing and then putting it back. However, this is just temporary and the problem always returns.
Does anyone know what's causing this, or how to fix it permanently? Whilst some of the stuff here is bearable (e.g. the messenger word wheel), the Word spell checker thing is a serious annoyance -- I use Word most days, and it takes ages to go through right-clicking every word that's misspelt.