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At first I thought it was a coworker playing a joke on me..

I have a habit of locking my workstation whenever I leave my desk.

however i have noticed over the last several years that sometimes the capslock key would be on when I return. I don't notice this until i try typing in my password (which would fail because its in ALL CAPS) and then glance at the now illuminated caps lock key.

This has happened on and off across half a dozen workstations on 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Possible causes

  1. I'm losing my mind
  2. "feature" in windows?
  3. some sort of institutional domain policy at my workplace
  4. someone has been messing with me for many many years

?

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+1 if it didn't happen to me occasionally I'd have guessed 1 or 4 –  Nifle Feb 11 '10 at 17:40
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4) would be one of the longest running practical jokes -ever-. –  Phoshi Feb 11 '10 at 17:41
    
It's probably so funny that he doesn't notice it that it has turned into a habbit... ^^ –  Tom Wijsman Aug 17 '10 at 13:00
    
+1 for 1st possible cause :D –  Nicu Zecheru Aug 17 '10 at 21:28
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3 Answers 3

  1. This happens only if you are away as you describe.
  2. This happens only if you return to your computer from leaving it locked and unattended.
  3. Hmm, then... We should really check if it's your co-worker!

Suggestions to check your co-worker:

  1. Enable the caps lock before you go away, see if he disables it by accident.
  2. If it's still PS/2, swap the keyboard and mouse cables before you go away.
    Swap them back when you return, check if the caps lock is now enabled.
  3. If it's an USB you will tend to be less lucky, just disconnect instead of swap and make him wonder...
  4. Install security measures in your office!

Suggestions to prevent this from happening in the first place:

  1. Disable the Caps Lock key because it does more worse than good.
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The IT guy here has a small usb device he uses to screw with people. It does things like this. Check your ports.

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My best guess is: there's random crud in your keyboard that's intermittently causing you to push the caps lock down when you push some other key, or is causing a short that's causing it to think the key was pressed. Or, you're accidentally hitting the caps lock key while you type.

I'd recommend swapping the keyboard and see if the problem recurs. If not, then it's a problem with your keyboard (or that evil coworker decided to give you a break).

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It happens on multiple machines. –  Tom Wijsman Aug 17 '10 at 12:51
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