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A friend of mine's having trouble with her computer. When typing really fast, the letters get swapped around.

All my years working with computers I've never encountered this. I'm guessing virus.

An example: s cterompus uck! (computer suck!)

As you can see, some of the letters are in completely the wrong place, which means the computer must buffer them, and output them in the wrong order.

What's causing this?

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busted keyboard ? – Sirex Aug 31 '10 at 9:27
Just to be sure, it happens only on this keyboard? Did this friend try another keyboard, did someone else try the keyboard? – Gnoupi Aug 31 '10 at 9:37
Could you try making you test more objective, by typing something like: qwertyuiop over and over again and see if OTHER characters get added in or the order is totally messed up. This way we know it's reproducible. Also mention in what kind of software you get this problem (or everywhere) – Ivo Flipse Aug 31 '10 at 9:43
Thanks for the tips guys, I'll add that information. – fluffels Aug 31 '10 at 9:51

With cheaper keyboard designs and why "gaming" keyboards are more expensive. Most keyboards use a matrix (see and a really fast typist can cause the keyboard to incorrectly register key presses (I am seldom this fast). A better external keyboard is likely the best solution.

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Is this a laptop with a trackpad? I had all kinds of cursor randomness on a (now ancient) Dell laptop with a Synaptics trackpad. My palm pressure on the near edge of the deck caused false trackpad input and jumped the cursor around randomly while I was typing. My solution then was to use an external mouse and disable the trackpad.

Today, my Macbook's trackpad - and probably most others -- has an option to Ignore Input While Typing, or Ignore Accidental Input, or sthg similar. Using that option, I can now type up to speed and expect that what I type is what I'll get.

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+1 This answer gets my vote as the most likely. – Dennis Williamson Aug 31 '10 at 18:44

It could be a bad keyboard controller on the motherboard. It is essentially a slightly programmable 4-bit microcomputer.

It could be installed software that is looking for activation keystrokes.

It could be sticky keys (delayed delivery of scan codes) by the keyboard.

It could be something else I didn't think of....

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