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This is a new USB keyboard. I did not install any of the software that comes with these things -- never have and would rather not unless all else fails.

Even CTRL-Shift-LeftArrow works but CTRL-LeftArrow just does nothing. CTRL-RightArrow is fine. Scroll Lock, Number Lock, and other keys also seem to function normally.

Anyone recommend some kind of key-stroke capture application to see how it's registering?

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If it is brand new just take/send it back and ask for a replacement. – ChrisF Apr 21 '11 at 15:50
If you can, try it on another machine, if it still doesn't work then as ChrisF says take it back for replacement. – Sim Jun 28 '11 at 2:05

Assuming you're on Windows, run CheckScanCode (Freeware, scroll down a bit to see the download link) and press Ctrl to see if any keyboard scancode is received.

My results for Ctrl

KeyData: 21692417
Virtual Code: 37
Scan Code: 4915200
Text: ^{LEFT}
[_] ALT

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