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I cannot understand what's happening with my laptop keyboard. Occasionally, it becomes partially and very oddly unresponsive.

This has mostly been an issue at the lock screen. Keyboard input isn't registered, nor are mouse movements, so I cannot do anything to log back in. So okay, a hard shutdown and reboot, and the problem should be solved.

The part that doesn't make sense is that input 'works' if I'm holding down one of the modifier keys (either shift or ctrl, but I can't remember). Characters will show up in the password field, but something isn't working correctly, since the login fails. The modifier key + enter will submit the password, but Windows comes back with password incorrect.

Then just a few minutes ago, the same thing happened during normal use. Was resizing an image in paint (trivial, not taxing), and the keyboard/trackpad lock up. This time modifier keys don't help, but I am able to left/right click. Again, I can't actually do anything because the other inputs are not responding.

It doesn't seem like a hardware issue, since some of the key presses work under certain conditions. And it wasn't an issue with the entire system becoming unresponsive either. Any ideas?

It's a lenovo U260 running Windows 7, but I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference.

Similar thread, but slightly different conditions and unanswered. Filter Keys is off by default, not an issue in my case.

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If you want to confirm that it is not a hardware issue, you need to remove the software as a consideration. Yes, this could mean reinstalling your OS, but that's a bit drastic. Instead, download a copy of a Linux LiveCD (any will do, but you could use linuxmint.com as it has excellent hardware support) and boot to it. Don't install it... just use it like that for a little while. If the problem persists, then you know it is hardware. If the problem doesn't, you know it is something in your install of Windows 7. –  Bon Gart Jun 14 '12 at 15:06
    
Well, the problem is that it's intermittent and unpredictable. At the point where the problem occurs, running the live cd would require rebooting the computer. However, rebooting fixes the issue. What I also need to do is test with an external mouse and keyboard, but I've never had one in close proximity when it happens. –  Sherpa Jun 14 '12 at 19:55
    
Well... with a LiveCD, you can still do things like... surf the net, check and respond to online email accounts, etc. You can even do graphic design work or office tasks that can be performed with LibreOffice... all without installing anything. So, it might be a matter of booting to the disc, and using the computer that way for a while. Unless by intermittent and unpredictable, you mean you might go a week or two without seeing this problem pop up. –  Bon Gart Jun 14 '12 at 20:04
    
Exactly - it's happened four times in the last two or three months. Edit: I just remembered that it doesn't even have a CD/DVD drive. –  Sherpa Jun 16 '12 at 22:33
    
The issue popped up again when my mouse became unresponsive. Plugging in an external mouse seems to fix the problem. –  Sherpa Jul 2 '12 at 18:25
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