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In my Lenovo 520, I have found that hitting Tab kills the audio. This happens also with tilde (~), Caps Lock, and Shift. This happens if I hit the keys with normal force but if I press them very lightly, the problem does not occur.

The "Play" indicator does not stop; the seconds continue ticking away in iTunes as it shows the song playing; changing the volume makes no difference.

These keys have not become some sort of mapped "speakers off" key. My "speakers off" key works fine. Rather this seems like a hardware problem: Those keys turn off the audio with a tiny buzz-click sound.

But, it also has aspects of a software problem.

In iTunes, I can restart the application to make the audio return.. In Windows Media Player, all I need to do is play a different song. For YouTube in Chrome, reloading starts the audio again.

What's going on?

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How hard are you hitting the keys? –  Oliver Salzburg Jul 5 '12 at 21:20
    
Does your keyboard have a key to switch off the audio? If so, this is probably the same problem as the one described in Keyboard acting wierdly : Virus or Hardware issue?. –  Dennis Jul 5 '12 at 21:23
    
Is it this? If so, there are no media keys on the left, so it can't be that a wire in the keyboard is short-circuiting. What happens if you press the keys lightly? Does it happen if you press the keys next to those? Does it happen by itself at all? –  Synetech Jul 5 '12 at 21:24
    
Also, did you try if pressing the key again turns the audio back on? @Synetech: In your screenshot, disable audio is [Fn]+[F1]. –  Dennis Jul 5 '12 at 21:25
    
@Dennis, yes, but that is not a dedicated media key like this (some keyboards have them on the left-hand side). Fn+F1 is a combo so, it cannot be caused by a short-ciruit (at least not in the lines; and a short-circuit in the keyboard controller would likely have more effects than just muting). –  Synetech Jul 5 '12 at 21:40

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