18

The keyboard on my laptop seems to be typing by itself:

  • It sometimes types characters like 134, whether by itself or when I hit certain keys.
  • Repeating characters may appear unexpectedly.
  • The system volume may change by itself, or windows like the Print dialog or Web browser may appear.

This can happen without any input or as I type, and may occur more often when certain keys are pressed. Sometimes, the keyboard fails to respond altogether. This is happening regardless of the software involved.

Is there a ghost in my keyboard—is my keyboard broken?

A sample of text from the keyboard might look like this (normal QWERTY...ASDF...ZXC... sequence is expected):

QWERTYUIOPASDF)(G@*HKLZXCVBN
QWERTYIOPASDFGL!#ZXCVB13
QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVB!#N
qwertyu41iopasdf19g13h28j113k4113zxcvb4n
qwerty4u1iopasdf0g7h1jklzxcvb13m
qwert13uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiopasdf87091134ghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh13jk13zxcvb14

This question comes up often and the answers are usually the same. This post is meant to provide a definitive, canonical answer for this problem. Feel free to edit the answer to add additional details.

  • 2
    I'm wondering if there's a loose connection somewhere. How hard would it be to remove and reattach the keyboard? – Journeyman Geek Jun 26 '12 at 5:49
  • It's not a user-serviceable part--see the service manual. – bwDraco Jun 26 '12 at 5:50
  • 1
    If its not user servisable, why does it have a FRU number and instructions? O – Journeyman Geek Jun 26 '12 at 5:53
  • 1
    Check if you have the same problems in the BIOS setup to rule out software as a cause of the problem. – David Schwartz Jun 26 '12 at 6:40
  • 1
    If there are other people that could have access to your computer, make sure that there is indeed only one keyboard attached and that someone is not playing a prank on you with an additional wireless keyboard ;) ... and yes, this has happened before, albeit with a mouse – Rado May 4 '16 at 23:25
27

If it is still in warranty, save yourself the hassle and just get it repaired or replaced.

If it is out of warranty, it could be one of a few things and there is no easy way to tell.

  1. Malware (unlikely): Test via going to an Ubuntu or similar boot disk and open notepad/command line and see if the same thing happens
  2. Loose Connection: Try taking the keyboard and reseating it. A bit of dust may have got on the connector, or it could just be loose. Putting a bit of pressure on the keyboard may be making a short circuit.
  3. Bad Keyboard: It’s just faulty, need to replace it.
  4. Bad Motherboard: Worst of the worst. A friend had an Acer laptop with a very similar diagnosis, it turned out that the same thing happened even with a new keyboard, but not USB keyboard. So the only thing I could say was the motherboard was faulty.
  5. Ghost: Like your title says, there could actually be a ghost in there!
  • 2
    In that case, tell them the keyboard is screwy and get it fixed under warranty. If you think its 2,3 or 4. Dosen't smell like malware. If its 5, contact your local priest, shaman or witchdoctor for a exorcism – Journeyman Geek Jun 26 '12 at 5:54
  • 21
    Add this one to your list: 6. Creepy, crawly baby spiders. They will be emerging from the innards of the keyboard once their food rations of dust and skin cells depletes... >:) – iglvzx Jun 26 '12 at 6:02
  • 9
    Thank you. I will now no longer be able to sleep at night, since my laptop is right next to my bed. – Journeyman Geek Jun 26 '12 at 6:14
  • 3
    If it's #5, you'll need a Ouija board for further troubleshooting... – Ellesa Jun 26 '12 at 6:36
  • 4
    @JohnDvorak are you sure this isn't just because you use the wrong keyboard (Dvorak)? – Nordlys Jeger Sep 4 '18 at 5:42
0

The "could there be a ghost in it" really got me laughing, What I can tell you is this, from my years of experience it's most likely a faulty keyboard which needs replacement.

But in order to be really sure, put your PC in airplane mode(disconnect from the internet), this is to be sure that a hacker/script isn't controlling your PC.

watch it for a couple of minutes and see if it continues to exhibit the same behavior if it doesn't, Kindly go to your nearest PC Engineer and get your keyboard fixed or replaced.

Good luck.

  • Found someone who believes that keyboards just become "faulty" without reason, instead of acknowledging the ghosts ;-) – WBT Jul 9 at 18:45
  • lol, the reason being "many years of use", it tends to wear out and starts to misbehave, it happens to a lot of people trust me. – Kingston Fortune Jul 10 at 7:38
  • After many years of use, a keyboard is full of the ghosts (spirits) of ideas, projects, documents, etc. that have died there and settled in through the spaces between/around the keys, along with the crumbs and dead skin cells and bits of hair etc. Spraying the keyboard with compressed air can help with the latter. – WBT Jul 10 at 13:21

protected by bwDraco Dec 7 '16 at 23:14

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