My computer has been acting really strangely the past week. After about 2-3 hours of use, my keyboards (both the laptop and the ergo plugged in with a USB) stop functioning as keyboards, and start launching programs and functions when I touch the keys. They launch OneNote, open a Windows Explorer window, lock up Internet Explorer 8, etc. I can still use my mouse, and the number keypad still works, but most the other keys start acting as function keys or something. I also can't navigate back to Internet Explorer 8's open tabs unless I right click the program icon on the bottom of the screen and open a new tab. If I shut my machine down, it all goes away, but starts up again after a couple of hours. So weird!

The only out-of-the-ordinary events for my laptop lately were:

  1. I used my uncle's secure internet connection while I visited him (plugged in to my laptop - username/pw required).

  2. I put three people's photos on my laptop using their SD cards, and by transferring files from my uncle's computer to a USB stick and then copying to my machine. Suspecting a virus, I've run AVG and Spybot scans - no problems showed up.

I checked the programs that run at startup, and the processes running (via Task Manager), but honestly I don't know what all those things are to know which might be the culprit.

I searched my computer for new .exe's and eliminated all those that were dropped on my machine during the dates I used my uncle's network connection and/or got photo files from others. (They were mostly weirdly-named Office applications.)

I called the Internet Service Provider to see if they drop any configurations or files on machines that log on to their network, and they said "no", they just assign my computer an IP address that their network recognizes.

I hope you have some ideas. I am stumped and I'm not even sure who to call to troubleshoot this.


You need to re-install your keyboard drivers. Or reset them. Have a look here: How do you reset Windows keyboard drivers to their original defaults?

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  • OK, I tried that. I should be able to let you know in a few hours if that did the trick or not. Thanks for the suggestion! – Shari Jul 23 '12 at 14:43
  • If this doesn't work, try to update them. :) – Dave Jul 23 '12 at 14:44
  • Is this complete now? – Dave Aug 31 '12 at 10:12

It's possible that one of your computer's Ctrl, Fn, Alt or Windows key is stuck. Perhaps more than one of them. This can happen if they're physically broken, or if there is dirt or grime under the keys.

Try tapping each of these keys several times, harder than you normally tap them, to attempt to dislodge any dirt that may be causing them to stick.

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  • OK, I tried that. I should be able to let you know in a few hours if that did the trick or not. Thanks for the suggestion! – Shari Jul 23 '12 at 14:39

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