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Mysterious Keyboard problems!!!

Posted on 1998-12-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a small peer-to-peer network (on al LAN) of five Windows 95/98 computers.  They have been running just fine for the last 8 months.  

During this week, a keyboard stopped working on one of the computers (Win98). I replaced it with a new one.  The new keyboard stopped working today and I replaced with another. (I had 4 spare keyboards).

After 1 hour, a keyboard on a second machine (Win95) stopped responding.   I just rebooted the second system and it is working OK.   Just now the keyboard on a third machine stopped  responding.  

It never happened before.  Any ideas. It looks too mysterious that 4 keyboards have stopped working within a  week.  For that matter, 3 stopped responding today.

Thanks for the help
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Question by:cys39
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13 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130816
When you say the keyboards stopped responding, do you mean the system locked up?
What happens if the PC is simply re-booted?
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:cys39
ID: 1130817
Dear rmarotta:

The system is working OK.  I can use mouse to start and stop applications. I just can not enter data using keyboard into any of the applications, e.g MS WORD, or MA Access forms.

Of the three, when I rebooted 2 PCs (second and third) worked just fine with the existing keyboard. The first one, did not respond till I replaced the keyboard with a new one.

Thank you.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130818
OK.
Well, it seems possible that the first keyboard has failed, and should have been replaced.
The others may just be system lockups that have have occurred because of some conflict.
Have you recently installed any new hardware or software just prior to these problems?
Is there any sequence of events that can be done to make the problem occur again?
Regards,
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:cys39
ID: 1130819
Ralph,

Come to think of it, I did 2 things over the weekend.  Only after that all these problems started.

(1) I installed a program called DeskLink on one of the PCs (say PC-II) on Sunday.  This allows me to remote control the PC and use the shared applications on the network by dialing-in.  I dialed-into this PC last night. We had three keyboards freeze up today.

(2) I also installed a new keyboard with a touch-pad on PC-II at the same time as I installed the new software.

However the initial keyboard problems were on PC-I and PC-III to start with.  PC-II was the last machine with a frozen keyboard.


Does this help? Do you think I need to systematically troubleshoot by uninstalling the DeskLink and the touchpad/keyboard and install and use one at a time?

Regards
Chandra
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130820
Chandra, my guess would be the touchpad.
Try this:
On PC-II, go to Device Manager and see if there are any conflicts listed.
If none, restart the computer in safe mode and check Device Manager again for any duplicated entrys that might be listed.  Sometimes, items are listed in safe mode that don't appear when running Windows normally.
If any duplicates are found, remove each of the entrys.  Shutdown and reboot.
Windows should then detect and install the hardware correctly the next time it loads.
(For a menu to select safe mode, press F8 key when you see the "Starting Windows95" message at power-up.)
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:cys39
ID: 1130821
Ralph, I will try this today evening.  If it works, you will be awarded the points...Thank you very much!

regards
Chandra
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1130822
Just a few thoughts.....

A virus could spread like that.  Have you run a scan on the affected systems?

I have also seen wierd problems like this occur when there are grounding problems in the building and you get currents flowing where they should not.  This, however would seem very unlikely to effect a kyboard which is separate.

 Anther environmental factor would be moisture or condensation in the room.  The computer could be immune because it generates its own heat, a keyboard doesn't/
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
mark2150 earned 100 total points
ID: 1130823
Remote control software redirects the keyboard I/O to the COM channel, no? Perhaps this is the source of the lockups?

Back out the last thing you did and see if that helps.

M

0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130824
Mark2150,
It is not helpful to "answer" a question with more questions.
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Author Comment

by:cys39
ID: 1130825
This looks like a good answer.  Because, I checked the device managers on all the computers and found no conflicts or unknown devices.

Another reason that this probably may be a good answer is: I could not shutdown the PC running the remote control software because the DDE server stoped responding.  

I uninstalled the Desklink. I will see if the problem goes away.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

Chandra


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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130826
Chandra,

I'm sorry I failed to mention:
It is not necessary to accept a proposed answer at E-E until the problem has been solved to your satisfaction.
Some people here post anything as an "answer" in their efforts to get points.
In the future, if a proposed answer is not the solution to your problem, simply reject it.
By grading an answer, you close the question to other experts, and award your points.

Ralph
0
 

Author Comment

by:cys39
ID: 1130827
Ralph,

 I am a novice at this exchange. Thank you very much for the tip. You are right, the isuue is not resolved yet.  Next time
I will wait till the issue is fully resolved.  I thought, I had to grade as soon as it is answered.  

Regards
Chandra
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1130828
Chandra, don't worry about it.  If you wish, I'll continue to work with you on this problem anyway.
It seems that incorrect answers are inadvertantly accepted here all the time, so I'll say it again this way:

It is not necessary to accept any answer proposed to you until the problem has been solved to your satisfaction.

If you grade it, the question is then closed, and your points are awarded at that time.

If a proposed "answer" does not solve your problem, or you are unclear about it, you should simply reject it.

By doing so, your question remains open for other experts to contribute suggestions for the solution, and the thread continues.

When the problem is solved, simply invite the expert of your choice to submit an answer for you to grade.

Let me know what you find after removing Desklink.

Regards,
Ralph
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