Extra Characters When Typing

Posted on 2006-05-18
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
    The computer is a Dell laptop Inspirion 1200 running with Windows XP.
     When some of the keys are pressed, extra characters are sometimes produced.  For example, pressing the "a" or "s" key key often produces "sa".  Pressing "q" or "w" often produces "qw".  Pressing "z" or "x" often produces "zx".  Pressing "1" or "2" oten produces "12".  I haven't noticed these problems with any other keys.  These problems sometimes occur and sometimes they do not occur.
     Does this seem like a keyboard hardware problem or an operating system issue?
Question by:apx_31088
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    Definitely seems like a keyboard hardware problem to me.  Note that the keys that go together are next to each other on the keyboard.  Did you spill anything on the keyboard?  

    The best way to cross out the operating system and/or implicate the keyboard is to switch keyboards with another computer.  If the other computer now gets the problem, but now the one with the different keyboard doesn't, it can be pretty certain that it is a keyboard problem.

    Expert Comment

    Your other the function key's..sometimes their is a num lock or character lock that can be turned off.

    Author Comment

         Thank you, LeeTutor!
          The problem does seem like a keyboard hardware problem to me.  I was almost kinda hopeful that because the problem sometimes doesn't occur that it MIGHT be caused by something other than hardware, as hardware problems are typically consistant.

          Don't have the means to find and install another keyboard for a Dell Inspirion 1200 laptop.  I was trying to help a friend.  I'll tell the friend that the problem is probably hardware-based and that it'll probably have to go to the repair shop to be repaired.

           Thank you, andymark!
            I've kicked around with the various function keys, but no luck.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    One thing that might be worth trying is to plug a USB keyboard in temporarily. If you see the problem with the USB keyboard, it's definitely software. If you don't, it's most likely hardware (though it still may be software that doesn't affect the USB keyboard, but that's unlikely).

    I've seen bad laptop keyboards do this many times before, though, so it's most likely the keyboard. Before sending it back (unless it's under warranty), try popping off two of the bad keys and clean it out with a cotton swab and some alcohol (with the battery removed, of course). Let it dry, put the keys back on, and see if the problem goes away for those two keys. If so, repeat for the other keys. If not, don't bother with the other keys.

    LVL 59

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    apx_31088, any feedback?

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