Keyboard Issue - Wrong Characters

Posted on 2006-11-14
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello Everyone,

I posted a question yesterday, which will be the same one as this one is. For some reason yesterday after I did what he said it worked, but now it doesn't? It worked fine until this morning, and now it is back to the same issue? I am not sure if it has anything to do with a sequence of keys I am entering that turns something on or what?

For example, when I am in IE, in the address bar, and hit the enter key, it enters vxcz, or the backspace enters y], or spacebar enters a "b"? This is really weird. I have went into my bios, but I don't have an option to restore defaults? Also, this is happening if I boot into dos also, so it is a system problem not a operating system problem?

It is a Dell Inspiron 600m laptop. I haven't had any problems until recently with this, and it all started the other night when I was working on it and I can't remember exactly what sequence I hit, but all of a sudden it started with this? I have looked around at other questions/answers to see if anything matches, which there are some close, but not exactly the same. I looked in the regional settings, everything is set to US and English, so not sure if any other options are supposed to be set or not?

Any ideas?

I'll give 500 points for this because I am dead in the water trying to work without this computer.

Thanks all,
Question by:cakelly24
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Expert Comment

ID: 17939590
Can you post the link to the other question?

It would help to see the entire history.


Author Comment

ID: 17939641
Here is the link to my previous question.

LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 17939759

Have you tried plugging in an external keyboard to see if it's a problem with your laptop one?

Do you have a docking station?  And if so does it do the same thing while docked?

You might also try taking out the battery, unplugging it and removing the clock battery to see if something is hosed up in the BIOS that you can't see.

Take the battery out for about 10 min or so then put it all back together.

I'll keep thingking about this while I'm at lunch.  :-)
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Expert Comment

ID: 17939855
I know this is a duplicated response but it bears repeating.  First connect an external keyboard and see how it behaves.  That will determine whether your problem is with Windows or the keyboard itself.

I suspect keyboard is not returning correct scan codes.  That would indicate either a faulty keyboard or a bad connection.  If external keyboard is OK, check keyboard ribbon cable connections under keyboard (keyboard removal required).

Author Comment

ID: 17940327
Thanks for the responses.

Just to give you an update. I will have to go get an external keyboard that is usb because it doesn't have the option for PS/2. Also, this is not on a docking station.

Another thing. Sometimes when I reboot, it will work fine for a little while, then it is just like someone flips a switch and it is back to not working? I try rebooting, same thing. After a little while, reboot again and it works fine for a while?

I will check external keyboard and also take out keypad on laptop and check connections to see if it fixes it.

LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 17940401
I think I'd check this machine with a Knoppix CD ( to ensure that no windows drivers, viruses or malware is involved. If you have the problem in Linux still, you're looking at a hardware issue, I'd say. This HW thing could be the KB BIOS (common to external an internal KB) or cables/connectors. When you say you boot to "DOS", what does that mean? Does this unit have a FDD to boot off a DOS 6 floppy or something?
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

PCBONEZ earned 500 total points
ID: 17940533
I agree with the above.
First try it an external keyboard to narrow this down.

Another ideas:
Boot with a knoppix CD.
- Knoppix is a simple Linux based operating system that runs off a CD.
- Download it and burn it to a CD.
- Set your BIOS to boot from the CD drive.
- Boot.
----- If it's an actual hardware problem the problem will still be there.
----- If it's a windows or drivers problem the problem will be gone.

My guess is that either willcomp's second comment is correct about the wrong codes being sent.
Another possiblity is the the codes sent are being interpreted wrong. (Driver problem.).
So the thing to find out is if this problem is due to the switches, wiring, keyboard controller chip, or drivers reading the codes wrong.

- The keys (switches) send signals to a controller chip which' translates' them into digital codes the system can use.
- The drivers then translate those codes into something the particular operating system can understand.
With a standard keyboard both the switches(keys) and the keyboard contorller chip are inside the keyboard itself.
Usually with a laptop, the keyboard itself is only the switches and the controller chip is on the motherboard or on a daughter board inside the chassis.

Using an external keyboard you are eliminating the hardware and checking drivers -or- by using the knoppix CD with the installed keyboard you are eliminating the drivers and checking the installed hardware.

It is remotely possible that you have both a hardware and a driver problem. Occationally when hardware goes phoey windows will 'think' it's a different hardware and install the wrong driver. (This would be the down side of Plug-n-Play.)

- If you have an intermittent hardware problem this may be why your problem went away and came back.
- You fixed the driver, the hardware coughed again, windows replaced the driver with the wrong one (again).

LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 17940581
Sorry rid,,, I type slow...
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 17940659
So do I, but we seem to agree on a few points here.... :)

Expert Comment

ID: 17973460
Try checking the installed keyboard layout.

It doesn't really explain what is happening with your situations, but it's worth a try.

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