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Window hotkeys get "stuck" take a long time to open shortcut program

Posted on 2009-12-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
This has happenned to me on serveral different computers. I have hotkeys assigned to several shortcuts on my desktop. Several time per day when I hit the hotkey (ctrl--alt-"key") windows thinks for a long time before opening the shortcut (up to 20 seconds. during this time the taskbar is disabled, if I click anything it does not open. Why does this happen. Kind of defeats the purpose of a "hotkey" I use XP exclusively.
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Question by:bmutch
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18 Comments
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
nordtorp earned 189 total points
ID: 26137083
Do you have ATI HotKey Poller on your machine, try disabling or remove it.
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 378 total points
ID: 26138585
To eliminate the possibility of an infection or system fault:

Update and run your AV and Antispyware.
In addition to that, run an online check:
Housecall Online Scan is good.
http://housecall.antivirus.com 

Do you have adequate Antispyware?
In addition to Windows built in Defender you need:
Ad-Aware (there's a free personal version)
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
Spybot (free!)
http://www.safer-networking.org/
AND
SUPERAntispyware (free for home use)
http://www.superantispyware.com/

Then:

Run System File Checker to restore and repair all Windows files:
Start » Run » Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes. There's a space before the /.
Click OK.
Have your Windows CD ready to insert if prompted when repair is necessary.
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 378 total points
ID: 26138617
There's a possibility that you have a conflict between hot-key allocations. Have you tried changing the key allocations?
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26140244
I don't believe it is any of these, these have been work computers which are strictly maintained by the security dept, and I do not have ATI HotKey Poller  installed.
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:beester
beester earned 561 total points
ID: 26178832
Any other operations take the approximately same amount of time? For instance opening windows explorer, starting things directly from start -> run?
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26191936
no other operations I have noticed that has this same type of "lag" time.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:pbolintx
pbolintx earned 372 total points
ID: 26213766
The best thing I was able to find was at

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

Line number 411 , slow hotkeys.
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26214069
I found others with the same problem and likewise with no solution:

http://www.codeproject.com/Messages/2412943/Windows-XP-keyboard-shortcuts-response-painfully-s.aspx

(Apologies up front if this message is posted to an inappropriate forum. All suggestions on an alternative are welcome. This is not a programming question, but my previous searches online for info on this topic have turned up little useful info.)

I hate using the mouse for non-graphical operations and have keyboard shortcuts assigned for opening various apps that I use frequently. Specifically, they are assigned to various shortcuts located in C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Start Menu\Programs. The response to these keyboard shortcuts is highly variable - sometimes it's brisk, but it can and often does take up to half a minute for the computer to respond in any noticeable way - i.e., the hard disk is not grinding during that time. Instead, nothing seems to be happening at all. This delay may occur when opening an app or simply when switching to an app which is already open. I've also encountered it after clicking on a file - e.g., a .doc file - in Windows Explorer in order to open the file in its associated app, or after clicking on a web link in an email in Eudora in order to open the link in an IE window. In both of those cases, the delay can occur regardless of whether the associated app is already open, and can be just as long (in the former case, even after a new Word window finally opens, it may still take 20-30 sec for the selected file to start loading, while in the latter case, Eudora grabs the topmost IE window if one or more IE windows is open, rather than opening a new one - and in both cases, the respective app is effectively frozen for any other UI operations in the interim).

By contrast, opening or switching to apps by clicking on a program shortcut icon in the Quick Launch bar is always nearly immediate, as is switching apps using Alt-Tab.

I've had this problem on more than one computer. It seems to me that it wasn't always that way, but instead has come on over time. Although I don't really remember anymore, I have the vague recollection of noticing that it suddenly became noticeably worse at a certain point in time - maybe after a Windows update, but again I'm not really sure.

Does anyone have any notions as to what is going on here, and more importantly, what can be done about it?


Well, thanks for trying and welcome to the club! I've scanned around a bit and it seems that there are numerous people who have the same or similar problems (also includes things like the computer taking a long time to respond to the command to shut down or hibernate), and there are a lot of suggestions regarding RAM size, startup config, disk defragmentation, spyware infestations, virus checkers etc etc, but it's all stuff which IMHO has nothing to do with this problem (my computer's performance is otherwise satisfactory, which wouldn't be true if one of these other causes was at work) and certainly no one seems to have the appropriate silver bullet ...
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:beester
beester earned 561 total points
ID: 26214198
Hmm, just something that popped my mind here - do you have the 'Start in' setting on the shortcuts you create, set, or is it blank? If blank, try setting the startup directory there...
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:pbolintx
pbolintx earned 372 total points
ID: 26215000
I don't know if this is something you would consider as an option, but when it comes to hotkeys, my money is always on the free program autohotkey at www.autohotkey.com.  Relatively small, and very powerful for what can be considered a macroing language.

Basically, if you wanted multiple shortcut keys  you could create a text file like below and either compile it to exe, or just run it as an ahk interpreted file.

; ^ -- ctrl
; ! -- alt
; + -- shift

^!F4::
; ctrl-alt-F4
Run, c:\whatever\I\want\torun.exe
return

^!F5::
Run, c:\moreof\thesame\stuff.exe
return
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 26219710
Another vote for Autohotkeys. It's excellent.
:)
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26374394
my work computer is "fairly" strictly controlled, so no Autohotkeys.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26374413
my notepad shortcut is set at %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%    for "Start in"...
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:beester
beester earned 561 total points
ID: 26374527
Could you try setting a different path, preferrably a local path?
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26375820
ok, will do.
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26421996
It does not help...
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Author Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 26496335
giving up.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bmutch
ID: 31670580
seems to be a fairly common problem that noone know how to solve.

thanks.
0

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