Strange text input problem


P

Patrik T.

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.

The problem appears in all Windows applications
except a Dos window. Safe Mode does not help.At
a time I thought that you could circumvent the
problem by using a Dos-based text editor instead
of Notepad. But now even the Dos program
(Multi-Textor) seems to produce garbled text.

The computer is an Acer laptop with 64 bit
Windows 7, 8 GB ram. Hardware problem? Apparently
not, since text input proceeds faultlessly when the
computer is booted from a live Ubuntu Mint stick.

Is it some kind of buffer overrun? The size of
the keyboard buffer has a hex value of 64 in
the registry. Increasing it to 96 brought no
improvement. Are there other buffers in Windows
involved in text input?
 
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J

John Williamson

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.

The problem appears in all Windows applications
except a Dos window. Safe Mode does not help.At
a time I thought that you could circumvent the
problem by using a Dos-based text editor instead
of Notepad. But now even the Dos program
(Multi-Textor) seems to produce garbled text.

The computer is an Acer laptop with 64 bit
Windows 7, 8 GB ram. Hardware problem? Apparently
not, since text input proceeds faultlessly when the
computer is booted from a live Ubuntu Mint stick.

Is it some kind of buffer overrun? The size of
the keyboard buffer has a hex value of 64 in
the registry. Increasing it to 96 brought no
improvement. Are there other buffers in Windows
involved in text input?
Is he possibly lightly touching the touchpad? Try using the control
panel applet to reduce the touch sensitivity and see what happens.

The pad's touch sensitivity may be set lower by default in Mint, so it
doesn't notice the touch.
 
J

Johnny

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.

The problem appears in all Windows applications
except a Dos window. Safe Mode does not help.At
a time I thought that you could circumvent the
problem by using a Dos-based text editor instead
of Notepad. But now even the Dos program
(Multi-Textor) seems to produce garbled text.

The computer is an Acer laptop with 64 bit
Windows 7, 8 GB ram. Hardware problem? Apparently
not, since text input proceeds faultlessly when the
computer is booted from a live Ubuntu Mint stick.

Is it some kind of buffer overrun? The size of
the keyboard buffer has a hex value of 64 in
the registry. Increasing it to 96 brought no
improvement. Are there other buffers in Windows
involved in text input?
I had a similar problem on a desktop. The cursor didn't jump around,
but the typing just stopped, and then the last few letters I typed would
appear.

The problem was another program causing 100% CPU usage.

Check the processes running in Task Manager and see what the CPU usage is.

Since it's a laptop you could check the battery.
 
J

Jeff Layman

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.

The problem appears in all Windows applications
except a Dos window. Safe Mode does not help.At
a time I thought that you could circumvent the
problem by using a Dos-based text editor instead
of Notepad. But now even the Dos program
(Multi-Textor) seems to produce garbled text.

The computer is an Acer laptop with 64 bit
Windows 7, 8 GB ram. Hardware problem? Apparently
not, since text input proceeds faultlessly when the
computer is booted from a live Ubuntu Mint stick.

Is it some kind of buffer overrun? The size of
the keyboard buffer has a hex value of 64 in
the registry. Increasing it to 96 brought no
improvement. Are there other buffers in Windows
involved in text input?
When was the last time the computer was scanned for malware?
 
J

James

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.

The problem appears in all Windows applications
except a Dos window. Safe Mode does not help.At
a time I thought that you could circumvent the
problem by using a Dos-based text editor instead
of Notepad. But now even the Dos program
(Multi-Textor) seems to produce garbled text.

The computer is an Acer laptop with 64 bit
Windows 7, 8 GB ram. Hardware problem? Apparently
not, since text input proceeds faultlessly when the
computer is booted from a live Ubuntu Mint stick.

Is it some kind of buffer overrun? The size of
the keyboard buffer has a hex value of 64 in
the registry. Increasing it to 96 brought no
improvement. Are there other buffers in Windows
involved in text input?
Have you tried using an external keyboard to see if it is the Acer
keyboard itself or something more complicated on the motherboard??
 
N

Nil

I am trying to help a friend with a strange
computer problem. When writing in a text
editor only the first 12 - 15 characters appear
correctly on the screen. Then the cursor jumps
3-10 steps backwards. Continued text input
appears in the wrong place and some parts of
the text disappear altogether.
I would suspect the display drivers. See if there are more recent ones,
and/or re-install the current one. You might also try changing screen
resolution to something else temporarily, then change it back to the
usual.
 
P

Patrik T.

It can't be a keypad problem - presently I
only use the mouse. Malwarebytes did not
find anything. The process load is normal.
Changing the screen resolution did not help.
The laptop is run from the power outlet.

I thought of experimenting with another
keyboard, but Device Manager tells me that
the inbuilt keyboard cannot be disabled.

I will check the display driver, but the
fact that the text remains garbled when
saved to disk suggests that the problem is
elsewhere.

Thanks for the rapid responses! I definitely
would not like to upgrade to Win8, but that
may be the only solution.

Patrik
 
S

Stan Brown

It can't be a keypad problem - presently I
only use the mouse.
The person who wrote "keypad" meant "touchpad". Many people
(including me) accidentally touch the touchpad while typing on the
keyboard, so the cursor jumps and we find we're typing in an
unintended location.

Try disabling the touchpad, since evidently you have an external
mouse.
I thought of experimenting with another
keyboard, but Device Manager tells me that
the inbuilt keyboard cannot be disabled.
You don't need to disable it. Just plug in an external USB keyboard,
and don't use the built-in keyboard. If that makes the problem go
away, then the built-in keyboard was bad.
Thanks for the rapid responses! I definitely
would not like to upgrade to Win8, but that
may be the only solution.
I seriously doubt it. Either this is a hardware problem or i's a
software problem. If it's hardware, Windows 8 will have the same
problem. (Plus, you'll have Windows 8, the Visa of the 2010's.) If
it's a software problem, installing Windows 8 will probably make it
go away, but so would reinstalling Windows 7. Both of those are
unnecessarily drastic, however.
 
R

Rob

It can't be a keypad problem - presently I
only use the mouse. Malwarebytes did not
find anything. The process load is normal.
Changing the screen resolution did not help.
The laptop is run from the power outlet.

I thought of experimenting with another
keyboard, but Device Manager tells me that
the inbuilt keyboard cannot be disabled.

I will check the display driver, but the
fact that the text remains garbled when
saved to disk suggests that the problem is
elsewhere.

Thanks for the rapid responses! I definitely
would not like to upgrade to Win8, but that
may be the only solution.

Patrik
Worth checking your Region and Language settings in Control Panel.
If they look OK, try changing to a similar one (eg US/UK) and
see if the problem goes away, then change back.
Also check the Ease of Access settings in case anything in there
has accidentally been turned on.
Windows can support several keyboards simultaneously, so try
plugging-in any USB keyboard to eliminate hardware issues with
the built-in one.
 
P

Patrik T.

Windows can support several keyboards simultaneously, so try
plugging-in any USB keyboard to eliminate hardware issues with
the built-in one.
It was the keyboard...With another keyboard plugged in the text
input problems have disappeared.

(I still cannot understand how the faulty keyboard worked fine
in a Dos window and after booting from a Linux stick).

But for practical purposes the problem is solved. The laptop
is hardly ever moved anywhere and if repairing the keyboard
turns out to be difficult, it is quite feasible to leave the extra
keyboard permanently plugged in.

Patrik
 
1

123Jim

It was the keyboard...With another keyboard plugged in the text
input problems have disappeared.

(I still cannot understand how the faulty keyboard worked fine
in a Dos window and after booting from a Linux stick).

But for practical purposes the problem is solved. The laptop
is hardly ever moved anywhere and if repairing the keyboard
turns out to be difficult, it is quite feasible to leave the extra
keyboard permanently plugged in.

Patrik
Not too difficult to replace a laptop keyboard
 
K

Ken Blake

The person who wrote "keypad" meant "touchpad". Many people
(including me)

Me too.

accidentally touch the touchpad while typing on the
keyboard, so the cursor jumps and we find we're typing in an
unintended location.

But that can't be his problem. Note that in his original message he
said "text input proceeds faultlessly when the computer is booted from
a live Ubuntu Mint stick."
 
D

Dave

Thanks for the rapid responses! I definitely would not like to upgrade
to Win8, but that may be the only solution.

Patrik
I'm glad you know that window 8 would be the solution. Personally, from
what I've seen of windows 8, I would take a pass (actually I did,I
specified windows 7 professional for my new machine)

There is a long winded thing you could try, but if you try it you will
have a valuable tool for the future. Make a windows PE bootable flash
drive. MS doesn't make it easy, Google for details. If that should work,
and linux seems to work, there is something wrong with the windows 7 setup.
Did it ever work normally? If yes, save all the user data and do a re-
install.
 
J

John Williamson

But that can't be his problem. Note that in his original message he
said "text input proceeds faultlessly when the computer is booted from
a live Ubuntu Mint stick."
There is a sensitivity setting in the touchpad control software both for
Alps and Synaptics that can be adjusted to avoid it registering
accidental palm touches. This default sensitivity may be set differently
in Windows and Linux, avoiding the problem when using the Linux live CD.
This would also be the case if the problem did not happen with an
external keyboard, as the typist's hands would be nowehere near the
touchpad.

I have to set mine up correctly every time I install Windows, or I get
erratic cursor positioning.
 
R

Rob

It was the keyboard...With another keyboard plugged in the text
input problems have disappeared.

(I still cannot understand how the faulty keyboard worked fine
in a Dos window and after booting from a Linux stick).

But for practical purposes the problem is solved. The laptop
is hardly ever moved anywhere and if repairing the keyboard
turns out to be difficult, it is quite feasible to leave the extra
keyboard permanently plugged in.

Patrik
It must be problem related to the driver for your built-in
keyboard though, as you say it works OK when booted to linux
and we now know it is OK with an external keyboard (which will
be using a basic Windows 7 driver.)
On laptops, there is often a keyboard 'helper app' which is
installed as part of the manufacturer's utilities, and it
sounds like this may be corrupt. See if you can discover
what that helper app is called and uninstall it, then
download and install the latest version for your laptop model.
Look in Control Panel>Programs to see if there are any obvious
utilities installed which could be the keyboard 'helper
application'.
These 'value added' applications installed by default by
manufacturers like Dell and Toshiba are often more trouble
then they are worth.
 
M

meagain

Patrik said:
It can't be a keypad problem - presently I
only use the mouse. Malwarebytes did not
find anything. The process load is normal.
Changing the screen resolution did not help.
The laptop is run from the power outlet.

I thought of experimenting with another
keyboard, but Device Manager tells me that
the inbuilt keyboard cannot be disabled.

I will check the display driver, but the
fact that the text remains garbled when
saved to disk suggests that the problem is
elsewhere.

Thanks for the rapid responses! I definitely
would not like to upgrade to Win8, but that
may be the only solution.

Patrik
How about dust in the optical-mouse laser?
 
K

Ken Blake

There is a sensitivity setting in the touchpad control software both for
Alps and Synaptics that can be adjusted to avoid it registering
accidental palm touches. This default sensitivity may be set differently
in Windows and Linux, avoiding the problem when using the Linux live CD.
This would also be the case if the problem did not happen with an
external keyboard, as the typist's hands would be nowehere near the
touchpad.

OK, thanks.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Patrik T. said:
It was the keyboard...With another keyboard plugged in the text
input problems have disappeared.

(I still cannot understand how the faulty keyboard worked fine
in a Dos window and after booting from a Linux stick).

But for practical purposes the problem is solved. The laptop
is hardly ever moved anywhere and if repairing the keyboard
turns out to be difficult, it is quite feasible to leave the extra
keyboard permanently plugged in.

Patrik
It could still be the touchpad sensitivity being set too high (in
Windows; lower in DOS [which probably doesn't use it at all] and Linux.
It would _appear_ to go away with the external keyboard as you wouldn't
be using the touchpad, or at least if you are, only when you want to,
not accidentally.
Try disabling the touchpad to see if the problem goes away. If it does,
and it's a Synaptics pad (many are, I'd say most), get (if you haven't
got) the driver for it that gives extra control over lots of things.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in
many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the
"Four F's": fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating. -Heard in a neuropsychology
classroom
 
1

123Jim

Patrik T. said:
It was the keyboard...With another keyboard plugged in the text
input problems have disappeared.

(I still cannot understand how the faulty keyboard worked fine
in a Dos window and after booting from a Linux stick).

But for practical purposes the problem is solved. The laptop
is hardly ever moved anywhere and if repairing the keyboard
turns out to be difficult, it is quite feasible to leave the extra
keyboard permanently plugged in.

Patrik
It could still be the touchpad sensitivity being set too high (in
Windows; lower in DOS [which probably doesn't use it at all] and Linux.
It would _appear_ to go away with the external keyboard as you wouldn't
be using the touchpad, or at least if you are, only when you want to,
not accidentally.
Try disabling the touchpad to see if the problem goes away. If it does,
and it's a Synaptics pad (many are, I'd say most), get (if you haven't
got) the driver for it that gives extra control over lots of things.
Regarding touchpad sensitivity:

I would ask the OP -- Is the power cable an original Acer part?

Often, if the power cable is not the same brand as the laptop or just a
cheap no-name part it can effect the touchpad negatively.

"a touchpad may work properly with one PSU but be jerky or malfunction
with another"

The above was originally a quote from this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchpad
but unfortunately someone has removed that information from the
Wikipedia article
 
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P

Patrik T.

It must be problem related to the driver for your built-in
keyboard though, as you say it works OK when booted to linux
and we now know it is OK with an external keyboard (which will
be using a basic Windows 7 driver.)
On laptops, there is often a keyboard 'helper app' which is
installed as part of the manufacturer's utilities, and it
sounds like this may be corrupt. See if you can discover
what that helper app is called and uninstall it, then
download and install the latest version for your laptop model.
Look in Control Panel>Programs to see if there are any obvious
utilities installed which could be the keyboard 'helper
application'.
These 'value added' applications installed by default by
manufacturers like Dell and Toshiba are often more trouble
then they are worth.
Device Manager reports two driver files for the keyboard.
I found a possible third file by running Autoruns. A
file comparison says that all three files are identical to
to their namesakes in my desktop Win7 computer.

I disabled the touchpad in Device Manager. The input
problem remains.

I would try reinstalling if I had an original installation
disk. Acer laptops do not come with installation
disks: users are advised to burn one immediately after
purchase. Unfortunately this advice was disregarded
in favor of the alternative of burning a disk image
(Acronis) with more basic programs a couple of months
after the purchase. The laptop is now running from
such a reactivated disk image.

I suspect that keyboard repair is not so simple as
the repair sites on the net promise (many of them
suggest that you can do it yourself), but I will look
into this matter next week.

Thanks once again for all the helpful advice!

Patrik
 

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