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Keyboard And Buttons Frozen


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#1 Giovanni Ciriani

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:18 PM

My keyboard froze, and I re-installed XP-Home from the disks that came with the Laptop (Acer Aspire 3100+, AMD Sempron, 512 MB RAM). That didn't solve the problem. The PC works in Safe Mode though.

At first I thought it was a hardware problem, but then sometimes the application would take one letter every few seconds. Task manager shows that the CPU is running between 55 and 70%. So it looks like some process is in a loop and it's hogging up resources, leaving the keyboard no time to enter its input. The problems seems generalized to any of the buttons around the laptop: power on/off, wireless switch, quick launch keys.

From time time, one boot-up is successful, and everything works very well, until the next boot-up. I've noticed that when the boot-up is OK, the icon on the lower right are visible, or there is the arrow < to expand the application bar. When this happens, Task Manager shows under the Performance tab that CPU is running at 2% and the keyboard is working perfectly. The processes tab shows Image Name "System" to use 0%, "taskmgr.exe" a 0-2%, and "System Idle Process" 98%.

Instead when boot-up is not OK and the keyboard is frozen (19 times out of 20), only a couple of icon are visible in that toolbar, and the arrow < does not appear. It looks as if boot-up did not complete. Task Manager shows under the Performance tab that CPU is running at 55-70%. The processes tab shows Image Name "System" to use 60%, "taskmgr.exe" a 0-2%, and "System Idle Process" the balance 38-40%.

A work colleague suggested Safe-Mode, and everything seems OK as described above. I went to the Acer site, and updated the Broadcom wireless driver (I thought it was the culprit), but nothing changed. The same colleague suggested to reinstall the drivers for Audio, Video, CPU, LAN and 802.b/g from Acer Europe at http://support.acer-euro.com/drivers/notebook/as_3000.html (he swears that this German site is faster for downloads). However, device manager doesn't seem to recognize the drivers. And I'm not able to update any driver.

Any idea and suggestions?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:33 PM

Have you checked Event Viewer for possible clues?

What is the Event Viewer, and Should I Care - Ask Leo! - http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_event_viewe...uld_i_care.html

I would check all 3 subdivisions for obvious errors that need attention, trying to correlate with the time with the problems.

And...have you tried another keyboard? I've not really had a defective one, but it sounds to me as if one could cause the types of situations you describe.

Louis

#3 Giovanni Ciriani

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:34 PM

Louis,
Yes, I have tried another keyboard, but the result is the same; it's not a hardware problem, and it would not explain the other symptoms of CPU % being used. I will check with Event Viewer and post the results; thanks for the link.
Giovanni

#4 Giovanni Ciriani

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:07 PM

I used Event Viewer, which shows on Error events like
"The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion", or
"The COM + Event System attempted to fire the EventObjectChange::Changed Subscription event but received a bad return code. HRESULT was 80040201"

Does anybody have any clue as what that means?

#5 hamluis

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:15 AM

http://www.eventid.net/display.asp?eventid...tem&phase=1

Just a guess by me: That error seems to relate to proper functioning of Internet/network access. Are you having problems with such?

The suggested cure in the link above...should not have been necessary, since the default for this service is to start automatically. I just verified this by looking in my services (I use the Net BIOS service on my two systems, but many don't).

More on that particular service: http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/Services/T...per_Service.htm

Can you post all the detail on that "The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion" message? It may point to the service mentioned above.

I've never figured out how needed services manage to get stopped, but it seems to happen frequently enough for many.

As for processes using the computer...you can look in Task Manager anytime and see what programs/services are occupying the CPU (under the Processes tab). Once you note the name of the process, you can look it up using Google or just report it here and someone will try to determine if it's valid or possible malware or just dysfunction.

Louis

#6 Giovanni Ciriani

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:29 PM

I have attached the three Event Viewer file dumps, to take a full look at all the problems. On the date Apr 2, the notebook acted normal since the middle of the morning. On Apr 3rd, it was all frozen up, and then it was restarted in Safe Mode. The error that I mentioned is just one of several, and some may not be errors at all, just normal functioning (at least according to the explanation of event viewer site you mentioned).

When the keyboard is frozen I do have network problems, but this seems to be a consequence rather than the cause. The button to turn on the wireless is frozen like all of the other keys (Safe Mode unfortunately doesn't allow network connections either).

In my 1st posting I tried to give an account of what I was seeing under Task Manager, perhaps it was not described with the correct terms. It is a clear indication that some process is hung up. I report it again, and attach a screen shot of it:
"System" to use 46%, and "System Idle Process" 54%.

Giovanni

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:59 PM

Well...

System Idle Process...is just what it says. The system is not doing anything at all. Generally, this number should always be high, unless a program or process is running. 99% is a relatively common number for this and that means the CPU is barely working, which is good.

I will contrast that to the number reflected when something like an AV scan...or a CD/DVD burn...or something else is being done. During those times, System Idle will reflect a very low number, indicating that the processor's working hard on something.

Anything less than 50%, IMO, indicates that the CPU still has plenty in reserve...and is not indicative of any process or program that I should be worried about. Example: I just started Windows Defender on this system and my System Idle percentage dropped to 48-60 (it fluctuates). This is normal. Windows Update is another process that I know which runs in the background but causes a reduction in the System Idle time.

Much of interpreting this depends on what processes are running, what programs are running. For me to try to interpret the graphic you presented...without knowing what programs are open...would not be good thinking on my part.

If you are not doing anything on the system...no programs running...and you see that a process is running at what you consider more than a normal usage of CPU power, then that needs further investigation, IMO.

There's a tool called Process Explorer, which would probably be of some use if you want to investigate these things on your system, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896653.aspx

Other posters may be able to assist you better on matters like this, I've never had any problem with even questioning processes/programs running on my systems.

Ed Bott has written a very good article on using Task Manager that you might want to read: http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000686.html

Louis

#8 garmanma

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:25 PM

Probably out in left field here. Corrupt JAVA or a application using JAVA thatis poorly implemented causes such a problem for me. Some days I just terminate it, it's so bad
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#9 Giovanni Ciriani

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 03:27 PM

Well I've found the solution :thumbsup: in www.Fixya.com.

The culprit is the old battery. According to that thread there are three working solutions:
(1) Take the battery out;
(2) Change the power-saving settings to laptop;
(3) Change one of the properties of the battery/power driver: go to device manager, expand "Batteries" and disable "Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery".

All 3 should work (I tried only 1 and 2 so far), and all eliminate the root-cause conflict: low battery voltage generates a high-priority interrupt, which doesn't leave room for other drivers (keyboard in my case) to do their job.

Thanks to all who offered their help!

Giovanni




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