Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Geek Speak => Topic started by: chris on 22/08/2018 19:35:26

Title: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: chris on 22/08/2018 19:35:26
My laptop - a new top-spec Windows Surface Laptop - recently developed an annoying bug: when typing, characters would randomly be dropped including spaces and odd letters.

It seemed to start after a recent "update" from Windows (early August 2018). The new desktop I assembled recently at home is also affected.

I've had to take drastic measures and do a system restore to wind back prior to two "critical updates" and this seems to have mitigated the problem.

Has anyone else had this? I suspect it's some sort of driver instability or conflict between installed applications, antimalware and the update configs, but it would be useful to know if anyone else has had this happen and if they discovered what caused it and any simpler remedy?
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: RD on 23/08/2018 02:47:02
My laptop - a new top-spec Windows Surface Laptop - recently developed an annoying bug: when typing, characters would randomly be dropped including spaces and odd letters.

Sounds like the keyboard intermittently not "listening" when some process hogs all the resources.

There have been keyboard problems recently caused by updates (https://www.google.com/search?q=July+OR+August+AND+2018+AND+keyboard+site%3Aanswers.microsoft.com),
but in those cases the keyboard is rendered completely nonfunctional, rather intermittently.
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: guest45734 on 24/08/2018 10:55:04
My laptop - a new top-spec Windows Surface Laptop - recently developed an annoying bug: when typing, characters would randomly be dropped including spaces and odd letters.

It seemed to start after a recent "update" from Windows (early August 2018). The new desktop I assembled recently at home is also affected.

I've had to take drastic measures and do a system restore to wind back prior to two "critical updates" and this seems to have mitigated the problem.

Has anyone else had this? I suspect it's some sort of driver instability or conflict between installed applications, antimalware and the update configs, but it would be useful to know if anyone else has had this happen and if they discovered what caused it and any simpler remedy?

Is the computer still under warranty, if so send it back and get it fixed.The key board might be defective and need replacing. Do you have an alternative keyboard to plugin.
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: RD on 25/08/2018 00:24:58
...The key board might be defective and need replacing ...

Desktop computer & new laptop affected ...
My laptop ... recently developed an annoying bug ...The new desktop I assembled recently at home is also affected.
So Windows-update is prime-suspect.
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: chris on 26/08/2018 00:22:29
So Windows-update is prime-suspect.

Hmm - I had a chat to someone more senior at MS (not bog standard tech support) who told me they'd not seen this previously...

Anyway, I did a "fresh start" which is an option under "Windows Defender" which fresh-installs windows over the top of your old impression but preserves most of your settings (sacrificing unfortunately the majority of your installed applications, hence it's back to reinstalling Office etc).

This treatment seems to have improved things. Now I need to work out whether it's still misbehaving or my typing is crap...
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: RD on 26/08/2018 05:10:33
... Now I need to work out whether it's still misbehaving or my typing is crap...

Windows has an accessibility function called FilterKeys (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FilterKeys) which ignores brief keystrokes.

FilterKeys function can be activated by pressing the right shift-key down for 8 seconds.

If FilterKeys was (accidentally?) activated, & you're a fast typist, some of your keystrokes will be ignored.

[ Some process hogging resources seems a more likely explanation.
 If that's the case CPU will be maxed-out when the keyboard is unresponsive ].
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: chris on 26/08/2018 09:31:00
Thanks - thought of filter keys and that was definitely off; it was also not fast typing: some deliberate slow keystrokes were being dropped. I think something was interfering with the keyboard interpretation. It might just be a dodgy keyboard and a coincidence that a "fresh start" has got it working better. Time will tell and if it does not improve then I'll ask MS nicely for another one.

It wouldn't be the first time that a Surface keyboard has let me down. My first Surface - which was a Surface Pro 2 bought in 2013 required you to buy an additional keyboard that clipped to the bottom of the "tablet" that is the computer. Otherwise you are restricted to a stylus and an impractical screen-based keyboard. This add-on was costly - >100 for the keyboard - and I was mighty miffed when it went wrong within a year. Microsoft replaced it, but then lost the returned one and tried to charge me for failing to return the broken one. We had a record of their courier collecting the broken keyboard from our department, so it was hard to argue that the fault was outs. In the end I think they dropped it...

Either way, keyboard and me don't seem to mix!
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: guest45734 on 26/08/2018 09:57:00
Desktop computer & new laptop affected ...
The reason I mentioned it is that my darling wife decided to hide my laptop when we went on holiday against a damp wall behind a stack of books. When we returned my laptop case was covered in mold and the keyboard was stuffed, ie sticky keys. The obvious place to look and instant blame seems to landing on the evil windows updates before hardware issues are discounted. Two keyboards both coinciding with a windows updates does point at the windows update, but due to my keyboard problems, it was high in my mind. Have you or anyone ever considered Linux or a different less problematic operating system than windows. Do apple systems have the same issues with updates?
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: chris on 26/08/2018 10:32:24
Have you or anyone ever considered Linux

I do use Linux actually, mainly as servers for this website, but I also have a dual-boot machine I assembled earlier this year that's on ubuntu / win10.

The obligation to Windows is that a lot of the software we use for our radio shows and podcasts is for Windows, so we're sort of locked-in... I love Linux though - total convert since I bought a Raspberry Pi and taught myself about 5 years ago. Getting that made me competent in Python, PHP, Linux and MySQL.
Title: Re: Why is Surface Laptop running Windows 10 dropping typed characters?
Post by: RD on 26/08/2018 21:50:09
Correction to what I wrote previously, "fresh start" keeps Windows updates*, "Refresh Windows Tool", discards them. (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1032404/)

[ * including  those which could be the cause of the problem, e.g. driver update ]