11-07-2009 02:03 PM
ThinkPad R40 27225JU
ThinkPad Embedded Controller 1.14
XP Professional SP3
System and ThinkVantage software and updates are completely current.
Upgraded to 2GB RAM
Replaced original Chicony 08K4757 keyboard with NMB 08K4729
Replaced original Hitachi Travelstar 08K1089 HD with Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 100GB ATA-6 2.5in 7200RPM HD w/8MB
For the past 12 to 18 months I have been suffering with a keyboard key mapping problem. The problem occurs anytime I reboot and, since I didn’t have to do that too often until recently, I’ve been able to live with it (until now, that is).
When I reboot, some keyboard keys do not map correctly. Some keys do seem to mismap more often than others (for instance ESC, F7, F8, C, X, M, N, Q, D, 3, 1, comma, period, etc, etc) but the problem is not restricted to these keys, there’s no pattern to the keys they mis-map to, and I am unable to discern any pattern, binary or otherwise.
I have a couple of keyboard utilities – the Lenovo/PC Doctor utility which doesn’t help much except to allow me to hit one key at a time and see if it maps correctly and PassMark Keyboard Text 3.0 which shows me the BIOS and Windows key codes. When I hit a mis-mapped key, both the BIOS and the Windows key codes accurately reflect the wrong key. For instance, if the “1” key mismaps to the “3” key, both the BIOS and the Windows key codes reflect the key codes for “3” when I press “1”.
If I reboot repeatedly, perhaps three to six times, I will eventually have a “clean” keyboard. I now teach and have to get to class an hour and a half early to be sure I have enough time to get my ThinkPad up and working – very annoying.
This is not a hardware problem. I have replaced the keyboard as noted above. I have an extra hard drive which I reformatted with a new XP image. There’s no problem when I boot from that hard drive. When I install an external keyboard, it has the same problem as the ThinkPad keyboard – same keys, same mis-maps. I have uninstalled the keyboards and all HID interfaces in device manager, rebooted and still have the problem.
PlumChoice loaned me (well, for $100) one of their top techs off and on over a week and he and I put about four hours into playing with this (he was remote of course). We ran several utilities looking for registry or virus problems – ComboFix, DialaFix, CCCleaner. By the way, PlumChoice loads a remote keyboard utility on my system and when that is active I have no problem even on my laptop keyboard. I can reboot repeatedly and no problem. Unfortunately, that’s gone once PlumChoice drops out. I have up-to-date Symantec Antivirus and WinpatrolPlus running on my system.
What I don’t understand, and haven’t been able to find anyone who does, is how the keyboard bootup process works to diagnose this further. There’s something corrupt or some sort of conflict in my XP Pro image and I suppose that when I uninstall the keyboard, XP just grabs the same drivers again when I reboot. With no boot up discs from Lenovo, there’s no way that I know of to “repair” the XP Pro that came with my ThinkPad.
Does anybody have any ideas about this??
11-07-2009 02:36 PM
Save the important files, obtain a set of recovery media and do a clean install.
My $0.02 only...
11-07-2009 02:43 PM
Gosh, thanks - I never thought of that!!
Before I do that though I'd just like to see if anyone has any ideas or has encounted anything like this before.
By the way. This problem occurs even when I boot into safe mode and run the PassMark Keyboard Test. But when I swap hard drives and boot into safe mode (or any mode for that matter) with that image, no problem.
11-07-2009 07:03 PM
You're likely beating a dead horse here. quite often the simplest solutions are the best.