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14 Posts

07-10-2015

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X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-07, 19:15 PM

Hello,

 

I just received a 2nd generation X1 carbon as a gift from my brother (his old work laptop). It was running Windows 7 without issues.

 

Since I'm mostly studying Linux development, I immediately wiped the hard drive and installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

 

Now the adaptive keyboard is firing random key presses (keystrokes) all of the time. It's really quite unusable (WiFi turning on and off, audio on and off, and random function keys getting pressed).

 

Since it wasn't doing this before, I'm confident that this is something I did when I set the machine up for myself.

 

What I did was to wipe the entire hard drive. I removed all of the partitions including the windows restore and other partitions (I can't remember what they were all called, but I seem to recall that they were factory partitions from Lenovo).

 

Once I started Linux, the crazy behavior began (about 5-20 random key presses per minute).

 

But the crazy thing is that behavior also exhibits itself even before Linux boots. If I boot into the BIOS setup, the adaptive keyboard will continue to fire off the phantom key presses (I can tell because I see the keyboard icons changing as well as the computer beeping every time it randomly chooses an "illegal" key). So, that implies to me that it isn't Linux that is causing the issue directly (it may have triggered something, but it isn't, say, an actively malfunctioning driver).

 

A few more data points.

 

If I reset the BIOS (sometimes I have to do it more than once) it seems to settle down. But after sleeping all night, the problem comes back.

 

The only software, other than Chrome, that I have installed is QEMU. I then tried to install Windows 10 on a virtual machine (unsuccessfully - it blue screens during the install). I can't say for sure (and I'm testing this theory out right now) but it seems like the system gets messed up after I try doing this install (I've tried a number of times). After that, it is messed up until I reset the BIOS a number of times. I'm currently uninstalling QEMU to see how it behaves. That said, even as I sit here writing this out on my phone (and after a reboot with a reset BIOS) I can see the adaptive keyboard firing random key presses. It was fine for about 20 minutes, but now it is acting up again. I haven't run QEMU since I reset the BIOS.

 

So that is my weird issue. I doubt anyone would have a definitive answer as to what is happening, but I'd welcome any guesses anyone has.

 

Did I screw up wiping ALL the partitions? 

 

Could a virtual machine (that never really fully installed) somehow mess with the BIOS? 

 

Why would a BIOS reset (at least temporarily) fix the issue? Manually going through all the settings I don't see anything obvious that could affect the keyboard. Plus, resetting the BIOS does not appear to fix it as I observed above.

 

Any other thoughts? Would it be possible to replace the keyboard with one from a first or third gen carbon? 

 

Thanks! I'm on a very tight budget and getting this laptop on the cheap (basically the cost of a nice dinner with my brother) really helps. Getting it running would be awesome for me.

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14 Posts

07-10-2015

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Re: X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-07, 21:55 PM
Update:

I wiped the drive again and this time installed Win10. The keyboard *seems* to have settled down.

I say *seems* because at one point it appears to have registered a screen grab? The system beeped and a moment later it was asking me where to save the screen grab. Beyond that, no random keyboard presses that I am aware of.

Of course, the adaptive keyboard doesn't do anything at all now either. I can't get it to change from the default function key row.

I took this opportunity to update the BIOS which was on 1.17 to the latest 1.31.

I'm going to re-install Linux alongside Windows now to see how it behaves.
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14 Posts

07-10-2015

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Re: X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-09, 2:19 AM

Ok, spoke (or typed) too quickly.

 

The thing is still freaking out.

 

I installed all of the thinkpad specific software under Windows 10.  It still keeps cycling through the adaptive keyboard settings (in fact, it is seriously hampering my ability to type this - the adaptive keyboad configuration app keeps popping up every few words and preventing me from typing this.  It did it roughly 10 times during that last sentence).

 

Any thoughts out there at all?  I could really use any hints anyone may have.

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Re: X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-10, 23:01 PM

The only time I have seen this behavior, there had been liquid spilled onto the adaptive keyboard row.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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14 Posts

07-10-2015

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Re: X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-15, 2:12 AM

Thanks for the reply (and apologies for my late reply).

 

For the moment the keyboard appears to be behaving.  But that usually is when I jinx myself when I write that.

 

The funny thing is that it was just fine when my brother had it, and also when I used it for about a day or two before wiping the drive (and every single partition on it including the system and backup partitions).

 

Only after I messed with it did it misbehave.

 

But, as I mentioned, it appears to be ok now too and I haven't done anything to "fix" it.  So it may well be an intermittant hardware thing after all.

 

Thanks again.  I'll just keep using it for now with the hopes that it continues to work, and if it stops again I guess I'll just throw it up on ebay for parts and hope to get a couple of bucks for it to put towards a new machine.

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14 Posts

07-10-2015

US

13 Signins

85 Page Views

  • Posts: 14
  • Registered: ‎07-10-2015
  • Location: US
  • Views: 85
  • Message 6 of 6

Re: X1 Carbon (2014) Adaptive keyboard random key presses after HD wipe & Linux install

2018-01-15, 7:19 AM

I had written a longer description of the current state of my machine when the keyboard flipped out, turned off my wifi, and I lost the entire post.

 

sigh.  :)

 

Short version: The phantom keystrokes are back. I plugged in an external keyboard which helps a little, but not completely (without it, I can't type more than about 2-3 characters before the phantom strokes open a new window or something).

 

I am going to try to sell the machine on ebay (with a full disclosure of the issues) for parts.

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