Strange keyboard problem

This is a weird one.

I’m running Windows XP Pro on my laptop and have encountered an intermittent keyboard problem: certain keys don’t work when the shift key is depressed: the offenders are “O”, “P” and the odd numeral keys. If you hit the key several (say, 8 - 10) times while holding down (or, better, toggling) the shift key, the desired character will usually appear. The problem appears in all software applications I’ve tested.

It looks as if this isn’t exclusively hardware. If I boot my machine into DOS (it’s been a while) the problem disappears.

I tend to stay up to date with Norton antivirus. I did a system scan and no problems were reported.

Anyone know what might cause this? How to fix it?

The only thing I can think of is some glitch with the Accessibility features, and I’m not really even sure why that came to mind. (They’re in Control Panel, by the way.) I suppose you could also try some canned air in the keyboard.

I would check with the manufacturer’s website or phone help line first. If it’s really a windows XP and notebook hardware interaction it’s unlikely you’re the first one who’s had it happen.

BTW this behavior might also happen if you accidently hit the “numlock” function key and the embedded numeric keypad was engaged as the keys you mention are also usually those designated as the numeric keypad shift keys.

Do you have bootup Numlock set to on or off? What model is this?

It’s a Sony Vaio PCG-GR370. Numlock is definitely off. The problem numeral keys are the ones across the top of the keyboard.

For some reason, the problem is becoming less frequent (though I still see it occasionally). It remains entirely absent when I boot into DOS, which is why I suspect it’s not hardware-related.

Perhaps a problem with the driver. Download a new version, install, and see if the probem goes away.