[SOLVED) Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

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[SOLVED) Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Mitzi » 2018-10-07 14:47

Greetings

I have a laptop running Buster and the shift key and alt gr key on the keyboard is only working occasionally. While not a big problem, it's quite the inconvenience when typing in passwords or writing anything that require a capital letter or characters accessed through the alt gr key. It's happening with the stable version as well and I've also tried other distros. An external USB keyboard works fine however.

The next problem is when rebooting, GRUB seem to hang when using any keys, but working fine during a normal cold boot. I don't have the option legacy keyboard in the BIOS which I've read people have enabled to fix keyboard problem with GRUB.

Thank you in advance!

Update: found a solution

Thanks to everyone who replied. I finally found someone who had this problem too in this bug report for Ubuntu https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1532746 The replies in the bug report also explain why it worked for me earlier in console and then after. Holding the left shift key for some time stops the problem until next reboot. I did that because I wanted to see if I had the same problem with the left shift key. I couldn't possible realise that's what made things work in console and after until I rebooted though. Aside from holding left shift key there's a workaround explained in the bug report as well:

In /etc/default/grub edit the line

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"

to

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet i8042.dumbkbd"

and then run update-grub.

This also solves the problem with GRUB freezing when trying to press any key after a restart.
Last edited by Mitzi on 2018-10-08 07:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Bulkley » 2018-10-07 14:58

Laptop keyboards don't impress me. That the "external USB keyboard works fine" suggests your software is working properly. Something I've noticed when typing on my laptop is that I often accidentally brush the builtin mouse pad (whatever it's called). Whenever I do that my typing is disrupted. I haven't got around to turning it off but it might help yours.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Segfault » 2018-10-07 15:09

FWIW, the touchpad can be turned off automatically when keyboard is in use. There is a good article about it in Arch Wiki, methinks. And I agree, it sure looks like hardware failure.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Mitzi » 2018-10-07 15:16

Thank you for your answers. I'm not accidentally touching the touchpad while typing and yes it does turn off while typing. I can't remember when this problem started, but a couple of years ago I think. I forgot to mention that it's working fine in Windows 10 so I don't think it's the hardware.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby arzgi » 2018-10-07 15:27

But you say usb-keyboard works, so how could it be software then?

Every button has limited amount how many presses it can take. I'm not telling you are a liar, but something does not add up.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Mitzi » 2018-10-07 15:43

arzgi wrote:But you say usb-keyboard works, so how could it be software then?

Every button has limited amount how many presses it can take. I'm not telling you are a liar, but something does not add up.


I don't know how things work, but if it was hardware it wouldn't be able to work properly in Windows I think? The USB keyboard doesn't work in GRUB by the way.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby CwF » 2018-10-07 15:46

You could try xinput test, you may need the package xinput
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Segfault » 2018-10-07 15:46

Well, does it work also in console?
When in X, does xev show the keypresses?
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby arochester » 2018-10-07 15:51

The USB keyboard doesn't work in GRUB by the way.


Enter BIOS and set "legacy usb support".
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Mitzi » 2018-10-07 15:59

It's working fine in a console (I remember too it was fine during the installation when typing passwords). I'm unsure what you mean by xev sorry, I tried typing it into the console and it said unable to open disaply so it probably wasn't what I was supposed to do. Switching to console took three tries, as if it didn't recognised me pressing the buttons together.

Strange enough, after switching to console and back the keys are working perfectly :?

I do not have the option legacy usb support in the BIOS, I do have the option legacy support which tells me it won't boot in UEFI to support older operating systems. I should enable that?

Edit: not working now, not in console or by switching back and forth. Not sure why it did earlier. It's really confusing.
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

Postby Mitzi » 2018-10-07 16:45

Sorry for double posting and some really dumb questions. I'm trying xinput, but not sure exactly what I'm supposed to do. I used

Code: Select all
xinput list


From this I got a list of devices and my keyboard was number 5.

Code: Select all
xinput test 5


Not sure what I'm suppose to do now. I tried typing in the terminal after the command and in a text editor :roll: Thanks in advance.

Edit:

Been trying xinput some more.

Code: Select all
xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                       id=2   [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                 id=4   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                 id=12   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                      id=3   [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard                id=5   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard               id=11   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                               id=9   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                  id=8   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HP WMI hotkeys                             id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HP Truevision HD: HP Truevision            id=10   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                               id=6   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HP Wireless hotkeys                        id=14   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                  id=7   [slave  keyboard (3)]


Xinput test 5 didn't do anything, but xinput test 11 showed some outputs when pressing keys.

The shift key is key 62 and 'a' is key 38. When pressing shift + a getting a successful capital A

Code: Select all
key press   62
key press   38
key release 38
key release 62


Doing the same here, but a capital A fails. It looks like I released shift although I didn't.

Code: Select all
key press   62
key release 62
key press   38
key release 38


This is holding shift + a. After a while key 62 is released although I'm still holding shift.

Code: Select all
key press   62
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 62
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38
key release 38
key press   38


Same things happen with alt gr or pressing for example both ctrl + alt.
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