[SOLVED) Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

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Mitzi
Posts: 7
Joined: 2013-05-31 18:10

[SOLVED) Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#1 Post by Mitzi »

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/+sour ... ug/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.

Bulkley
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#2 Post by Bulkley »

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.

Segfault
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Joined: 2005-09-24 12:24

Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#3 Post by Segfault »

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.

Mitzi
Posts: 7
Joined: 2013-05-31 18:10

Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#4 Post by Mitzi »

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.

arzgi
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#5 Post by arzgi »

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.

Mitzi
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#6 Post by Mitzi »

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.

CwF
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#7 Post by CwF »

You could try xinput test, you may need the package xinput

Segfault
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#8 Post by Segfault »

Well, does it work also in console?
When in X, does xev show the keypresses?

arochester
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Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#9 Post by arochester »

The USB keyboard doesn't work in GRUB by the way.
Enter BIOS and set "legacy usb support".

Mitzi
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Joined: 2013-05-31 18:10

Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#10 Post by Mitzi »

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.

Mitzi
Posts: 7
Joined: 2013-05-31 18:10

Re: Some keyboard keys only working occasionally

#11 Post by Mitzi »

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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