Question Keyboard and Mouse Issues After Clean Windows 10 Install

LostLuggage

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Hello all. I just did a clean install of Windows 10 Pro and have been working to get my drivers and everything back up to date but have been having issues with my keyboard and mouse. At first my mouse (Razer Naga Hex) was not responding to changes to DPI settings in Synapse, and the commands to the mouse would lag on screen; the cursor would stop moving on screen, and then snap to where it would be had it kept moving, scrolling with the wheel would stop occurring on screen, and then snap to where it would have been, etc. It would do this snap about 3-4 times in quick succession, work fine for another 30-60 seconds, and then do it again. After several goes of "removing the device" and restarting my PC, as well as moving it from plugged into the keyboard to a USB port on the back of the computer, it seems to be working fine now. Still, not sure why that would have been happening.

The keyboard, on the other hand, a Steelseries Apex, is still having an issue. Despite many removals/uninstallations of both the device and the Steelseries Engine software, I am still having it stop working. The lights will suddenly blink off for a split second and come back on, after which everything but the macros and media keys simply no longer work. They remain lit, but the computer seems to receive no input from them. The macros and the dedicated media keys work fine, but everything between them is useless. The only fix seemingly is to unplug it and plug it back in. It seems to occur most often anywhere from 1-10 seconds after I stop typing. I have yet to have it occur right in the middle of typing a word, for instance, so perhaps there is some relation to being idle? Still I've had it occur almost instantly after finishing an input and I've had periods of twenty minutes that it goes untouched and is still functional when I return, so that's very strange indeed. It's happened six times just over the course of my typing this.

All I can find in the way of solutions is related to a model that is not mine, or suggesting doing things like turning off Filter Keys (which are already off, or recommending some variation of reinstalling the drivers and/or restarting the PC, which I've done a number of time. I am out of ideas, and it of course isn't exactly something inconsequential. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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as well as moving it from plugged into the keyboard to a USB port on the back of the computer, it seems to be working fine now. Still, not sure why that would have been happening.
maybe its because the keyboard too is having problems and you were running mouse off its pass through. If KB was fine, the mouse might be as well.

Are you on newest firmware for the keyboard? I know they seem to pump out new versions for my mouse so I assume KB is the same.

try a factory reset - https://support.steelseries.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043313811-My-keyboard-is-experiencing-software-issues

browser extensions have been known to block the media keys
 

LostLuggage

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maybe its because the keyboard too is having problems and you were running mouse off its pass through. If KB was fine, the mouse might be as well.

Are you on newest firmware for the keyboard? I know they seem to pump out new versions for my mouse so I assume KB is the same.

try a factory reset - https://support.steelseries.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043313811-My-keyboard-is-experiencing-software-issues

browser extensions have been known to block the media keys
That makes sense regarding the mouse.

Unfortunately, that link is for different Apex models than I have. The model I have is literally called Steelseries Apex Gaming Keyboard. Still, I tried the instructions here as best I could. Removed any Steelseries folders, removed the keyboard, uninstalled any devices/drivers (hidden or otherwise) that were noted to be related to the Steelseries keyboard, shut down and unplugged, plugged in a turned the computer back on to let Windows do its thing. Seemed to set up properly. I reinstalled the Steelseries Engine which includes firmware as well. Alas, the issue reoccurred a few minutes later.

As for the bit about browser extensions, I'm not sure what extensions could be doing that on a clean install of Windows 10, and either way it's doing quite the opposite of that; the macros and media keys are the only ones that do work after the issue occurs.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

remove all startup programs except steelseries, I am curious if its a conflict between another program that loads at startup.

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

So your keyboard is from 2014 roughly? Do you use the macro keys? why not use KB without steelseries engine? I had a Steelseries Sensei mouse and it stopped working completely with the engine as it could be they changed how software works with new keyboards. It had its colour scheme saved on mouse so I didn't really need it. Mouse eventually stopped working at all so I got a rival 600.

Software support seems to be the first thing to go on old hardware. I doubt they updated its drivers since WIn 10 was released.
 

LostLuggage

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Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

remove all startup programs except steelseries, I am curious if its a conflict between another program that loads at startup.

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.

So your keyboard is from 2014 roughly? Do you use the macro keys? why not use KB without steelseries engine? I had a Steelseries Sensei mouse and it stopped working completely with the engine as it could be they changed how software works with new keyboards. It had its colour scheme saved on mouse so I didn't really need it. Mouse eventually stopped working at all so I got a rival 600.

Software support seems to be the first thing to go on old hardware. I doubt they updated its drivers since WIn 10 was released.
Ah okay so in the guide you linked, where it says "Under Startup in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then select Disable. " I should follow that step except for the Steelseries Engine?

I've been using this keyboard since late 2013 I believe. If not then yes very early 2014. It seems to be the Apex 350, but that is not what mine is labeled and it's possible to find "Apex Gaming Keyboard" on their website, albeit as unavailable. The Apex 350 is available and appears identical to mine but I'm not entirely sure what Steelseries has done in that regard. I do use the macro keys for playing things like Skyrim where the extra keys are useful, however interesting note is that while testing yesterday I had found that the macros actually fail as well when this issue occurs, meaning the only keys that remain functional are the four lighting profile keys in the top-left corner of the keyboard and the dedicated media keys along the far right side, so not sure if that makes things more strange or less so.

As for using it without the software, it certainly makes sense that software would be the first thing to go, but they're still selling the Apex 350 on their website and as I said it appears identical to mine. Additionally, Steelseries seems to use the "Steelseries Engine" for all of their peripherals, and the reason I say that is because the Engine opens and then detects the connected device as the specific keyboard I have, rather than it being somehow tied to my specific model, if that makes sense. They have a specific page to download the software, and within the app it is set up to handle headsets, mice, keyboards, and controllers. I'm not sure if there's some sort of software (firmware?) that is specific to this keyboard that I could somehow check though. I don't know how that kind of thing works.
 

Colif

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Ah okay so in the guide you linked, where it says "Under Startup in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then select Disable. " I should follow that step except for the Steelseries Engine?
yes

Yours - https://www.goodgearguide.com.au/review/steelseries/apex_gaming_keyboard/522290/
The apex 350 was released in 2016, its a different model. it was when they added all the other numbers

all firmware is downloaded through the engine.

keyboard not much use to you if the only keys that work are media and lighting. Could be time is telling you to upgrade keyboard. I am currently waiting on a Corsair K70 mk 2 RGB, should be here sometime today.
 

LostLuggage

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yes

Yours - https://www.goodgearguide.com.au/review/steelseries/apex_gaming_keyboard/522290/
The apex 350 was released in 2016, its a different model. it was when they added all the other numbers

all firmware is downloaded through the engine.

keyboard not much use to you if the only keys that work are media and lighting. Could be time is telling you to upgrade keyboard. I am currently waiting on a Corsair K70 mk 2 RGB, should be here sometime today.
Excellent thank you. I will go through that process and report back. I suppose I'll just use it in the "clean boot environment" for some period of time and see if the issue occurs. An hour or two? The rest of the evening perhaps? I like to write so that's something I could that involves typing so I'll know then. That's a difficulty trying to test for this particular issue because there are times I can go longer periods without it occurring and other times it occurs several times within only a few minutes. I'll see what happens.

And you don't think this is something worth touching the BIOS over? Other drivers such as for the motherboard and CPU and such? Again personally I don't see how those things would be affected by installing a new OS but my knowledge is quite limited, which is of course why I am here in the first place.

That's a fair point and actually a friend of mine suggested a keyboard upgrade as well, and this is absolutely the best time of year to upgrade. That's absolutely a worthwhile consideration, but seems to me like more of a way to work around the problem than actually solving it, yes? I'm fine if I need to upgrade but I want to get whatever understanding and assurance I can that whatever is causing the issue is resolved and it won't simply continue with a new keyboard as well. If it's a solvable problem, I want to make sure it's solved.
 

Colif

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Run in clean boot as long as you want. Since bug is random and not something you can force to happen, run clean boot for a few days and if it doesn't happen, slowly add start up programs to mix (One a day) and see if it repeats.


The drivers used for keyboards are built into windows except in the cases of keyboards like this that have their own drivers. I don't think a bios update would work, it would depend on if motherboard is from 2013 as well. And even then, i assume it worked perfectly fine for many years and only started this right now. So it doesn't look like a motherboard software problem.

what are specs of the PC? did you check you had newest drivers from motherboard website? If its an older PC from say last 5 years win 10 should identify all the hardware and grab drivers for you.
 

LostLuggage

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You are correct I haven't had this issue until these past days after changing the OS. Worked fine for nearly seven years.

My PC is about seven years old, and other than swapping out the GPU last year from a GTX780 to an RTX2080 and adding a second SSD, the components are all the same as they were when I had it built.
Specs are as follows:
  • CPU: Intel i7-4770K
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080
  • Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z87
  • RAM: 8GB*2 DDR3
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
I have absolutely no idea how to go about determining how up-to-date my CPU drivers are, or even which ones I would download from Intel's website. I can't tell exactly what they are and what they do just by the titles. For instance, most of them seem to be graphics drivers, but I'm of course not using the integrated graphics so would I even need them? ASUS has downloads available for the motherboard, but same case where I don't know how up-to-date my own drivers are, and as you said I haven't had issues with the keyboard before changing the OS like I did. These are processes about which I lack appropriate knowledge and am not comfortable enough to just start downloading and installing things without knowing what I'm doing to my system. For all I know I could make a mistake and irreparably cause some sort of negative effects to my system without having any idea how or why it occurred.

I've been told on another forum (from the same person that suggested a BIOS update as standard practice after any clean OS install) that installing Windows today is actually, to quote him directly, "woefully behind the times", and actually quite poor at keeping drivers up to date, yet virtually every other source, and now yourself included, says otherwise and that Windows 10 is great at keeping drivers and such up to date. I'm inclined to believe the consensus so yeah I've relied on Windows to pull up-to-date drivers for me but don't really know how good a job it has done.
 

LostLuggage

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I'd like to add that I sat in the BIOS menu for about an hour, occasionally returning to the keyboard to type some things and move the mouse around to see if the error would occur, and it did not. Now an hour is not a long time of course, but figured it was worth adding. Clean boot testing is next on the list.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
If it happened in BIOS you would know its not a windows problem. I don't think it would be though as it worked fine before.

Old drivers - Can you download and run Driverview - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/driverview.html
All it does is looks at drivers installed; it won't install any (this is intentional as 3rd party driver updaters get things wrong
When you run it, go into view tab and set it to hide all Microsoft drivers, will make list shorter.

Now its up to you, you can look through the drivers and try to find old drivers, or you can take a screenshot from (and including)Driver name to (and including)Creation date.

upload it to an image sharing website and show link here

All I would do is look at driver versions (or dates if you lucky to have any) to see what might have newer versions.

that PC isn't that old really, my last PC was a I5 4690K on an Asus Z97 Pro and its still supported by windows 10. Sure, no new drivers but the only updates are likely to be lan and sound since realtek still support their stuff years later.

I got side-tracked setting up a color scheme on my new keyboard. Having fun adjusting to the keys, the kb is smaller than my last one but I wasn't expecting the keys to shrink
 

LostLuggage

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First of all, what a fantastic utility. I will be keeping it to use in the case of other issues and because I could learn a bit more. Always good.
Here is an image from the utility. What strikes me as strange are the dates for the Intel RST driver and the Intel "Management Engine Interface" driver, as well as the Asmedia "SATA Host Controller Driver". I know exactly nothing about what any of that means, but the dates are from a while ago. Could be completely normal but I'm not sure that's just what I noticed. Most everything else on the list is from this year or last year, which I figure is up-to-date.

Something else. I came across this post which describes a similar problem to mine, though the model is different and the issue might not completely line up but he doesn't specify whether the media keys still work for example. Still, the post would suggest that Steelseries's software seems to not play entirely nicely with Windows 10. Strange though because there are clearly Steelseries drivers on my machine, but even stranger is Steelseries doesn't show up by name in my Device Manager, only basic keyboard drivers provided by Microsoft. Here are images of that, referring to the same device, that second "HID Keyboard Device" in the Device Manager menu. The other two seem to refer to my mouse, which as you can see there is a Naga Hex from Razer, which has its own macros; I assume that's what those are for. Anyway, not sure if the info in that post would necessarily apply to my circumstance, but I do have a ticket in to Steelseries so I will see what they have to say about the situation.

Ah I absolutely understand the deal about the colors for the new keyboard. I do that as well. It happens in character creation for RPG's too, which often takes me hours haha.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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its possible Windows installed the Asmedia drivers as your board has 4 sata ports run by Asmedia, rest are intel.

the version of intel management engine interface on your PC is newer than on the Asus website so I assume windows got those.

razer synapse could be involved. I wouldn't be surprised

my new keyboard doesn't show in device manager either. it does show in settings/devices/Bluetooth and other devices

you probably don't need IRST (Intel rapid storage tech) unless you use raid or possible use an ssd.

I see they suggested Clean boot to that guy as well. But he didn't test each application one at a time so problem returned. and he had no clue what cause was.
 

LostLuggage

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"Been in clean boot for nearly two hours and it still hasn't occurred. If it remains for another hour or two I will move to try booting with the first startup program on the list. To clarify the process I should be going through when I begin doing that, am I one-by-one reenabling the disabled Services within the System Configuration, or am I one-by-one reenabling the disabled Startup programs only within the Task Manager? Or do I do some combination of the two?

Interesting you suggest Razer Synapse as potentially being the problem. When I begin testing applications I suppose I'll begin with that one."


That is what I was in the middle of posting when the error did finally occur...twice within the span of about five minutes. I'm in the same clean boot state. I have been using my browser application (Edge, for now) but other than that just WordPad, but as I understood it it was fine to use the computer normally as long as I didn't touch the other startup programs. Have I done something incorrectly?

I was going to say that if the error doesn't occur in clean boot, wouldn't that exclude Windows as the culprit? But now that it does seem to still occur in clean boot, does that definitively mean Windows is the culprit? Should I restart it in clean boot with the Steelseries services and startup disabled as well and see if the issue persists?

EDIT: I restarted in clean boot with Steelseries service and startup disabled as well, and within a few minutes the error occurred again. I was still using my computer basically normally, however, using my browser and WordPad. Still unsure if that matters.
 
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Colif

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or am I one-by-one reenabling the disabled Startup programs only within the Task Manager?
having never had to do it myself, I think enabling them here might enable to services as well.

That is what I was in the middle of posting when the error did finally occur...twice within the span of about five minutes. I'm in the same clean boot state. I have been using my browser application (Edge, for now) but other than that just WordPad, but as I understood it it was fine to use the computer normally as long as I didn't touch the other startup programs. Have I done something incorrectly?

I was going to say that if the error doesn't occur in clean boot, wouldn't that exclude Windows as the culprit? But now that it does seem to still occur in clean boot, does that definitively mean Windows is the culprit? Should I restart it in clean boot with the Steelseries services and startup disabled as well and see if the issue persists?

EDIT: I restarted in clean boot with Steelseries service and startup disabled as well, and within a few minutes the error occurred again. I was still using my computer basically normally, however, using my browser and WordPad. Still unsure if that matters.
have you tested keyboard on another PC? Its possible its the keyboard itself and not windows.

No special things you need to do in a clean boot, just use pc as normal is fine.
 

LostLuggage

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Unfortunately, my options for testing on another PC are rather sparse. The nearest option is a PC that is a number of years older than mine, but it's running Vista of all things. Seems like it would only make sense to test the keyboard with another installation of Windows 10, yes? A friend of mine has a decent system that runs 10, as well as a spare keyboard I can try but he is waiting on a negative COVID test before coming back around. I find it rather unlikely that it's just the keyboard because as we've both acknowledged the keyboard was not having any issues before the Windows 10 installation, but as always testing it will give more information.
 
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Colif

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Did you try keyboard in safe mode? If it works fine in safe mode it likely means its a driver.
clean boot just removes the chance its a start up program, safe mode would remove chance tis a non Microsoft driver, but not that its hardware.

I know a way to test if its windows, boot off a Ubuntu Live USB. If it still happens in linux, its not windows
 

LostLuggage

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Continued typing out a document and letting it idle in safe mode while I did some other things. It was in safe mode for about three hours. No issue. Obviously no definitive since it's always a toss when the issue will occur, but it's quite unlikely that it simply didn't occur in three hours by chance when I can rarely go more than a few minutes without encountering it under normal circumstances. That would indicate a driver problem then yes? I assume with Steelseries?

I was able to borrow another keyboard so I suppose I shall test that one for a time and see if the issue persists.

EDIT: After I think five hours now using the other keyboard, zero issues.
 
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Colif

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Spare keyboard proves its not windows drivers.

I wonder if uninstalling steelseries would remove the driver as well.
these instructions from Steelseries aren't exactly to fix problem but they could help

does that keyboard save profile information onboard? I am just curious if it has drivers onboard it uses if plugged in even if steelseries engine isn't there. My last 2 steelseries mice have been able to do that, never had a keyboard from them... almost got one this time
 

LostLuggage

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I'm not sure what if any information it stores on the actual keyboard, however something I've found interesting during all of the uninstalls/reinstalls of the Steelseries Engine and removals/readditions of the keyboard as a device is the keyboard seems to always remember my lighting profiles. When I finished my Windows 10 installation, my custom lighting profile (I only really use one of the four spots) was no more, so I made a new one, and even after uninstalling the Engine (which is the tool used to customize the lighting and macros), I would still be able to change the lighting profiles, and the spot that I customized remained customized as I had done it. I think only one time did I manage to make it forget the profiles so perhaps I had done some extra removal that time.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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this might just be the new keyboards since it mentions all apex models apart from yours as usual
SteelSeries CloudSync lets you backup, share and sync your settings across all your platforms. Simply create a SteelSeries ID, login, and send your data to the cloud. Your settings are just a couple of clicks away no matter where you end up gaming. All you need is SteelSeries Engine installed on the computer you're gaming on and to log-in with your SSID account.

doesn't explain how you change rgb without the software though. or do you mean you could swap between color schemes without software... as my K70 can do that. its got 3 hardware profiles I can save over so now even without icue on here it knows 2 schemes it can use.
 

LostLuggage

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Yes I just mean I can change color schemes without the software, not that I can actually customize the profiles with specific colors. The four lighting profile buttons at the top work just fine without the software installed. I can use them to change color schemes without issue. Does the indicate there is indeed something stored on the actual keyboard and that that could be causing the problem?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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Shows it has onboard memory. The later Apex models can save key allocations and Macros

There is not enough info on yours but as the Apex 5 only saves profiles and not macros, and the Apex 7 does both, I could guess yours only does the basics.

can you run this, it will give me a look into your PC and maybe I can figure out what driver the keyboard is using. https://www.sysnative.com/forums/pages/bsodcollectionapp/
it will create a zip file, if you can upload it to a file sharing website I will see if it helps me.
 

LostLuggage

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Here you are.

EDIT: Steelseries's third response, after several days with no communication, was a generic email suggesting and instructing to fill out a warranty form for a replacement keyboard. I suppose they missed when I said that my keyboard was seven years old and of course any warranty would have ended years ago, and that this is not a mechanical problem with my keyboard and therefore would not be fixed by replacing it with an identical one. It seems they will not be of help in this situation.

Also, since we've concluded it isn't Windows drivers, do you recommend picking up a new keyboard? As in does that seem like the likely result here? The spare I have is functional but not much else haha. I do not like the feel so if I must pick up a new one, the best time for deals and discounts is fast approaching. Obviously we still have a number of days but wanted to ask regardless.
 
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