Question Laptop keys stuttering, getting interrupted and doing repeated keystrokes ?

Jul 1, 2021
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Hello all! For a couple of days now, I've been having a problem with both my "W" and Tab Key on my Acer Aspire laptop. Often when hitting the key, it will recognize it as multiple (2-5) keystrokes instead of one, or stutter when holding the key down. The way it does this is a little...weird, so I'll explain it in detail further down.

My System:
  • Acer Aspire A717-72G
  • Running Windows 10 Home
What's wrong (using W key as the primary example):
  • When pressing the key, it will often recognize it as multiple keystrokes, sometimes none at all.
  • When typing fast, the stroke will get recognized even less often (e.g. typing "windows" will often display as "windos")
  • When holding down the key, it "stutters", interrupting at random intervals
  • When pressing another (working) key while holding down the key or before hitting the key, the stuttering sometimes becomes even worse or just doesn't recognize the keystroke even more often.Side Note: The "D" key seems to be better at "interrupting" the broken ones than most others, to the point at which it interrupts the broken key once with every press (while still causing the stuttering)
Now here's the weird part.
These problems don't occur at all times. There are periods where the keys work pretty much flawlessly. No repeated strokes or stuttering, aside from still getting interrupted by pressing other keys, but also periods where it repeats and stutters so much from only pressing the broken key that it practically becomes unusable. These periods appear to be random, but for some odd reason it seems like mashing/going through and pressing a bunch of other working keys seems to temporarily remedy the problem, but interrupts by other keys mostly still occur.

What I know/already tried:
  • The day those problems started occurring, I joined the Windows Insider Program.
  • I did a clean install of windows just yesterday and left the program.
  • Uninstalling the keyboard driver (PS/2) only results in device manager telling me to restart my PC to finish uninstalling, but doesn't do anything else after that.
  • Windows Troubleshoot finds nothing
  • Disassembling one of the keys showed me nothing that might've been stuck/broken, but I can try to do a thorough cleaning if advised.
  • External/on-screen keyboards work just fine
  • The same problem is present when booting in Safe Mode
  • There may be some loose pieces of plastic in my case and where my motherboard is. I've already got out a bunch of those, but there's still at least one rattling, of which I don't know where it is.
If anyone has any suggestions or can give insight as to what might be wrong, I would greatly appreciate it! If I really have to get my keyboard repaired/replaced I would first like to rule out that it isn't anything software-related.
Thanks in advance!
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

By clean install, did you recreate your installer for Windows 10? Often times people use older installers or reset the OS, which don't help anyone/anything. Can you use KeyboardTester and see if any other keys are being depressed? To me it looks like the laptop's keyboard needs replacing or at the very least that each keycap needs removing and given a good dusting off of minute dust or debris. I've previously had a keyboard whereby a single strand of lint caused a key to be depressed. I removed it and it didn't cause anymore lags/interrupts.

BIOS version for your laptop at the time of writing?
 
Jul 1, 2021
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

By clean install, did you recreate your installer for Windows 10? Often times people use older installers or reset the OS, which don't help anyone/anything. Can you use KeyboardTester and see if any other keys are being depressed? To me it looks like the laptop's keyboard needs replacing or at the very least that each keycap needs removing and given a good dusting off of minute dust or debris. I've previously had a keyboard whereby a single strand of lint caused a key to be depressed. I removed it and it didn't cause anymore lags/interrupts.

BIOS version for your laptop at the time of writing?
Hey! Thanks so much for the response and the warm welcome. :)

I created an installation media from scratch to reinstall Windows, so it should be fine. Although I did notice that, while all personal files and programs were removed, there were still some folders on the drive which seem to be untouched (like Python, XAMPP). Never did a reset like that before, so I don't know if it's supposed to be that way.

If you mean this KeyboardTester, right now it isn't really doing much for me because it doesn't show anything until I let go of the key. So far I was able to narrow down the problem to one key, which seems to cause this stuttering for both W and Tab. The keys only rarely stutter by themselves now, but they still do if I press D while they are held. The website I was using to test this is Key-Test and what's happening is that the held down key "flickers" often when pressing the D key. Interestingly, this doesn't happen if I tap the key lightly. I guess is that this confirms that there's something physical going on under the hood, but I'm still unsure as to what I should clean/check. I'll definitely be taking a look at the W, Tab and D key for now. About a week ago I opened up my laptop to fix another issue where I accessed the motherboard. Could it be that I damaged something on the Keyboard or MB during that process, or maybe something like a piece of plastic got stuck between Keyboard and MB?

Right now the problem is extremely subtle for some reason and I really need to use force on the D Key to make the W and Tab stutter. I tried a couple of other nearby keys to see if they had the same problem, which showed no results. I won't be going through the rest of the keyboard right now because my hand is starting to hurt from all the testing lol.
Also the stuttering seems to be hard to induce initially after not using the keys for a couple of minutes, but once it gets going the stuttering happens with more consistently with the pressing of the D key.

Here's some Info on the BIOS version if it helps: Image
 
Jul 19, 2021
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i have the exact same issue with my a717 72g same keys stuttering, but mine also stop working for 10-30seconds then sometimes return to normal for seconds to days and it starts again. idk hen your issue started but mine started like at around 13.7. Same as you i recently openend the back to replace a Fan, i did not check the keyboard plug yet but from my own conclusion it has to be something physical because removing keys sometimes help for a long time or repetedly pressing hard also sometimes fixes it. i hope you can solve it and post it here cause it is a really annoying issue
 

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