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Question Random intermittent keyboard issue - letters and numbers do not respond in games

Jun 25, 2020
I think this is a software issue, but I can't say for certain, but I'm going to post it here anyways. I have a very intermittent random issue where, when I load up a game, the letters and numbers on my keyboard do not respond unless I hold ctrl. Other keys, such as shift and space bar, work just fine. Most often I've noticed it happen on Star Citizen, but it seems like it happens in any game. I've had it happen in Destiny 2, NFS Heat, Battlefield, Battlefront II, WOW, and just now Minecraft. When it happens, it only effects that game. If I switch over to another program, like my browser for example, all of the keys work fine. Every key works if I press ctrl, but if I release ctrl before I release the key, it acts like the key is being held down until I hold ctrl and the key again, and release the key first (ex: I press ctrl+W and start moving forward, I then release ctrl before releasing W, and will continue moving forward until I press ctrl+W again and release W first). When it happened with Minecraft I started spamming buttons randomly, and got a response, but again it would act like I was holding the key down instead of just pressing it. It wasn't consistent with the key presses either. At one point I spammed D about 10 times and it responded, but to get it to respond again and stop moving, I only pressed it 4 times. With another key I hit it 7 times before it responded, and then could not get it to respond again so I had to do ctrl and that key.

I've checked accessibility options for things like sticky keys and filter keys. I've plugged my keyboard into different USB ports and have tried unplugging all other hardware when the problem was happening. Its hard to test thoroughly because of the randomness of the issue. All of my drivers are up to date (I even went so far as manually forcing updates on everything in my device manager to confirm it), and Windows is up to date (minus the 2004 update, I'm not ready to do that yet, but this has been going on for at least a year). I've deleted and refreshed my keyboard and USB controller drivers to be on the safe side. No viruses or malware. Most games are ran in fullscreen windowed mode, but a few games that it's happened in run in fullscreen. I can't say for certain that it only happens in games because games are roughly 95% of this PC's workload, and with as sporadic as the issue is, it's difficult to say if anything else triggers it. If it is affecting other programs, it only seems to be one program at a time since the keyboard functions fully outside of the game when it occurs.

My next course of action is to grab an old keyboard and keep it plugged in, just to rule out hardware completely, and to try opening a second game when it happens just to see if it is causing an issue in every game running. I'd gladly welcome any other ideas, or if someone actually knows what is going on and how to fix it, that would be even better.


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