Alert from CNET Staff

 Attention forum users:  We want you to try out the new CNET forums platform! Click here to read the details. Thanks!

Laptop troubleshooting forum: Please help, my computer goes rogue on me

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) October 30, 2009 1:03 PM PDT

Like this

0 people like this thread

Staff pick

Please help, my computer goes rogue on me

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 10/30/09 1:03 PM


Please help, my computer goes rogue on me

I have a three-year-old laptop, a Compaq nc6400. It's loaded with XP and I am using Microsoft Office '07, as I had a new hard drive installed last year when the old one started acting up. Now, I do go online at various hot spots around my community, but always have my AVG Security active during these visits. I recently dropped the laptop onto a hardwood floor while taking it out of the travel case I use. Since then it seems to run fine, except it will frequently (at least once every day or so) go "rogue" and stop responding to any key except possibly arrow up and down. When I repeatedly strike a key it won't respond until suddenly it will respond with multiple lines of a single character (or back spaces) until I hit "page down" or some other random key and it stops its machine gun behavior. I have picked this unit up held it securely and shaken it upside down, shut it down for 5 minutes and restarted it, used canned air across the keys and a Dust Buster-type vacuum with a focused nozzle on the keyboard, thinking maybe a food particle might be hiding back in some obscure corner. I have run Ad Aware, AVG Security, and Spybot Search and Destroy wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiithout any apparent help. What do your knowledgeable and generous tech helpers suggest? Do I spend my limited funds on a "hospital visit" at my local computer repair shop, or is there something else I should try first? Or maybe do again? Do I have a virus? Have I been hacked? Or is there just something shaken loose in the abrupt impact with the floor? I would appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks in advance for all your thoughts and attempts to help with this challenge.

--Submitted by Michael G.

Here below are some featured member answers to get you started, but please read all the advice and suggestions in the discussion thread that our members have contributed to this question.

A few ideas --Submitted by dj_halnon

I suspect the hard drive .... --Submitted by Watzman

Rogue Keys.... --Submitted by PaulTercier

Bust keyboard or loose keyboard cable... --Submitted by darrenforster99

Thanks to all who contributed!

If you have any additional suggestions or advice for Michael, please click on the reply link and post it. If you are providing troubleshooting advice, please be as detailed as possible when submitting your solution. Thanks!

Forum Icon Legend

  • UnreadUnread
  • ReadRead
  • Locked threadLocked thread
  • ModeratorModerator
  • CNET StaffCNET Staff
  • Samsung StaffSamsung Staff
  • Norton Authorized Support TeamNorton Authorized Support Team
  • AVG StaffAVG Staff
  • avast! Staffavast! Staff
  • Webroot Support TeamWebroot Support Team
  • Acer Customer Experience TeamAcer Customer Experience Team
  • Windows Outreach TeamWindows Outreach Team
  • DISH staffDISH staff
  • Dell StaffDell Staff
  • Intel StaffIntel Staff
  • QuestionQuestion
  • Resolved questionResolved question
  • General discussionGeneral discussion
  • TipTip
  • Alert or warningAlert or warning
  • PraisePraise
  • RantRant

You are e-mailing the following post: Post Subject

Your e-mail address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the e-mail and in case of transmission error. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose.

Sorry, there was a problem emailing this post. Please try again.

Submit Email Cancel

Thank you. Sent email to


Thank you. Sent email to


You are reporting the following post: Post Subject

If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language

Spam: Advertisements or commercial links

Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users

Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Submit Report Cancel

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


You are posting a reply to: Post Subject

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to the CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to CBS Interactive Site Terms of Use.

You are currently tracking this discussion. Click here to manage your tracked discussions.

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Sorry, there was a problem generating the preview. Please try again.

Duplicate posts are not allowed in the forums. Please edit your post and submit again.

Submit Reply Preview Cancel

Thank you, , your post has been submitted and will appear on our site shortly.