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

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

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Please help, my computer goes rogue on me

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

Question:

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
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19681_102-0.html?messageID=3162680#3162680

I suspect the hard drive .... --Submitted by Watzman
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19681_102-0.html?messageID=3162660#3162660

Rogue Keys.... --Submitted by PaulTercier
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19681_102-0.html?messageID=3162892#3162892

Bust keyboard or loose keyboard cable... --Submitted by darrenforster99
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19681_102-0.html?messageID=3162976#3162976

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!

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