Keyboard Lockups on Login

Brett Watson BWATSON at
Thu Sep 11 00:59:39 GMT 1997

Further to my previous comments, I have discovered that my very own PC
(well, the one I use at work) reproduces the keyboard lockup thing 100%
reliably. Logging in when the machine starts up is always fine, but
choose "Close all programs and log on as a different user" and the login
dialog will always be stuffed. My computer is a common or garden Pentium
running Win95B.

The symptoms of a stuffed login dialog are as follows: no printable
character works, but all non-printing characters work. This is really
odd, since all the modifier keys, cursor keys, and function keys work
just fine, but none of the alphanumeric and symbol keys do. Even more
bizarre, since the ctrl-c and ctrl-v copy and paste functions won't work
(presumably because the alphanumeric keys are dead. I believe that
selecting and right-clicking text allows it to be copied and pasted (to
be confirmed), although this is disabled by design in the password
field. Hence it really does seem to be a keyboard-handler bug, where an
entire class of keys ("normal" keys) goes AWOL.

I introduced this behaviour to our local friendly "NT is a _real_
operating system" administrator, and he was flabbergasted. At first he
was convinced that my keyboard was stuffed (and dropped it from a height
of six inches onto the desk -- do you mind??), but I persuaded him that
it was not and had happened to other people on other machines. He has no
immediate answer (surprise, surprise) but vows that he'll get to the
bottom of it. Good luck to him. If a cure is found, I'll pass the
information along. That is assuming he doesn't know I'm aiding and
abetting a free alternative to Microsoft software. He'd probably send me
to Coventry* if he found out.


* send someone to Coventry: deliberately act as though he/she doesn't

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