Acer Aspire: Unwanted Double-Keying

I was using an Acer Aspire laptop. I would type things. Often, the keyboard would give me multiple copies of the keys I pressed. For example, I might get something like this: I wwish I coould get this stuppid thingg to worrk. (Note: this was different from the problem of a sticky Ctrl or Alt key.)

There did not seem to be a single fix. That is, different solutions worked for different people, and apparently nothing worked for some people. A search (which, as I later saw, should have been a different search) led to 1 2 3 different threads, offering the following suggestions:

  • Update the BIOS
  • Restore Windows using the recovery CD
  • Reinstall Windows without any drivers
  • Use Windows update
  • Update hardware drivers
  • Update other software
  • Replace the laptop
  • Have the manufacturer replace the keyboard
  • Open the computer and use double-sided carpet tape to make sure the keyboard is firmly attached to the laptop
  • Type more slowly
  • Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Change How Keyboard Works (or, on my machine, Make the keyboard easier to use) > Turn on Filter Keys (click the box) > Set up Filter Keys > Turn on Filter Keys (click the box) and also Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys > Set up Repeat Keys and Slow Keys > Slow down keyboard repeat rates > 2.0 seconds for the first repeated key, 0.3 seconds for subsequent repeated keystrokes. I also had to make sure the first option there, “Avoid accidental keystrokes – How long do you want to hold down a key?” was set to 0.0 seconds.
  • Control Panel > Keyboard > Speed tab > Repeat delay > Long
  • Control Panel > Keyboard > Hardware tab > Properties > Driver tab > Update driver
  • Control Panel > Device Manager > Batteries > Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery > right-click > Disable
  • Control Panel > Device Manager > Mice and other pointing devices > Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad > right-click > Uninstall
  • CMD window > services.msc > ATKGFNEX > right-click > Stop
  • Run antivirus software

I tried some of these suggestions. For me, the one that worked was Control Panel > Device Manager > Human Interface Devices > Bluetooth AVRCP Device > right-click > Disable. Later, however, the problem came back, although only occasionally. This time, I tried the Filter Keys option. The settings I used are shown in the list above.

The Filter Keys dialogs were a bit contrary: after going in and setting up Repeat Keys and Slow Keys as indicated above, I clicked OK and found that I was back at the previous dialog, and now Turn on Filter Keys (which I had checked) was unchecked. I had to play with this a couple of times to make it work. One unwanted side effect: the Backspace key was now very slow to repeat; to speed it up, I had to repeatedly hit it manually or else use Ctrl-Backspace.

It seemed like those changes worked for a while — first one would work, and then there were more problems, so I came back to revise this post and try another. The foregoing remarks reflect these multiple attempts to get things working properly.

Now, however, I had a new problem — one that various articles found in a search characterized as keys repeating “uncontrollably.” It would often happen that the computer would just start repeating the last letter I had used. I noticed this at first in Microsoft Word, where it happened especially with Alt key commands. Like, if I used something like Alt-C (or maybe Ctrl-C), I would find that the letter “c” was now repeating across my page. Typing anything would stop it, but then it would start again whenever I next used one of those special key combinations. C was a good example — the letter “c” had been a particular problem throughout the foregoing attempts — but it happened with other letters too. And then, after a while, it started happening outside of Word, in Windows 7. I’d try to change the name of a file, or something, and the computer would suddenly be typing “cccccc” or “aaaaa” or whatever letter it especially loved at the moment.

In response to that search, I got multiple suggestions:

  • A Tom’s Hardware discussion suggested running Malwarebytes, but I already had the pro version of that, along with AVG Antivirus. I didn’t think it was a virus. As just described, it was too similar to the repeating key problems I’d had earlier. No, I felt this one was probably self-inflicted. Something about my previous tweaks had probably messed up something else.
  • A Microsoft TechNet discussion offered multiple possible solutions. For some people, the problem was in the keyboard. I couldn’t rule that out. But the problem had previously seemed to go away with software solutions, so the keyboard wouldn’t be my first candidate.
  • Others had a problem related to Microsoft mouse macros. There was a related possibility — that the problem was triggered by Word macros — but I wasn’t sure how to resolve that; I’d been using Word macros for a long time.
  • Bluetooth dongles were apparently another source of trouble. Another Bluetooth possibility: someone said that I might have caused the problem when I disabled the Bluetooth AVRCP Device (above). I went back into Device Manager > right-click > Enable. That proved not to be the solution.

I tried turning off Filter Keys in Control Panel > Ease of Access Center — that is, undoing one “fix” I had previously implemented (above). That seemed to eliminate the really bad problem that I was just trying to fix; now I was back at square one, with just the occasional repeated key.

[To be continued]

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5 Responses to Acer Aspire: Unwanted Double-Keying

  1. clyde says:

    try turning off the enhanced touchpad option in the bios, so far worked for me….

  2. Aghs says:

    mine’s problem is it types 2 letters at the same time eg <9o, 65, 87> and i downloaded keyboard so i found out the keys that are being pressed at the same time, been trying to look for an answer all over the internet but none seems to be woking on my problem, anyone knows how to fix it? or is it a hardware problem already? Thanks!

  3. NuNNoFYoBiZiNeSS says:

    I’m inclined to believe the excessive repetitive characters, for example “aaaaaa” or “eeeee” might just be a blue tooth issue because I am using a desktop with a blue tooth dongle and blue tooth keyboard and I have alot of that going on at times. Sometimes it is working just fine but other times it is very unstable and it seems almost like the keyboard has a mind of it’s own

    Now, with laptops and that dreaded double character issue is making it literally impossible to type sometimes. I cannot even use the ACER laptop I just bought due to this double character problem. I have not tried it yet, but someone has confirmed a fix that involves downloading a standalone file that you would need to execute every time you boot, so putting it in startup is a must. The file name was called “zechofix”. I am told this fixed the double character issue for each and every person who tried it. I downloaded the file but did not try it yet. If a software fix can solve that issue then it seems a hardware issue might be ruled out but I am not sure what to think. Because others have insisted the double character issue is due to over-tightening the screws when putting the laptop together during assembly. Perhaps something is too tight or not set in place properly. One person said he had to end up replacing the motherboard and it fixed the issue.

    I personally think it should be ACER who deal with it not the end user. This is clearly a big concern with so many people and some even try to say it is normal and expected to see this behavior on a laptop. No way will I let that line of crap fly. That’s bull. This is likely a hardware shortcoming whether it be due to some piece of defective hardware or a defective design. And we should not be left to our own vices to solve it for the. Since when does resetting a laptop within the first few days of owning it become the solution to getting it to work properly? It should work out of the box and if it does not, then back it should go. I’m tired of paying for things with my hard earned money and getting stuck with problems that should not exist. ACER isn’t the only laptop with this issue so it’s not like I am pointing the finger at them. I can’t even get a support representative to talk to me because I bought a refurbished model and there is a completely different protocol for that. I am just going to return mine and get a new laptop model known for having an excellent keyboard.

  4. tobz says:

    Thank’s a lot Mr Woodcock, you put me on the right track. Solution for me was to manually set values in the registry, since values available in the Filter Keys dialog are not adequate.
    I’m copy-pasting a solution that has worked for me at least:
    So, to lower the BounceTime lower than 500 ms…
    1. Turn on the options as listed above, save and exit.
    2. start regedit (from the run menu or start menu)
    3. Navigate to My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility\Keyboard Response
    4. Set the following values:
    AutoRepeatDelay = 500
    AutoRepeatRate = 50
    BounceTime = 35 (This is in ms. I find 35 is fine, but you can reduce if further if needed)
    5. Restart the computer to make the new values take effect and everything should work fine, at least it did for me!

    note: I’m not done tweeking values to my taste, but It’s gettiinngg tthheerreee

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