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Member
DarylBurton
Posts: 3

Keyboard lag, touchpad U/S and freezing problems

After running faultlessly for six months after it was new, my Equium laptop started exhibiting some weird symptoms. Sometimes separately, sometimes all together.

 

  • The touchpad would stop working intermittently, and the thin light above the touchpad would dim or flicker or go off all together.
  • The keyboard would exhibit significant lag when typing
  • The on screen pointer could be moved around by a USB mouse, but you couldn’t click to open or close windows, or reposition the cursor if you were, for example, in a word document.
  • Apparent system freeze – you could alt tab through different applications, but couldn’t do anything when you were in the applications.

These symptoms could occur all together or in various combinations.

 

Bizarrely, opening task manager (by ctrl alt del as you couldn’t right click it), and then closing it usually freed up the apparent system freeze and re-enabled the external mouse. You didn’t actually need to remove any processes for this to get things running again, although the keyboard lag would still be there and the touchpad would still be unresponsive. It did however mean you could continue to use the thing albeit in a very frustrating way!

 

Some days it ran for a while before starting to misbehave, other days it was a complete trial battling a lagging keyboard, U/S touchpad and random apparent freezes. It’s now got to the stage that it’s bad every day, and it’s driving me to distraction.

 

OK, what have I done so far?

 

  • A tech-savvy friend very kindly took the system back to its original configuration using the Toshiba recovery discs in case some Vista update was causing a problem. I deliberately then didn’t get updates for a while. However the problem has persisted.
  • Reregistered for Windows updates so that the machine is now to date.
  • Uninstalled and reinstalled the Touchpad driver (probably five times now, although maybe after the fourth time I should have realised this wasn’t going to help...)
  • Updated the BIOS from the Toshiba site
  • Updated other drivers (eg sound) from the Toshiba site to ensure machine is to date
  • Checked that Function F9 hadn’t inadvertently been toggled to turn the touchpad off (although I now seem to have lost the function F9 function)
  • Run the system without the battery direct from the mains (read that a lot of users had problems with aged batteries not having the capacity to run things effectively)
  • Started Vista in safe mode with most services disabled, but the keyboard lag can still be a problem.
  • Tried the Fn n 1 fix mentioned for erratic keyboards on some satellite models.
  • Run regular AVG scans

If I check CPU usage when the problem occurs (which is now becoming so constant I’m ready to buy a Mac) it’s only at a few percent, and physical memory usage is at 50% or less. Programs also load very quickly, so I’m discounting  a lack of RAM as the problem.

 

The hard disk appears quite busy at times, even when the machine doesn’t appear to have much it needs to go to disc for. Task manager indicates that even when the disk seems to be chattering away, CPU and RAM usage are still relatively low.

 

My latest theory revolves around the fact that I’ve noticed occasionally when the thin strip light above the touchpad is on and undimmed, it goes off and the touchpad stops working as soon as any key on the keyboard is pressed. I’m now wondering if there’s something wrong with the keyboard driver (if there is such a thing on the integral keyboard on a laptop...)or keyboard itself.  Can I stress that I’ve spilt nothing on it, and the keyboard lag problem affects all keys.

 

1/ Anyone got thoughts on this as the potential cause and, in particular, is there any way I can disable the keyboard at start up and maybe plug a separate USB keyboard in to check?

 

2/ Do you have other thoughts / fixes / diagnostics I should be running?

 

System info:

 

Toshiba Equium U400 – 145. 2GB RAM, 1.86GHz Intel processor, Vista 32 home. No weird software installed, just the usual Word, Excel, Firefox and Thunderbird etc.

 

Thanks!

Ace Advisor
Jerry_Lippey
Posts: 39,130

Re: Keyboard lag, touchpad U/S and freezing problems

 

Equium U400-145

 


..took the system back to its original configuration using the Toshiba recovery discs.. .. I deliberately then didn’t get updates for a while. However the problem has persisted.!

 

Updated the BIOS from the Toshiba site


Daryl, that eliminates everything but hardware from suspicion.

 

Time for either serious servicing or a new laptop.

-Jerry
Member
DarylBurton
Posts: 3

Re: Keyboard lag, touchpad U/S and freezing problems

Hi Jerry

 

Thanks for your time. Yep, you're right; I've now discovered that the problems all stem from how hard one touches the keys, particularly V B, N and the spacebar. Using these keys can cause the thin light above the touchpad to flicker or go out all together, and all the other problems in the original post to occur. I'm guessing that there's a loose connection or dodgy ribbon cable directly underneath the lower middle part of the keyboard (where the V B N and spacebar are) which is intermittently making / losing contact. Playing with different pressure on these (and other) keys gets everything working again.

 

When I'm feeling brave I'll lift the keyboard and have a look underneath. Anyone know of a good source of service /dismantle instructions for an Equium U400 - 145?

 

Best regards

 

 

 

Daryl

Ace Advisor
Jerry_Lippey
Posts: 39,130

Re: Keyboard lag, touchpad U/S and freezing problems

Good luck!

-Jerry