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Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

Thank you, dlcomm, that is very interesting. I'll try this when I have some free time. It's not really a solution, tough, it's just a way to reproduce the problem. In my eyes the problem will only be solved when we can use the laptop with full hardware and software functionality, and that includes using the battery below 12%.

 

The Fedora part is not a solution either. Windows 7 is a great operating system overall and as much as I would love te use Linux I cannot use the professional software I need on it (and believe me, I've tried for years before finally giving up). Apart from that, Ubuntu will probably support the wireless card better than Fedora, it has a bit more hardware support out of the box.

Member
dlcomm
Posts: 5

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

[ Edited ]

 

Mihasi wrote:

Thank you, dlcomm, that is very interesting. I'll try this when I have some free time. It's not really a solution, tough, it's just a way to reproduce the problem. In my eyes the problem will only be solved when we can use the laptop with full hardware and software functionality, and that includes using the battery below 12%.

 

Oh, I know!  This is not a fix but a work around... a fix would require re-writing the bios!

 


Mihasi wrote:
   The Fedora part is not a solution either. Windows 7 is a great operating system overall and as much as I
   would love te use Linux I cannot use the professional software I need on it (and believe me, I've tried for
   years before finally giving up). Apart from that, Ubuntu will probably support the wireless card better than
   Fedora, it has a bit more hardware support out of the box.

 

 

Unfortunately Toshiba uses the Realtek 819x wireless chipset which at this point has not been included with any release of linux.     There have been some major break throughs with running Windows apps under linux, however I suuggested using the live version because it does not install onto your hard drive or replace your windows but does allow you to use the power of linux to monitor your machine.   Just so its clear to everyone.... I am not recommending changing your OS!   Running Linux is only for the advanced user,  this is simply a tool to use to monitor what is going on with your machine.   (Something Microsoft does not want you doing).

 

This problem is very frustrating in that it will still re-occur from time to time and this work around is not 100%.

Member
sauralf
Posts: 1

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

Having the same problem (Satellite L675).

 

Shutting down and pulling battery seemed to be only fix.  The other fixes like the bios upgrade have the same net effect as the battery pulling.  Kind of annoying (as I just got this latop).  It would be very good if Toshiba were to fix this.  At least I have a work around now.

Administrator Administrator
Administrator
jim
Posts: 2,178

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

Mihasi,

 

We continue collecting contact and system information for technical staff, to assist in identifying possible similarities between the units experiencing the problem.

 

I don't have any update at this point, except that the issue is still being researched.  One curiosity is that there have been very few reports from the US (as determined by the Part Number), but we don't yet know if that is simply a coincidence.

 

Of course, you are free to explore all available options including returning to the place of purchase or warranty repair.

 

Jim

 

Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

Jim,

 

Don't get me wrong, I never expected Toshiba (or you) to fix this in a matter of days. Since your first post about this issue I've started to research it a bit more, and this is the impression I (and probably lot's of other users) got from it:

 

- This problem has existed for months and Toshiba knew about it.

- When people try calling Toshiba support they generally are treated as if it's an isolated issue and will be easily fixed by either the battery trick or by a simple repair.

- There does not exist a permanent fix for the problem, yet Toshiba will not recall the defective models.

 

It think it's reassuring for everyone to hear you are still working on this once in a while, even though it's a small comfort.

 

The number of L6-series models that have been returned to the shop where I work are staggering. Just this weekend a customer returned with one of the models for the third time (it had first been "repaired" by Toshiba, and then when that did not seem to be the case we replaced it with another model of the same type). We let her choose another laptop of course, and she obviously picked another brand. An acquaintance of mine had purchased a L6-model at the same time I got mine and I've just heard that one also suffers from the problem.

 

As for exploring my options: I don't consider a warranty repair to be one anymore. My other laptop, that has just been returned to me from repair for the second time, now seems to have trouble with it's wireless card. The antenna seems to be weaker than before I sent it in for repair, because I can't establish a stable connection anymore at school or at other places where it worked fine before. In fact the wifi antenna on my smartphone gets better reception than the laptop now, which should definitely not be the case. And yes I've updated all my drivers, tried in different operating systems, etc. I can't really prove this though, and I don't think they will do anything to repair it since it does work fine when the laptop is closer to an access point. The only reason I will send the L670 in for repair again is because I expect the problem will still be there when it gets back and I will get to choose another brand as well.

 

Please understand that this is in no way a personal attack against you, I'm just growing more and more dissatisfied with Toshiba in general. While I still have the L670 I'm still willing to help with testing any way I can.

Member
kannoe
Posts: 11

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

And now, have you something to say Jim ?

Occasional Contributor
sadzior90
Posts: 31

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

Greetings to you all, guys.

 

I'm Rafał and I come from Poland. I bought my Toshiba L670-11M , short no PSK33E about a month ago. I'd like to add that i was saving for it for about a year. I carefoully read numerous reviews, analysed faultiness reports and so on. Eventually, i decided to go for toshiba. I was hoping for genuine, solidly built notebook that would be a tool for many years. Now i am close to a depression, thanks to my "beloved" toshiba. As you can guess by now, i have that famous keyboard missing letterrs bug. Unfortuntelly, i didnt send this notebook back in the first 14 days of ownership, because i was sure that i am just getting used to the new keyboard, and stuff will soon be nice. Pity...

 

The fact that all the money i was saving by refusing myself many pleasures, was spent on such a piece of faulty trash, breaks my heart. What disturbs me  even more is that in Poland L6XX SERIES are still in sale, as  well as in your country.

 

I registered here not to beg for help, since i do not believe that Toshiba will do anything to fix this issue. I just wanted you all to know that there is one more guy in the world, that gets frustrated over his newly bought notebook. And who feels cheated, so to say.

 

We need to stick together

 

Rafał, Poland

Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

[ Edited ]

Well, I have an intereseting development in the keyboard lag issue. Because of the trouble with the wireless adapter on my Satellite P300-1AE (the one that has just returned from repair) I updated the BIOS in the hope that it would help. Now my P300 has the keyboard lag issue as well. Amongst all the problems I've had with that laptop, this has never been one of them.

 

Jim, I suggest Toshiba stops looking for hardware similarities and starts looking for changes in the newest BIOS versions. This might mean a BIOS downgrade will fix the problem, if such a thing is possible. It would be great if you could offer us that option while you take the error out of the current BIOS version.

Occasional Contributor
sadzior90
Posts: 31

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

mihasi, i know what you feel. I hope that toshiba will develop an universal fix. And god, the new bios should be called at least 2.0 ... (due to the size of this problem)

Member
jsaynavong
Posts: 1

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

I have the ame issue with atellite L675-019 model I bought three months ago. It started acting up the first week I  had it. After having read the posts in this forum, I tried removing the battery, and it seemed to work for a while. It happened  fews  times since and now it is actinng up again. Itt's very frustrating. Toshiba, do somethin about this!

Member
TheOldFart
Posts: 4

Try this

I've had  mine since October (L675-S7018) and the keyboard would occasionally get a little funky... noticeable but not horrific.

 

Tonight though, it went to hell and was barely usable. Every 4th or 5th character was either skipped or repeated. I'm a very fast typist so it's fairly infuriating for me. I came back here to review forum posts and see if anyone had come up with a potential fix. After reading so many cases where folks cycled power and "fixed" it, I decided to experiment.

 

I simply unplugged the AC power supply. Within a couple of minutes, the keyboard had returned to normal.

 

It may have been coincidence, but it may be a thermal issue or related to power line conditions.

 

I also find the best way to test the keyboard is  to type something consistent like the age old "the quick red fox..." or "now is the time for all good men..." and count the errors. When the keyboard is misbehaving my hands tend to stiffen up as I type really hard trying to make it work properly. By reverting to those typing lesson phrases my hands relax and I can see if they keyboard is still misbehaving or if it's just my hands too tensed up to type properly.

 

Occasional Contributor
sadzior90
Posts: 31

Re: Try this

hello, old fart. the unplugging method is more or less commonly known, but there is a major flaw. the problem returns within hours, sometimes days. what is more, if you (in my case) start the notebook only on battery, then the probem is back immidatelly. This is a major issue, considering that noetbook is meant to be a portable device. I would really appreciate some more info from Jim

Member
kbjj
Posts: 3

Re: Try this

[ Edited ]

Has anyone else tried going to device manager and removing Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery?

 

I read this approach on a different forum (can't recall the link, I think I went there from this thread or it may have been this thread too, just don't feel like going back through all the posts).  I removed it and it seemed to work but then what that means is the battery doesn't charge as far as I can tell and I decided to reinstall it because it wasn't worth the hassle. 

 

Member
TheOldFart
Posts: 4

Re: Try this

What I was reading is that people were removing the battery or flashing the BIOS, meaning they shut the computer down and restarted. I never shut it off or twiddled anything, I simply disconnected from the power supply without any other changes. I didn't even close any of the applications I was running.That seems quite a bit different than cycling power or restarting it.

 

The correlation was good so even if it isn't a viable fix, it's still a valuable data point for troubleshooting.

 

It seems like potential evidence that it's a thermal issue (circuitry went into battery/lower power mode when unplugged) or possibly (though it seems unlikely) a noisy/unregulated power supply.

 

I will run it on battery power for a while and see what happens.

 

Has anyone tried disabling all the power saving vs. enabling maximum power saving?  If it's a thermal issue then that seems like it would provide good evidence.

 

Has anyone paid attention to which specific keys have problems when typing? If there are some keys more likely than others to be mis-typed that might be useful to know. I use a variant of the emacs text editor and I use the Eclipse programming IDE so I saw it miss presses of the Ctrl key and Alt key as well as normal keys.

 

Has anyone had a look at TaskManager while the problem is happening? In particular, go to the Performance tab View menu and select "Show Kernel Times". A red line will appear on the graph showing how much time the system is spending doing kernel related things like servicing interrupts.

 

Has anyone gone to a clean, Windows 7 only install? I wonder about the status of the factory installed bloatware. I disabled or uninstalled much of it within the first week, but I still have some odd bits remaining. It's possible there are unexpected interactions between the various pieces.  My experience with "cutesy" crap like they load laptops up with is that it is some of the lowest quality software available.

 

I should have mentioned that I upgraded mine to 8GB of RAM shortly after I received it. Other than that and removing some of the bloatware it is as received. I saw mildly flaky behaviour from the keyboard both before and after the memory upgrade so it doesn't seem to be related to that.

 

My plans for the next few times I encounter the problem:

 

1. Leave TaskManager running in the background and see if there are any changes in activity there when it starts missing keys. It remotely possible that it's either missing hardware interrupts or perhaps being swamped by them, which might possibly show up

 

2. Once it gets severe, I'm going to open a text editor and start steadily typing a line of text using only two keys on the keyboard; something like ababababababababab or ugugugugugugugug... I want to see if any patterns show up, such as it misses every 7th keystroke or it occurs every 2 seconds or anything like that.

 

3. Use task manager to kill non-essential services and processes one at a time and see if the problem goes away.

 

I don't expect to find that either of those produces a smoking gun but they're easy to do and it's always a good idea to try for the low hanging fruit before resorting to BIOS upgrades or calling in an airstrike on the Toshiba factory.

 

Along with those steps I'll create some reports using perfmon.exe and see if I can find anything of interest. Perfmon is included with Windows but it's not for the faint of heart as it gets into some very hairy hardware and software details that are so geeky they've been known to freeze a rabid puma dead in its tracks. Still, for truth, justice and a potential fix for a wonky keyboard on an otherwise exemplary computer, I'll brave it.

 

 

Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: Try this

[ Edited ]

@kbjj: I tried that solution today, did not work.

 

@TheOldFart:

- Tried it on battery power and when plugged in, with different power level settings. None of those things seems to have any influence on the problem.

- Every key is equally affected according to my tests. The functions keys, letters, ctrl, shift,... all fail to get registered from time to time.

- This Satellite P300-1AE I'm working on has Windows 7 Professional installed on it instead of the original Vista OEM version. The problem started occuring after a BIOS update I did a couple of days ago and has not ever happened during the 1.5 years that I've had the laptop. I've also tried running Ubuntu Linux and Puppy Linux on both of my (affected) laptops and the problem occured in there as well. Therefore, I doubt this is an OS issue, or a software issue in general.

 

I haven't done any tests with Task Manager or Perfmon yet because I haven't got the time anymore. Besides, I don't feel it is our job to analyze this problem, it is Toshiba's and they have had more than enough time to do just that by now. I would be glad if they would put a previous BIOS version online so we could try installing that and maybe have functioning laptops until they finally solve the problem, but by now I have serious doubts that Tech Support is working on this fulltime (as they should). Perhaps we'll get a response in another couple of weeks.

 

If I could get it over my heart to sell a faulty laptop to anyone, I would definitely sell both Toshibas and buy a laptop of a decent brand instead.

Occasional Contributor
sadzior90
Posts: 31

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

oldfart, i am very glad that you are with us, your approach is very impressive and professional as well. be sure to update us on anything you will research.

 

As for selling the faulty notebook, i just dont buy the concept of selling an almost perfectly workingm, because it's keyboard is faulty. It's like selling a new car when you have scratched your bumper. I strongly hope for a fix

Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

 


sadzior90 wrote:

oldfart, i am very glad that you are with us, your approach is very impressive and professional as well. be sure to update us on anything you will research.

 

As for selling the faulty notebook, i just dont buy the concept of selling an almost perfectly workingm, because it's keyboard is faulty. It's like selling a new car when you have scratched your bumper. I strongly hope for a fixT


No, it's like selling a new car when you have a steering wheel that will occassionaly block when you try to make a right turn. If you use the laptop as often as me and a lot of other users do, this is a major inconvenience. I hate carrying an external keyboard with me all the time. I didn't mind in the beginning because I thought the problem would be solved soon, but after two weeks it gets really annoying. A laptop is meant to be a mobile device, I should be able to use it by itself, without using external hardware.

 

Occasional Contributor
sadzior90
Posts: 31

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

as a matter of fact you're right, i have to admit. I just dont experiance as much discomfort as you, since i use my toshiba mainly as a desktop replacement.

Occasional Contributor
Mihasi
Posts: 24

Re: L675 Keyboard misses letters when typing or is generally slow

No problem. I didn't experience that much discomfort in the beginning either, but like I said: it gets annoying after a while. I frequently travel between home, school and my girlfriend's house so I need the laptop to be mobile.

Member
TheOldFart
Posts: 4

Re: Try this

@Mihasi That's good info on the BIOS update. How certain are you that's the only change you made at that time? Are the BIOS images universal? (i.e. is yours the same 1.50 version used in the L675?)  if they aren't then that might point Toshiba engineers in the right direction if they realized "oh yes, we included the same piece of code in both the P300 and L675 BIOS updates" or something like that.

 

Has your computer ever been opened up for upgrades or anything?

 

Mine came with the rev 1.50 BIOS so I don't have anything different to compare it to.

 

It's interesting that it affects Linux too. At some point I'll try booting a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it happens then. If it does affect all operating systems then only changing BIOS settings could have an effect on it, which narrows down the list of things to try tweaking.

 

I ran CPU-Z in the hopes of finding a checksum on the flash BIOS for comparison but it looks like minimal information is available on the main board. It just says model NALAA version 1.00 with an Intel ID0044 rev 02 chipset.

 

I agree with others, we should not have to be the ones to troubleshoot the issue, but the sad fact is that these are extremely complex systems and every once in a while something goes wrong with complex systems. I know, I work on fantastically complex software and although I work with some extremely smart folks, sometimes "dumb things" show up and cause all sorts of unanticipated problems. Our customers should not be the ones to find these things, but no one can anticipate every possible scenario ahead of time when it's something this complex. 

 

All we can do is provide observations from the field that are worth forwarding to the engineers who will eventually solve the problem (and point out to them that we all deserve a free hat or RAM upgrade or something for helping them find a fix :smileyhappy:)