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  1. #1
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    evilsatan's Avatar
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    Default Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    I have a really weird problem, I have a particular program installed on several machines. On one machine when the Alt key is pressed whilst in this program, if it is released without pressing another key with it (i.e. tab, F to open the file menu etc) it will lock the program until I end the task in taskman. I can switch to another Window e.g. Excel (can't use alt-tab though) and the machine works fine but the Alt key will not work on any other window until the crashed program is quit.

    This only happens on one machine out of all of them.
    When pressing the Alt key in this program the top menu is correctly highlighted, as long as I hold Alt down I can press F and the file menu will open correctly after which I can release both keys and it does not crash.
    Same in Safe Mode.
    Same after clean installing the OS.
    All other programs work fine when pressing just the Alt key.
    I have swapped out the RAM just in case - same.
    I swapped the drive (m.2 SSD) into an identical machine, the issue follows the drive i.e. the working drive in the problematic machine is fine.
    I have clean removed the software and reinstalled - same.
    When it crashes I cannot use shortcuts such as Win+X until I close the program.

    Any ideas? It must be software as I can't see a problem with the SSD causing this on just one program.

    It may be unrelated but occasionally Excel will have an issue whereby the File menu goes blank, the buttons are still there and usable. I have disabled hardware acceleration in Excel to test this and updated the GPU drivers.


  2. #2
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    I remember when I used to be doing IT support, my approach to this would be pretty simple.

    Step 1. Create new user profile and see if issue still exists in new profile. If it is fixed, copy over stuff from old profile and call it a day.

    Step 2. If 1 didn't work, try remove/reinstall program with all updates, and update windows as well.

    Step 3. Step 1+2 will have killed a load of time and got me nowhere and I'm starting to look like a twat so time to swap the machine out with another one with a fresh copy of Windows.

    Step 4. If I find myself seeing same issue again and again, find a quiet day to sit there with a determination to actually finally nail the issue.

    Somewhere inbetween these steps I probably would have looked at event viewer and any logs generated by the program concerned.

    Thanks to Over Carl

    evilsatan (15th December 2016) 


  3. #3
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    I forgot to mention the machines are on a domain, when signing in as this user to a working PC there is no problem. I will crewte a new local user account on the system and try that.

    I've pretty much exhausted your list already which is why it's driving me mad. This has been going on for months (reported as random crashes) but only last week did the user find out a controlled test for me when he found alt was the cause. When it was first reported I drew up a very thorough plan of action but he hasn't worked with me on it which meant I was working blind until this week as now I can test myself. After I formatted the system I was unable to test as I didn't know alt was the cause so there is a chance that resolved it and he then made a software change himself, I can't think what it could be if not software.


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    DF Jedi consoles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    tried changing the keyboard for a known working one? would be my first move.

    Thanks to consoles

    evilsatan (15th December 2016) 


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    Quote Originally Posted by consoles View Post
    tried changing the keyboard for a known working one? would be my first move.
    I've moved the SSD to another system where the issue is not present so a new keyboard has been tried


  6. #6
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    Next ideas : copy the entire program folder (as well as any relevant bits in c:\programdata and c:\users\user\appdata) from computer with the problem and without, then use something like winmerge to show differences between the two folders. If it has a plain text file(s) with settings (e.g. .INI files) you may find the issue.

    Next step start looking through any registry entries this program creates and try and find differences.
    Last edited by Over Carl; 17th December 2016 at 04:36 PM.

    Thanks to Over Carl

    evilsatan (16th December 2016) 


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    Cheers for the ideas OC, I will start with the user profile as that is something I had tested in the past before I had a controlled test but not since we can now crash on demand by pressing Alt.


  8. #8
    DF Super Moderator DJ Overdose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    Stop pressing the alt key?

    (im not expert, but it might work...)



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  9. #9
    DF Super Moderator Teajunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt key locks up program when pressed - driving me mad

    Sounds obvious but have you tried switching it off and on again
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