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On my oldest ThinkPad, if I press the N key (either upper or lower case) it types a W.

All the other keys work OK.

I suspect the keyboard is kaput but I thought I'd check here for any ideas before I replace it.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Notes ♫

PS Fortwnately I dow't use it ow the Iwterwet or I'd sigw my wame Wotes Wortow laugh

Last edited by Notes Norton; 12/13/21 12:31 PM.

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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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If you have a wireless keyboard you should try it to see if it works correctly. If I hate the keyboard on my laptop and use a wireless keyboard and a mouse all the time.

The only keyboard I like less is my iPhone...lol God only knows what it will type...lol

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Have you checked to make sure the keyboard locale settings (language) haven't changed?
I've seen the 'N' type other wrong characters, but not 'W' ..
Could also be a keyboard driver issue


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Bring up an On-Screen Keyboard, and see if the problem persists. If so, yes, it could be a Locale setting. If not, it's probably the keyboard.

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Nice idea VT


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There are free key press utilities that will report the ASCII code for each key when pressed. But from your description, I don’t hold out much hope.


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Here's a quick and dirty one I wrote in a hurry about 20 years ago. It still works.

Download KeyPress Detect from this link

Run the downloaded file

Pressing N should show 78 N (78 is the ASCII value for N)

Pressing W should show 87 W (87 is the ASCII value for W)

(It is safe to run, in case you get an A/V or Defender alert.)


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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Thanks!

I tried the on-screen keyboard. Of course, I couldn't type on-screen as it came out ow-screew, but keyboard was enough.

Unfortunately, the n on the on-screen keyboard types the proper letter.

I have a USB keyboard somewhere, the problem is finding which "safe place until I need it" I stored it in.

I've downloaded the keyboard check, need to move it to the other computer.

A lot of good ideas. You guys are a great help.

I've used ThinkPad computers for about 20 years, and if this turns out to be a keyboard issue, it will be the first time. When I bought the USB keyboard, it was for a Dell desktop computer.

So I'll try the other suggestions, then decide if this 5 year old computer is worth saving (cost of parts and time involved).

Thanks again,

Notes ♫


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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If a USB keyboard works I'd contemplate keeping the computer and just using the USB keyboard, or even better get a wireless keyboard so it can be anywhere during a show or rehearsal (yeah still uses a USB slot most likely).

Heck, back in the day Mac and I both had extra keyboards laying on the floor with most of the keys ripped out so we could use the Space bar with our foot to stop/start Biab or RB/PT.
Extra keyboards are cheap, especially when you know they are laying around in the house somewhere.


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I'd advise having a USB keyboard as a wired fall-back.

There's a place I gig occasionally that has some strong radio signal nearby, that jams WiFi, Bluetooth and even my car keys. I'd expected to use my Ui24R mixer via WiFi from a tablet, but it simply wouldn't play ball. Fortunately I did have a notepad PC and a network cable and at least one of the devices was hermaphrodite.


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Interesting N and W ASCII codes/values are 78 and 87, may be a clue.


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Originally Posted By: etcjoe
Interesting N and W ASCII codes/values are 78 and 87, may be a clue.


My computer is dyslexic, just like its owner!!!

I didn't know dyslexia was contagious.

I haven't found the USB keyboard yet, outdoor my gig got cancelled yesterday due to rain, so Mrs. Notes and I took the day off for some fun.

Every now and then a day of fun is good.

Today I resume the search for the USB keyboard.

I'm not fond of wireless things when I don't need wireless. Batteries are not good for the environment. I use rechargeable cells when I require them, but still, I figure it's better not to consume them at all, unless there is a need.

I've been a musician all my life, and wires are something I'm used to putting up with.

Insights, incites and some lame humor by Notes ♫


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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OK, I found the wired keyboard. It was where I looked for it first, but it had fallen behind some of the other things on the shelf.

It's a ThinkPad keyboard, it works perfectly and even the 'eraser head' works (which will keep me from reaching the mouse).

I didn't install any new drivers, just plugged it in and used.

So I think the evidence is that my 'built in' keyboard is probably failing.

It's an old ThinkPad computer that used to run Windows 8 and I upgraded as soon as Win10 offered the free upgrade. I use it basically as a recording device. I do MIDI work on my main computer, send the MIDI to 7 synth modules. The audio outputs go through a mixer to the old computer.

I find using two computers a lot easier than playing and recording on the same computer. I can have the play and the record controls and screens up, visible, and working at the same time.

So, I'm thinking of just using the wired keyboard rather than spending time on repairing the old computer. Lenovo doesn't seem to have a replacement on their site, Amazon has a compatible one by Autens for $42 (perhaps shipping?) and it might take the better part of a day to replace the keyboard. If I find using the wired keyboard to be too much of a hassle, I'll take that route.

Thanks again for your generous help and advice.

Notes ♫


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Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)
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I'm assuming as well that the keyboard itself is borked, but one final thing you can test is to load into the BIOS and see if there's a place you can type (stay away from the Password section, in case you enter an untypeable password), basically just to try and bypass the operating system. Alternatively, if the computer is old enough, boot into DOS and try the keyboard there, or a bootable Linux CD or something.

But yeah, it's probably dead. It is interesting that the ASCII codes are 78 and 87, but unlikely since once you convert them into binary they're 01001110 and 01010111, so they're more than a couple flipped bits.


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Thanks. That sounds like a good idea to bypass the OS.

It's a Windows 8 computer that was upgraded to Win10 so I don't know how to boot in DOS or even if I can, but I think if I hit Enter as the ThinkPad screen pops up I can get somewhere.

This is the very first time a ThinkPad gave me any trouble. And it's an old, former Win8 upgraded to win10 so even if it's not cost/time effective to fix it, it has served me well.

Notes ♫


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I've been following this. First, yes, Thinkpads are tanks; very solid. If they survive as many gigs as you play, IBM should get a testimonial from you. Second, I think if you boot to the BIOS, there might be a place where you are required to type a few letters and I think that's the kind of test Simon is suggesting.


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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I don't know how to boot in DOS or even if I can, but I think if I hit Enter as the ThinkPad screen pops up I can get somewhere.

You should be able to repeatedly hit the F2 key when you turn on the laptop to boot into BIOS.




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F2, F12, or Del. Maybe others. Depends on the BIOS maker.


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Originally Posted By: etcjoe
Interesting N and W ASCII codes/values are 78 and 87, may be a clue.

Well, probably not.
The bit pattern for N is 01001110
The bit pattern for W is 01010111
So the processor would see those as two totally dissimilar values.


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Thanks again!

I'll let you know the result.

We got a new, weekly gig, and we're learning a couple of new songs first. They were suggested by the waitress, who knows her customers.

Since I do my own backing tracks, that means if BiaB doesn't have compatible styles, I need to learn and then record the drum track, bass track, and all the comp tracks (except for what we will play live).

It's time-consuming, but IMO it makes us sound better than the competition who mostly use karaoke tracks. They can be in our key, I can do a custom arrangement, and I can mix minor things that make it sound more live like louder backbeats on the snare, advance or retard the bass a couple of tics to either bring out the bass note or the thump of the kick drum, and so on.

It may be a lot of work, but it's fun work, and if lucky I'll get to play each song thousands of times, and having it sound better to me increases my enjoyment of my job.

I'll let you know the result.

In the meantime, if you have any new ideas, I'll add them to the mix when I get these songs done.

Our old weekly gig is coming to an end. The owner of the venue is also a musician and wants the day. He likes what we did for him, and to show his appreciation has recommended us to his competition, who was happy to have us.

This is a weird business. We're building a crowd, so the owner wants the date, but because he likes us is happy to encourage us to go to his competitor, which will diminish the crowd we built up at his venue.

Ah, but stranger things have happened in this biz. I'm glad we're not losing a week-day, in public gig.

Notes ♫


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