Why is my keyboard response time slow when using Windows XP?

Microsoft Windows XP
I've got a problem with my keyboard's responds time. I have to hold a key down for about 5 - 6 seconds for it to respond to the computer. First a thought it was the keyboard itself that was broken, so I bought another PS2 keyboard, but still the same problem. I then thought maybe it was the PS2 port on the motherboard, so I got a USB keyboard. Again, still the same problem. As I was trying to fix it last night, I restarted the PC and while it was starting up I tested the NumLock key and it worked fine. However, as soon as the Windows XP loading screen came on there was a delay again. PLEASE please help me! I'm getting fed up with this machine and I have a lot a work to finish before next week. Thanks.

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It may not be your keyboard. It is highly likely that your computer is busy processing some application requests. I had the same issue on a computer and it had some poorly written security software loaded that was taking all processor cycles and keyboard response was slow. I stopped the application from running and the system response returned to normal. I replaced the software with a better behaving application. I would recommend starting the computer in SAFE mode and see what applications are in Startup and the RUN registry keys. It could be that your computer is infected with some malware (e.g. spyware, trojan, virus) that needs to be cleaned. Try Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal tool.


Also you can try a Live CD (or USB key) Linux or Windows based. On the Linux type I do prefer Knoppix or Puppy. On the Windows side my preferences are BartPE (but a bit clusmy if tuo have to build it) or UBCD 4 Windows. Using any or all of those live CDs you can be sure that it is not a hardware issue if keyboard works just fine. But as early mentioned just the safe mode could tell.

If it is not a hardware issue, as it looks, you can safely disable any start-up programs and services using the msconfig utility that comes with Windows or better yet download the very useful app autoruns from the Microsoft website. Then disable app one by one re-enabling them until you find the offending one…
A virus scan can also be helpful. UBCD4Win has anti-virus soft that can be run from the CD or USB flash drive.


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  • Kickhiminthejimmy
    Someone took the advice of a pop-up and pressed about three keys that slowed down the response time. She did it on her side of the computer, and it doesn't effect mine. So, now, I've tried everything from uninstalling, to going to system devices to change the keyboard rate, and have tried to find the config.sys that controls all that stuff so I could change the values. It doesn't seem to be there. I can't find a way to speed the keyboard up on her side. I'm thinking that it is a preference setting, but it isn't in the programming that I can see in the device panel under keyboards.
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  • Chippy088
    @Kickhiminthejimmy if you weren't he originator of the question, you should start your own question session, however, it might be a good idea to ask her about what utility/prog she was running, and why she pressed the keys? Was one of those internet scan type programs, (you know the type free reg scan while you're on the site, type of thing?) It could be a setting for a retro game, (one of those which was programmed for the slower processor, Win95 etc.) Any changes you try to make will need to be in her account, as your settings appear to be unaffected. If your user account is clear, and it is really annoying, you might want to try removing her account, and creating another.
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  • BobCo
    Why does everyone start with the most difficult solutions? If your keyboard is having problems, try the simple stuff first. Go to Accessibility Options in the control panel, and see if the "Sticky Key" or "Filter Key" options are checked. If they are, uncheck them and the problem will be solved. This usually happens if you have little kids in the house, or press certain keys by mistake for a long period of time, such as when you lay something on your keyboard. If this doesn't work, then start doing all the difficult stuff!. P.S., Beware of people that ask for your OS/Hardware configurations before they answer. This means that they have never heard of the problem!
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