If you're still using Windows 7 Operating system in your company due to some weird security concern policies and your company gets custom end user updates from Microsoft due to a special EULA agreement and you are new to using Windows E.g. have for many users used for your daily work Linux and Mac OS you might hit a strange issue wtih many of the keyboard keys strangely being locked with some of the keys such as Num Lock, Escape tab working where the Alphabet keys then don't panic. This is not a Windows bug its a feature (as usual) 🙂
Reason behind Blocked Unresponsive Keyboard
First logical thought I had is maybe my Logitech K120 Membrane 17 EURO cheap keyboard externally attached keyboard broke up thus I've tried to connect another LOGIC keyboard I had at hand just to assure myself the problem with partial keys on kbd reacting was present with the other Working keyboard as well.
This was an indicator that either the custom installed Windows by the company Helpdesk Office with the preassumed common additional features for corporations such as Keyloggers on this Laptop has messed up somohow the Windows service that is managing the keyboard or some kind of mechanical error or electronic circuit on the laptop embedded keyboard has occured or the KBD DLL Loaded driver damaged …
I have to say here a colleague of mine was having a weird keyboard problems back in the day when I was still working in Project Services as a Web and Middleware in Hewlett Packard, where misteriously a character was added to his typed content just like a key on his keyboard has stuck and he experienced this issue for quite some time, he opened the keyboard to physically check whether all is okay and even checked the keyboard electricity whether levels on each of the keys and he couldn't find anything, and after running Malware Bytes anti-malware and a couple of other anti-malware programs which found his computer was infected with Malware and issue resolved.
Hard Fix – Reboot ..
As as a solution most times so far I've restarted the Windows which was reloading the Windows kernel / DLL libraries etc.
However just hit to this Windows accessibility feature once again today and since this is not the first time I end up with unworking keyboard (perhaps due to my often) furious fast typing – where I press sometimes multiple keys in parallel as a typing error then you trigger the Windows Disabled accessibiltiy Windows Feature, which as I thought makes the PC only usable for Mouse but unusuable for providing any meaningful keyboard input.
This problem I've faced already multiple times and usually the work around was the good known Windows User recipee phrase "Restart and It will get fixed", this time I was pissed off and didn't wanted to loose another 5 minutes in Restarting Reconnecting to the Company's Cisco Secure VPN reopening all my used files Notepad++ / Outlook / Browsers etc plus I was already part of online Lync (Skype) Meeting in which Colleague was Sharing his remote Desktop checking some important stuff about Zabbix Monitored AIX machine, hence didn't wanted to restart but still wanted to use my computer and type some stuff to send Email and do a simple googling.
Temporary work around to complete work with Virtual Keyboard
Hence as a temporary work around, I've used the Windows Virtual Keyboard, I've mentioned it in the earlier blog post – How to run Virtual Keyboard in Windows XP / Vista article.
To do so I'verun by typing osk command in cmd.exe command Prompt:
Either Search for osk.exe from Start menu
or run via command line via
Windows Button (on the Keyboard) + R and run
cmd.exe -> osk
Solution Without PC Restart
After a bit of thought and Googling I've found the fix here
From the Start -> Control Panel from here I had to go to Accessibility Options.
Select Ease of Access Center.
Select the keyboard settings and
Ensure the following options are unchecked: Turn on Sticky Keys, Turn on Toggle Keys and Turn on Filter Keys.
I've found in the Turn on Toggle Keys tick present (e.g. service was enabled) – hence after unticking it and
Press Apply and OK, keyboard restored its usual functions.
Now all left was to Enjoy as your keyboard was back usable and I could conitnue my Citrix sessions and SSH console Superputty terminals and complete my started to write E-mail
without loosing time meanlessly for reboot.
N.B. !!!! A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE TO MAKE IS IF NOTHING ELSE HELPS PLEASE TRY TO RUN OSK ViRTUAL KEYBOARD
UNDER SOME OCCASIONS THE VIRTUAL KEYBOARD FORCES THE WINDOWS KEYBOARD DRIVER TO RELOAD AND THAT WILL FIX THE KEYBOARD !!!
Windows 10 Disable the Filter Keys option
This feature makes your keyboard ignore brief or repeated keystrokes, which might have led to your WinKey issue in Windows 10. To disable filter keys, use the instructions below:
1. Right-click on your Start menu icon.
2. Select Settings from the menu.
3. Navigate to Ease of Access and click on it.
4. Go to the left pane and click Keyboard.
5. Locate the Filter Keys feature.
6. Toggle it off.
7. Check if this manoeuvre has resolved your issue.
Of course this might be not always the fix, as sometimes it could be that the Winblows just blows your keyboard buffer due to some buggy application or a bug, but in most of the times that should solve it 🙂
If it didn't go through and debug all the other possible reasons, check whether you have a faulty keyboard cable (if you're still on a non-bluetooth Wired Keyboard), unplug and plug the keyboard again,
scan the computer for spyware and malware, rethink what really happened or what have you done until the problem occured and whether blocked keyboard is triggered by your user action or was triggered
by some third party software anti-virus stuff that did it as an attempt to prevent keylog sniffer / Virus or other weird stuff.