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ALT+[action] being forced, want to reformat (RESOLVED)

1215 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Geekgirl
Synopsis: My computer interprets every action as ALT+[action]. I need this to stop.

Story: A few days ago windows corrupted a file on a bad restart. I don't know which file it was, but it says it was lost. Ever since then, windows interprets every action as though I were holding down the ALT key. This includes keystrokes and mouseclicks, but also includes autonomous actions such as loading flash files in my browser or clicking links.

In order to solve the problem, I want to reformat my hard drive, so I have the reboot CD in the drive (luckily I had previously set BIOS to boot from CD), but I can't even do so much as "press 1 for English" because it's interpreting it as ALT+1. I don't know why the computer is misinterpreting my keystrokes even outside of the windows platform-- any thoughts? I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling my keyboard, but it doesn't help.

I've thought about formatting the drive from the DOS prompt, but the only way I can figure to get to it is from the shortcut in windows. The DOS prompt interprets some of the keys correctly, but it doesn't interpret the enter key correctly, so I don't even have the ability to enter a command.

The follow-up: I posted this on a couple of non-specialist forums already and they recommended that my ALT keys might be sticking, but I'm certain that the keys aren't sticking because the comp is a tablet PC, so it has a little onscreen keyboard that lights up when a key is pressed, and I've already checked both alt keys-- not to mention the fact the problem started after windows lost that unknown file. I don't have a spare keyboard, but I'll try bringing my comp in to work tomorrow to plug in my work keyboard.

The only thing that makes me skeptical about a hardware problem is that for instance, when I load Firefox, it starts trying to "save target as" the links for my extensions, such as my weather extension or my gmail extension-- which I don't think would normally happen if I were just holding down ALT. I think that the computer is taking commands and cycling them to their alternate functionality.

Also, when I click a file, it interprets it as ALT+click, pulling up the right-click menu. But when I do ALT+click, it doesn't perform any action at all.

Any other thoughts?
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i found a tool in norton that is currently erasing my entire C:\

it's slow as hell but as far as last-ditch efforts go i have high hopes
Hello and Welcome to TSF :wave:

Have you thought about trying System Restore to the point before windows file became corrupt?

Can you boot into Safe Mode successfully?
Windows ended up corrupting several files and making itself utterly inaccessible, even from safe mode. I bought a copy of Norton Ghost to try to grab a restore point (since ghost can boot from CD), but it wasn't letting me open any of them.

I think I'm going to see if I can remove the harddrive and either buy a new one or restore it with another computer.

Thanks for the welcome!
Just fixed the problem last night, thanks for the help.

I bought a copy of Norton Ghost and used it to wipe what was left of my C:\. Miraculously, it worked hooray hooray. Then it was just a matter of putting in my recovery discs and kicking back until they finished.

ps I'd edit my first post but i can't seem to find that functionality.

pps editing is only available for the most recent post :u
Resolved Thread

Glad you got it sorted, yeah you only have some much time to edit your reply :smile:
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