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Time lag/stutter between keyboard and screen

By drewaarom
Feb 4, 2014
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  1. This started happening all of a sudden a few days ago. I thought for sure - and kind of still do - that there was some malware on my system logging my keystrokes.

    But I was just put through the paces over in the malware forum, and given a clean bill of health.

    What happens is that as I type, the text will spit out at speed for a second, but then it falls behind and starts coming out letter by letter, and I have to wait for it to catch up. It's very weird, very disconcerting, and I've never seen this before in 25 years of computer use. So I'm kind of freaked out.

    Filter keys are not enabled. No other weird keyboard accessibility thing is enabled.

    I have swapped out keyboards. The same lag/delay occurs with both a wireless keyboard and a wired usb keyboard.

    No new applications have been installed recently.

    WinXp Ver 2002, SP3, all available updates installed
    Pentium CPU, 2.8 GHz
    3GM RAM

    It's an old, but trusty and snappy, computer - well-maintained. A clean install of winxp was done maybe a year or so ago. So it's in pretty good shape; no other weird, anomalous things going on.

    Any ideas? Help! This is driving me crazy.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Does this happen all the time? I.e. as soon as the PC is booted from cold, or only after it is warm?

    If all the time : check HDD DMA mode http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/fix-for-mouse-audio-stutter-computer-slowdown-fixed.85999/

    Carefully remove and reseat all memory. Ditto all motherboard connections of any description. Test the memory with memtest86. Check the motherboard carefully for 'blown' capacitors (look for small bubbles/sealing caps blown off).

    If only when warm : you might suspect the CPU to heat-sink has failed and you need to reseat the CPU with fresh thermal paste. Also check fans are all working, monitor temperatures

    Check the bios
    (1) In the BIOS select the "PC HEALTH STATUS" menu
    (2) Change the "Smart Fan Control" from "Disabled" to "Enabled"
    (3) Leave all of the temperature settings as default
    (4) Save changes, exit and re-boot.

    5/6 years is a good age for a motherboard in constant use. Maybe it's decrepit? And here's how to find out. Create a bootable CD of a small portable Linux distro e.g. Puppy Linux or Ubuntu. Boot off it. Then you can see what of your PC still works as it should - with no contribution from Windows drivers at all.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  3. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Thanks for your reply.

    It happens all the time - doesn't appear to be related to cpu temperature.

    Any reason why you think reseating the mem is going to make a difference?

    To me, this very much feels like a software issue, or a software/hardware issue, not just purely hardware.

    If the MB is decrepit, the keyboard starts lagging? I mean, is this a thing? I've never heard it before. I'm not necessarily doubting you, but have you seen this before?

    Before I take my computer apart and put it back together - anyone else have any ideas?
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    TBH I think it is a software issue.
  5. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    The bootable Linux CD sounds like an interesting diagnostic test, but I don't know squat about Linux, so this would involve some learning.

    I haven't tried booting into safe mode yet. I'll do that first and report back.

    Any other diagnostic suggestions?
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Reseating memory makes sure all the contacts are good.
    Old m/b can oxidise their metal contacts.
    Some years ago some far-eastern capacitors were made with an internal paste from a pirated compound, which generated hydrogen gas over time and burst the capacitors.

    A linux boot requires zero, and I mean zero knowledge. It just boots, just works and will enable you to exercise every aspect of your PC, from browsing the internet to playing music and videos, to typing into notepad, to sending emails. If that exhibits your strange behaviour, there is absolutely no doubt about it being a hardware issue.

    I always start with that, it is by far the quickest and easiest way to zone in on problems.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  7. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Can you give me a link to somewhere that explains how to create a bootable linux cd?

    Thanks
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

  9. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    The problem does not happen in Safe Mode, which is a relief - I guess. At least now I know where to look.

    I figure I'll use msconfig, disable everything, and do a series of restarts, bringing more stuff online each time until I find the culprit process.

    Unless someone has a better idea?
  10. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    It was a startup process called CDASrv, located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Common Desktop Agent\CDASrv.exe - which I think is related to the Samsung printer I have. I think it's been on my machine for months. Why now it all of a sudden causes a lag in typed characters appearing on screen, I do not know. I didn't install any updates to the printer application or drivers.
  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Well done. You will probably find, however, that things like printer utilities have a bad habit of granting themselves the right to update silently. It can be quite hard to find out where to switch off the 'auto-update' option, and this leaves you open to the kind of thing you have seen.

    Staying with XP is becoming more undesirable as time goes on, because software writers take less and less care to test their changes on an obsolete OS. You can find discussions on the web such as this http://www.techrepublic.com/article/sticking-with-windows-xp-here-are-your-options/ where the recommended approach is to lock down XP or run it virtualised if you can.

    Personally, I thought I would not upgrade from XP, but eventually dual-booted with Win 7. Once I discovered the add-on 'classic start menu' I learned to love Win 7 more than I ever did XP, and now never run XP at all.

    You're aware of so-far infallible 'alternate OS' theory of Microsoft?
    98SE - good
    ME - bad
    XP - good
    Vista - bad
    Win7 - good
    Win8 - bad
    Win 9 - ????
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
     
  12. drewaarom

    drewaarom TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Haha. I hadn't noticed the pattern before. I agree that XP has pretty much reached the end of its usability. It's really a great OS, though. Just the fact that a person like me has used it with very few hickups for over TEN YEARS is evidence enough. Very solid, and very scalable, customizable.

    I moved to Win7 at the office and would say that it's an acceptable revision of XP, having corrected many of it's predecessor's faults and annoyances. However, it doesn't feel as stable to me, and boot times are pretty disappointing.

    I hadn't thought about the printer utility auto-updating, but you're probably right about that.

    Thanks for the link. I might look into it. Then again, this talk - and the advent of affordable, high-capacity solid-state drives - has as of late given rise to that familiar urge - that regularly recurring compulsion that overtakes a certain kind of techie - to build a new computer.

    What OS should I use?

    Yeah, yeah - I know: Start a new thread. : )

    Thanks again for your assistance and suggestions.

    Ciao,
    Drew
  13. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    I find Win7 extremely stable - I cannot actually remember the last time I had to restart the OS to cure a crash. Applications very occasionally crash of course, but don't bring the OS down with them. As to boot time - well, I never reboot until I have to to install a MS update. I just leave my PC to sleep (restart in 1-2 seconds, and if left longer, to proceed to hibernate (restart 20 seconds or so).


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