Sony Vaio Z "sticky", squeaky keys & doubled type

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by -Tj-, Oct 4, 2008.

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  1. jgottschlich

    jgottschlich Newbie

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    Hi everyone -

    I also have this problem. I own a VGN-Z610Y and get the double type a good deal. I also type fast. I type in Dvorak and average 80-100 wpm.

    I'm also a computer engineer and think the problem may be the "debouncing" algorithm in the hardware. Debouncing is the process of identifying when a keystroke occurs and when it ends. If a debouncing algorithm signals the end of a keystroke too quickly, it'll see 2 keystrokes since the user hasn't lifted their finger from the key yet.

    What is interesting is that when debouncing algorithms are wrong, they *usually* wrong when the user is typing too quickly, not too slowly. I know it sounds weird, but it's true.

    Unfortunately, I only know the theoretical aspects to debouncing, I've never actually implemented keyboard debouncing. However, I would suspect that if someone elevated this issue to the computer engineers building the Z's and mention they have a "DEBOUNCING ERROR" they might understand the problem and perhaps be able to fix it with a software patch. This is, however, pure speculation, I don't know any of the details regarding the actual implementation of Z's microarchitecture.

    I have tried to contact Sony myself, but never seem to get anywhere with their tech support. So, good luck if someone pursues this.
     
  2. mvandor

    mvandor Newbie

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    Just bought a Vaio VGN-FW290 and have the problem of duplicate entries on random keystrokes. Tried adjusting software for keyboard to NO avail.

    Oddly, my wife has the 17" version of the same notebook and hhas (duplicate keystroke NOT intended but left as an example) NO such problem.

    It would seem Sony would respond properly with a fix.
     
  3. mvandor

    mvandor Newbie

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    Update: Sony had me remove the keyboard from device manager and reboot to reinstall the driver. No change. Had me do a system restore. No change. Wanted me to do a C drive restore and lose my data and programs, told them I'd return the notebook and buy a Toshiba before I'd waste three days I spent transitioning to the new Vaio.

    Then they had me do a BIOS reset. Seems to have at minimum reduced if not eliminated the issue. I would offer that as a suggestion.

    Basically, on reboot hold down the F2 key to access BIOS and choose reset to default and enter and exit and save and enter.
     
  4. jgottschlich

    jgottschlich Newbie

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    Hi everyone -

    I have a partial solution that seems to work for Windows XP.

    I'm going to try mvandor's suggestion by resetting the BIOS and see what happens. However, I have used a partial solution for several days now and I have minimized the problem to occurring once every hundred words or so.

    The solution is very easy: use filter keys.

    To use filter keys, simply:

    (1) go to the control panel
    (2) click on accessibility options
    (3) click "Use Filter Keys" and then go to its "Settings"
    (4) select "Ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate"

    Note: DO NOT choose "Ignore repeated keystrokes" as this option makes typing words with repeated letters such as "door" impossible.

    (5) Select "Slow down keyboard repeat rates"
    (6) I use the repeat delay of 0.3 seconds and repeat rate of 0.3 seconds, the fastest setting I can use.

    This solution does have the side-effect of preventing fast repeating keystrokes, such as holding down the down arrow to scroll through an email or what not ... so it is not "ideal" by any means, but it does seem to work effectively.
     
  5. jgottschlich

    jgottschlich Newbie

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    Hi everyone -

    I take it back, Filter Keys do not solve the problem. Weirdly enough, the problem still occurs when Filter Keys are in place. This is doubly weird since Filter Keys are supposed to prevent double typing for a certain peroid of time.

    Also, I tried mvandor's BIOS suggestion and the double type problem seemed to be minimized for a day or so, but then things went back to normal.

    So, that's two solutions that don't work.
     
  6. jgottschlich

    jgottschlich Newbie

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    Hi everyone -

    Here's an update on my latest status.

    (1) I sent the Z back to Sony for repair. They replaced the keyboard and cable and then sent it back to me.

    (2) The problem started occurring immediately. Replacing the keyboard and cable did not fix the problem.

    (3) I've called Sony again and they are taking the laptop back a **second** time to try to fix it. I've explained to them that I am rather unhappy about having them try to fix the same problem twice, but I'm going to try this one more time.

    (4) I've posted a video on youtube comparing the keyboard behavior of my old laptop to the Z. It clearly shows the problem is the Z, not the typing. Here's the link:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWFzkfI0AdM

    I'm hoping Sony is going to fix the laptop correctly this time. If they don't, I'm probably going to request they replace the laptop with a new one, one last time before I file a lawsuit in small claims, like this guy:

    http://weblog.infoworld.com/gripeline/archives/2008/05/suing_sony.html
     
  7. magicmac

    magicmac Newbie

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    Hey guys!!

    I've bought a Z590 and I'm having the same problem: double keys most of the time! :mad:

    Anyway, I was thinking about returning this GREAT Notebook just because of that. However, after reading jgottschlich's message and the difficulties he had, I decided to fix the problem. By the way, I can't find a better notebook for my needs so that's enough motivation to build a "10 minute program".

    So here's a little program (3KBytes, assembled with MASM) that will fixes the issue. At least that is true on my Z. I've been using it for two weeks and yes, it works well (fixes double-type the problem!).

    Check it out and let me know if it works for you guys. Just run the program and minimize it (it will stay on the notification area).

    If you can, post me feedback about how it worked on your Z Series! Of course, the program should work with any PC that has the double-type problem!

    Download ZEchoFix
    Code:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/223252686/zechofix.zip
    Thanks,
    MagicMac.
     

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  8. jgottschlich

    jgottschlich Newbie

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    MagicMac -

    We owe you so big!!! This is working perfectly. And I know it's working correctly because when I disable your program, the double type returns immediately.

    Since using your program, I *cannot* reproduce the double type scenario that I demonstrate in my YouTube video.

    If you have a paypal account, I'd like to make a donation to you for fixing this nightmare. I'd also like to see your source code, if you are cool with that.

    You can email me at justin@nodeka.com to discuss this off the forums.

    Thanks again MagicMac, this is a superb fix. It's working flawlessly. We are all indebted to you.

    Cheers,
    Justin
     
  9. KiD0M4N

    KiD0M4N Notebook Guru

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    Hey... I cannot believe we have a solution at the LAST page of this 16 page thread!

    I was considering buying myself a http://www.sony.co.in/product/vgn-z36gd (I am from India, just in case you are wondering) but my opinion about the laptop started deteriorating as I read the reports on this page.

    But you come as a savior my man.

    Please do post the source code... I want to see how you approached this problem :)
     
  10. james2312

    james2312 Newbie

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    Dear magicman,

    thanks a lot for your program. I will be posting my experiences with my laptop, which I did not have yet. Why not? The reason is very clear, after reading about the double-key issue I did not want to accept to live with it. Well now it is time to go for it. I hope mine will not have the problem but if this happen you gave us the solution. I am wondering why sony 9 months after launching the notebook and knowing the issue is not fictitious or imaginary did not fix the problem yet.
    Again, thanks a lot and all the best to you,

    James
     
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