2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2009 1:16 PM by Kit Greer
elchicano99 Level 1 (0 points)
So I consider myself pretty computer literate, but this one has got me totally stumped. My mother's keyboard is only typing strange characters, such as ƒ©∆œ∑¨ˆty´®∆˚¬...
I've been trying to troubleshoot it over Screensharing in iChat, and this is how far I've got:

At first I figured she must have somehow enabled some weird international keyboard or strange font-mapping, so I scoured Keyboard system prefs, as well as International system prefs, and even Universal Access. Everything is in order. So then I figured it must be something to do with the keyboard (When I type through screen-sharing all characters appear fine). I had her un-pair and repair the bluetooth keyboard, but the problem persisted.
I then thought, ok, the keyboard must be defective and since she really needed to type an email I decided to show her the Keyboard Viewer (from the Input Source menu), I then discovered that it appeared the option key was perpetually being held down, thus typing all the weird chars... When she clicks the option key on the keyboard viewer it becomes depressed again. What is really weird is that I now know it's not the keyboard, because even when the keyboard is disconnected, as soon as she clicks on a letter in the keyboard viewer the option key is pressed again. So she can't even type using that method.
The only thing I can think to do at this point is an archive and install. Do you guys have any other ideas?

iMac (Intel), Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Before resorting to reinstalling the OS, try creating a new admin user account in System Preferences Accounts pane. This may be difficult with the typing issue, but maybe you can do it using your Screen Sharing, and leave the password blank so that there is no need to type one.

    Actually, if she logs out, does the typing work normally on the login screen? If the problem does not recur, log into that new account and see if the problem does or does not recur.

    If typing works normally while NOT in her usual user account, the problem in somewhere in that account. You would not need to reinstall the OS to resolve the problem. If the exact cause is too difficult to determine, she can just migrate her data to a new admin user account.
  • Kit Greer Level 1 (55 points)
    my old white keyboard has just started doing the same thing as you describe, but it started on one of the PC's we have. So we moved it to another PC, and the same thing. So I brought it to my mac laptop and the exact same thing has happened. To me, this is the keyboard being a problem, not the OS/machine. The PC is now screwed with no keyboard!