Odd behavier XP's GUI - keyboard & mouse input


Several GUI behavioral problems started to occur with the PC's keyboard & mouse input.

The problem seemed to have started after testing a few utility programs and applications, some of which have an optimize feature for the OS. I usually don't ever run this sort of programming other than a cleaner CCleaner.exe. But decided to go ahead and test a few programs that were recommended from an article about cleaners and utilities for the OS.

Here are a couple of examples ..

When a user tries to type the letter F or f from the explorer, notepad, or any program that has a Files menu. Instead of a F the Files pull down menu is displayed. Input from other letters not related to a pull down menu ... are blank, no user input.

Moving an icon from the desktop to another location produces a shortcut.

The GUI became pretty much dysfunctional but I eventually was able to create a command and input it into Windows Start Run command

After running sfc /scannow the problem(s) seemed as if they had disappeared. Then started up again. I was ready to do a re-install ... then after a reboot the problems disappeared again.

Presently everything on the GUI "seems" to be functioning normal.

(The mouse and keyboard were tested from another computer to rule out any hardware input device problems .)

This install dates back to around 2011 with all the latest service packs installed, so I am hesitant to perform a fresh install unless these problems start again and can't be remedied some how.

Has anyone come across this sort of problem(s) recently or sometime in the past?

I vaguely remember similar problems, from years ago, with another OS & GUI but cannot remember any of the details.
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if no hardware issues are the problem, then I would first scan for infections:

1. what is your current antivirus??

2. any other scanners installed?

3. what version of xp? home, pro, or media center??

4. do the following regardless of what you have installed:

Download, install, update and do full scan with these free malware detection programs:

Malwarebytes (MBAM): http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
SUPERAntiSpyware: (SAS): http://www.superantispyware.com/

Remove all found, reboot, and run again until scans run clean, these can be removed afterwards if you so choose. Run scans one at a time, please.

5. after above comes back clean for each scan then defrag pc

6. then run checkdisk:

How to perform checkdisk

if you do not have Recovery Console installed, then run from the start menu

go to start, run, type in cmd

in cmd type in chkdsk c: /r and press enter

type Y for yes and press enter

type exit and press enter

restart pc, allow checkdisk to finish and run again

this is a lengthy process depending on the size of your harddrive, the percentages will fluctuate, this is normal, you can view report in the event viewer.
Windows XP Pro

Symantec Antivirus & Firewall (the virus definition aren't up to date)

Microsoft Security Essentials (up to date virus definitions)

After running a scan with both antivirus programs.

Microsoft Security Essentials found and removed a Trojan. However the problem with the GUI still persisted.

The drive was recently defragged and chkdsked but I will do another chkdsk using Windows Recovery Console.

As soon as my Internet connection becomes normal again (currently on a limited FAP connection) I will download the programs you recommended.

After the problem occurred I downloaded install the free version of Zone Alarm which includes an antivirus program.

This version of Symantec, the virus definitions ended a while ago, new virus definitions can't be purchased, one is required to replace their entire product in order to update the virus definitions.

I am hesitant adding some of the newer applications, written primarily for newer operating systems, requiring larger system resources, often bog down lighter duty PCs with fewer system resources.
First choose one or the other antivirus, you can only have one antivirus installed. Conflicts will arise if you have more than one.

you can also only run one firewall, choose one and uninstall the others.
First choose one or the other antivirus, you can only have one antivirus installed. Conflicts will arise if you have more than one.

you can also only run one firewall, choose one and uninstall the others.

I guess you're right, running one firewall and antivirus is all that's really required.

Though I have run two firewalls for several years without any problems and once had three going all at once.

I am not sure if the problem was or is a virus, something was changed in the registry or a file became corrupted. What ever the problem it seems to have disappeared, the GUI seems to running normal now. I will have to wait and see and run some more scans.
you are welcome, let me know how it turns out.

The problem occurred once again, after a reboot disappeared.

Running the programs you recommended, both were able to find programming of installed ad-ware and some remnants of tool bars already uninstalled.

Installing the antivirus programs on another XP machine and a one Vista machine. Again on the XP machine, the anti virus programs found remnants of old programming. Very little was found on the Vista machine, perhaps because the Vista machine hasn't been used online very often and was recently updated to SP3.

Vista does not seem to run well on some PCs with SP3 installed, I have compared identical PCs, one with XP and another with Vista installed. Vista without any service packs seems to run ok and is comparable to another XP machine. After installing Vista SP3 there is no comparison. The OE Vista machine has problems, is unable to perform certain functions from the Windows Explorer and other programming. I think this is partially due from the service packs being mostly security related, has increased security and at the same time decreased OS functionality.

XP on the other hand hasn't seem to have suffered the same fate. I haven't experienced any problems from XPs service packs, while running on three different PCs at SP3 level.

The XP machine with problems was taken off-line and still requires more testing to determine if all remnants of an old virus have been removed. Less likely it is a hardware or device driver conflict but can't completely be ruled out. E.g. KVM, USB port, device driver, input device, etc.
I did previously install and run the programs from your links on more than one computer ... two XPs and one Vista, which found programming and remnants of uninstall programming that Symantec and Microsoft Security Essentials could not.

The two programs do have areas that might require some work. e.g. Malwarebytes likes to hog system resources while performing a scan and doesn't respond very well or at all when asked to cancel. Superantispyware works fairly well but requires additional configuration when configured not to load upon a loading Windows. Seems to want to use the task bar whether set to load with Windows or not.
I generally uninstall superantispyware after a scan, because it has too many popups.

Malwarebytes I have installed and run scans all the time, it takes only 20 minutes to scan my pc on a full scan, and I generally go do something else while it is scanning.