I don't really know what category this fits into, since I don't know where the problem lies yet, but hopefully someone can help me.

This is a 6 month old acer laptop, so it'll go back under warranty if it's hardware. There have been no hardware changes, and as far as I'm aware this came completely out of the blue (not my laptop).

When I turned it on, it had a black screen for ages, then it got to the bios screen and rebooted. It kept on looping like that. I pressed F2 and nothing happened, so the keyboard must be out in DOS as well. I knocked it off and knocked it back on again and it rebooted at the XP loading screen. It kept on doing this. It also brought up the boot menu, but only the up arrow works, and enter doesn't, so I couldn't boot in anything other than normal mode.
After about 30mins of rebooting (with and without the aid of the power button) it finally reached Windows. I plugged in the mains adapter about 5mins before it finally loaded properly, so I don't know whether that affected it.
It also managed to run some disk check in loading, and fixed a set of badly crosslinked files (?).

Eventually in Windows, only about 6 keyboard keys work. E, R and T, the up arrow and a few brackets.

I've scanned with Trend DCT and AVG, but nothing found.
Winlogon was running near 80% at one point, so I don't know whether there's some hidden virus on here that nothing has picked up. HJT log looks normal (if a little on the long side).

Does anyone have any ideas? I can use the onscreen keyboard to do most things in Windows, but in dos I can't really do anything...
Since it's under warranty I can't even open it up.
Does anyone have any ideas as to whether it's hardware or software?


Update: 13 keys are working...
Is this ominous or what?

I think it sounds like a hardware issue... Perhaps call Acer for a replacement keyboard?

If you (or a buddy) have a regular desktop keyboard, plug it in to the PS2 port (or USB port if thats your flavor) and see if it works like that. It is very possible that it is hardware, given the other symptoms you've described. I would send it to Acer anyway...


Cheers guys - I'm sending it back.

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