Sticking Keys Workaround

For those of you having issues with stuck keys. I've got a workaround for you to try. I got pretty frustrated with what is my third Surface, so I dedicated today to figuring out a repeatable workaround. After a mess of testing, restoring, refreshing and testing again and again it turned out to be a pretty simple fix...

Read me first:
Grab all the updates from Windows Update for the surface - including firmware updates.
About my tablet - Since I restored and refreshed mine many times in testing, I did a full restore (Remove everything and re-install Windows) on mine to be sure it was back to factory for final testing. When it was done restoring it was of course missing the Surface Cover Telemetry driver because they haven't fixed that yet. I went ahead and installed the driver from the Feb 20th driver package and ran Windows Update. It pulled down ~36 updates including firmware. I rebooted a few times and was good to go.

The fix:
Open device manager - either type "device manager" from the start menu or right click on the start button and choose it from there.
When DM opens, expand the Human Interface Devices tree - do this while you have your touch or type cover attached. In the tree you should see "Microsoft Input Configuration Device".
Right-click on "Microsoft Input Configuration Device" and select Disable.
Verify you've disabled the device by looking for the little down arrow that appears over the icon.
At this time disconnect and reconnect your type or touch cover.
Test to make sure you no longer have sticking keys.

Testing:
An easy test I've used is to open notepad and just hold down a character. I used the letter f for fail, but you choose your own. The character will repeat a bunch of times (around 2.5 rows with word wrap on) and then just stop. If you release and re-press the key you'll get another 2.5 rows - this is part of the sticking keys issue. The character should normally repeat until you release it. Verify you get endless rows of whatever letter you're holding down.

Another test is to open a folder with some files in it. Hold down shift for 8-10 seconds and release. You'll find that shift is stuck down and that if you click other files with the mouse, it selects several as if you are holding down shift. Verify holding down shift for 10 sec and releasing doesn't persist when you select files.

Lastly, run some games. Lots of games (especially FPS) require you to hold down keys. Verify you can play without any keys sticking.

My results:
I have good results here with all of the tests above. I loaded and played Minecraft (in which I've had bad sticking) and had no issues. I can disconnect and reconnect my Type Cover 2 and the stuck keys do not return. I can sleep and restart the unit and the stuck keys do not return. I can use a USB mouse or just the touch pad with no issues. Basically, as long as the "Microsoft Input Configuration Device" is in a disabled state I'm good to go.

Things to know
Disabling the driver causes you to lose some functionality. The keyboard still works, folding it back over stops the keys from registering, and the fn+special keys continue to work. What doesn't work is swiping gestures on the touch pad. Swiping in from the sides of the touch pad no longer bring in the charms or task switcher with that driver disabled. There may be some other minor losses of functionality, that I've yet to notice. Also keep in mind that you can re-enable that driver any time you want. Simply enable it and disconnect and reconnect the type or touch cover. The sticking keys return, but also the lost functionally returns. For those of you that can't deal with losing functionality, considering just disabling the driver for games and whatnot.

Apologies this is so long, I wanted to throw all the data out there with the fix so you know how I tested. Clearly this post is only a work-around, and I'm hoping MS sorts it out. I'd like to get some feedback if others have luck with this fix. If so, maybe this can be "stickied" if that's possible on these forums.

My Tablet: Surface Pro 2 256 / Type Cover 2

 

Discussion Info


Last updated July 3, 2019 Views 12,355 Applies to:

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Hi,

It's really nice to know that others are having similar issues and this has been the first in-depth method that provides at least some ways to attempt to fix the issue.  However, and this may be because I'm using a gen 1 Surface Pro and gen 1 Type Cover but I do not see "Microsoft Input Configuration Device" under the Human Interface Devices.  I tried removing my Type Cover and seeing what disappears from the list and then disabling that after reattaching it to the system and testing it with no results. 

If only I had the same options you show for an example!  Thank you for the help though, I wanted to let you know it was appreciated.

Hi,

It's really nice to know that others are having similar issues and this has been the first in-depth method that provides at least some ways to attempt to fix the issue.  However, and this may be because I'm using a gen 1 Surface Pro and gen 1 Type Cover but I do not see "Microsoft Input Configuration Device" under the Human Interface Devices.  I tried removing my Type Cover and seeing what disappears from the list and then disabling that after reattaching it to the system and testing it with no results. 

If only I had the same options you show for an example!  Thank you for the help though, I wanted to let you know it was appreciated.

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, sorry it was much help to you. I don't have access to any gen1 surface or surface accessories so my testing was limited to v2. Sounds like the g1 surfaces use a different driver set. Hopefully when MS provides a fix, the fix applies to g1 products as well.

This works!

I hope a real fix comes along, but at least i can work again. Thanks!

This fixes the keyboard, but breaks tap-and-drag on the touchpad (which normally also gets broken every time you close the cover and open it, until you reconnect it. but now reconnection no longer fixes it).

Microsoft, please, get a clue. Fix this! How hard can it be?

This fixes the keyboard, but breaks tap-and-drag on the touchpad (which normally also gets broken every time you close the cover and open it, until you reconnect it. but now reconnection no longer fixes it).

Microsoft, please, get a clue. Fix this! How hard can it be?

Thanks for pointing out that reduced functionally. I think the root cause for not having a fix is as follows: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/install-update-activate/pro-2-update-history

May 2014 updates

No product updates were released for Surface Pro 2 in May.

April 2014 updates

No product updates were released for Surface Pro 2 in April.

They just aren't releasing updates as frequently as before. I'm especially thinking it's not going to get fixed now that the Surface 3 stuff has been announced.

Wow, that simple? Nice find. I'm gonna try it out and report back. It's a really annoying issue when playing games, particularly Diablo 3 since you'll hold down shift a lot to attack while standing still but then try to move to avoid some big attack and find yourself still swinging at air, often resulting in death.

Wow, that simple? Nice find. I'm gonna try it out and report back. It's a really annoying issue when playing games, particularly Diablo 3 since you'll hold down shift a lot to attack while standing still but then try to move to avoid some big attack and find yourself still swinging at air, often resulting in death.

haha!  That's exactly why I was looking for a fix!  But now I'm all moved in at my new place and back on my PC.  My WD would just randomly shoot, it was annoying.

Looks like it works after testing it out over the past couple hours. I don't really use the touchpad at all since the stylus works so well, thus I am not missing the reduced functionality at all. Awesome stuff!
I can reproduce the problem of the sticky movement keys in World of Warcraft on a regular PC with a Microsoft Arc and Microsoft Sculpt keyboard. However, this PC (Windows 8.1 Pro 64 on Intel Q8300) does not show the Microsoft Input Configuration Device.

Hi,

It's really nice to know that others are having similar issues and this has been the first in-depth method that provides at least some ways to attempt to fix the issue.  However, and this may be because I'm using a gen 1 Surface Pro and gen 1 Type Cover but I do not see "Microsoft Input Configuration Device" under the Human Interface Devices.  I tried removing my Type Cover and seeing what disappears from the list and then disabling that after reattaching it to the system and testing it with no results. 

If only I had the same options you show for an example!  Thank you for the help though, I wanted to let you know it was appreciated.

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, sorry it was much help to you. I don't have access to any gen1 surface or surface accessories so my testing was limited to v2. Sounds like the g1 surfaces use a different driver set. Hopefully when MS provides a fix, the fix applies to g1 products as well.

On the 1st gen Surface Pro it is listed as "HID-compliant consumer control device". There are 2 listed on my system and the one to disable is Hardware ID:

HID\VID_045E&PID_079C&REV_0205&MI_02&Col03

It seems to have corrected the ctrl, shift & alt key sticking problem.

EDIT: This workaround disables the Mute, Vol Up/Down & Play/Pause keys on my 1st gen Surface Pro Type Cover. Everything else appears to be working properly.

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