Saved by System Restore

I was going to blog about something else until I realised a big problem that suddenly cropped up on my laptop today. I was experiencing an erratic slow reaction from both the laptop’s in-built keyboard and the external USB keyboard I just recently bought.

Basically, when I type something short, it works just fine. But when I type continuously, after a few seconds of keys being pressed one after the other in non-stop succession, the text stops appearing on screen for a second or two before finally streaming the letters that should’ve been typed in one quick swoop. It’s as if the computer had to catch its breath for a second trying to keep up with my typing and then sprinting to catch up to where I was.

It wasn’t really such a big problem if I only wanted to type email or something similar. I don’t really need to look at the screen or the keyboard to type anyway. The main issue with this new problem was that I found it near impossible to play PC games that used the keyboard to navigate the character in-game.

Take Oblivion, for example. To move the character forward, I need to press and hold down the “W” key. With the current keyboard problem I have, what would happen was that the character would continue to run in a forward direction even after I stopped pressing “W” because the computer was still trying to play catch up with my keyboard movements. And then when the computer decides to catch up, the game beeps at me because the computer suddenly sent it a very fast continuous series of “W” presses as it tried to catch up.

The short of it was that I was stuffed unless I get the keyboard working again.

For one thing, I was certain that it wasn’t a hardware issue because the problem was occuring on both the in-built keyboard and the new USB keyboard. It had to be something I installed earlier today. I had installed a new version of the software for my laptop’s videocam and the software for my Sony Ericsson K750i mobile phone. One of them must have been the culprit.

I eventually uninstalled both in an effort to fix the problem. However, that didn’t solve anything. The problem persisted even after I tried reinstalling the keyboard drivers. I was at wit’s end until I rememberd that Windows XP has a very cool featured called System Restore!

Here is a short description of what System Restore is, as taken from Wikipedia:

System Restore is a component of Microsoft’s Windows Me, Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc., to a previous state in the event of a failure.

System Restore periodically makes a restore point from which the user can restore from at a future date. One can also be set manually but I had never made one since I had my laptop. So, when I decided to use it, I was praying that there was a recent periodical restore point I could use. Fortunately for me, a restore point was created just two days ago.

Using the most recent restore point, I performed a rollback on my system. I anxiously waited for a few minutes as Windows XP attempted to restore my machine’s state to what it was like two days ago. Eventually, it rebooted itself and asked me to log in.

I’m very pleased to say it worked amazingly well! Everything was like it was before. I can type without the computer trying to play catch up. More importantly, I can play games again! All thanks to System Restore (and by extension, Microsoft, for adding this feature in its recent OSes).

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment