Scott Hanselman

Visual Studio 2005 Keyboard Locks Up

August 3, '05 Comments [14] Posted in Bugs
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I've been using Visual Studio 2005 for the last months without many problems. Last week during the CodeCamp the keyboard totally locked up. Brad Wilson said that this was a totally known bug.

Now, suddenly I can't run Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 for more than 30 seconds without the editor becoming completely unresponsive to the keyboard. Certainly this is a weird bug, but the weirdest thing, to me, is that it started suddenly and now the whole environment is totally unusable. I mean, I've used Beta 2 to every day since it was released and this keyboard thing JUST started.

It's totally soured me. It may be related to the AutoHide Windows. The VS Editor Blog confirms it. Madness.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, 03 August 2005 08:32:54 UTC
That's one of the most annoying bugs I've heard of in recent memory. It's pretty hard to code using the Windows Character Map instead of a keyboard.

I would have loved to attend the Portland CodeCamp, only I found out about it too late. I think it's a great idea and was surprised at the breadth of topics covered. Count me in for the next one!
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 09:14:39 UTC
Not only I saw it in VS beta 2 also I saw it many other editors like FreeTextBox in CommunityServer. I think that it's a common bug!
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 10:09:16 UTC
I've been seeing the keyboard hang for several months as well in Beta 2. Very annoying, but I'm sure it will be fixed in the final release.
christophersutton@yahoo.com (Chris Sutton)
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 11:42:42 UTC
I've been stuck with this PITA for several weeks. Fooling around with focus doesn't always solve my woes.

I've got a really ugly workaround by deleting the profile folder Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0 under your homedir. This seems to clear the problem up for a bit -- although lately the problem happens every time I start VS.

Ugly automated hack fix: Delete the profile folder. Restart VS, open a project and get all your windows and settings shiny, export your settings off somewhere if you'd like, close VS, then make a copy of that profile folder. Write a batch file to delete the VS folder and copy over the saved path:


rmdir /s /q "C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Admin\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\"

xcopy /s /e "C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Admin\My Documents\VS 8.0 Backup Settings" "C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Admin\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\"

(Make sure to close that target path with the trailing slash to avoid the annoying "Do you want to copy this entire directory structure to a single file?" idoicy.)

Now link that batch file to a SlickRun magic word and the world will be a moderately happy place. OK, not really close to moderately happy, but at least you can get a bit of a workaround.
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 13:01:05 UTC
You are very lucky not to have seen it earlier. I run into it perhaps a couple of times a day.

Opening one of the AutoHide windows, and pressing Ctrl-Enter clears it.
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 14:17:05 UTC
I have been having the same problem and here is a post on my blog as to what I found so far. The short of it is if you reset all settings you are good. When I have time I will be looking into why some of the commandbars and commands are suddenly not getting loaded.

http://luifit.net/blogs/jluif/PermaLink.aspx?guid=5519e3e7-7e4e-4651-94f0-2764cdc8072f
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 15:33:10 UTC
I switched to VC# Express because of this bug and have been surprised how full-featured VC# Express is.
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 16:07:50 UTC
I noticed VC6 (remember that?!) would lock up on me from time to time and I tracked it down to network drives that were no longer connected. it seemed to be polling those drives for something (who knows what) and locking up while the network layer decided the connection no longer existed. It was worse at home, off the vpn obviously because all the connected to work servers failed.

"net use * /d" would solve the problem instantly.
Not entirely related, but almost as annoying..
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 16:46:32 UTC
Douglas, perfect fix!

I get this about 3-4 times a day as well and it does get annoying. Just ran into it again and opened one of my autohide windows, hit Ctrl+Enter and it unlocked my keys.

Thanks for helping clear up that headache.
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 18:15:35 UTC
I have heard that running:

devenv /resetuserdata

will fix this problem when it occurs.

This appears to be reported already as ID FDBK30770 ("Unable to edit files in the text editor"). It says it is fixed, so hopefully in newer releases it will be gone.
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 19:02:29 UTC
Try keeping the Solution Explorer pinned all the time. The problem as we saw it typically manifest itself was that the Soln Explorer would be pinned, then unpinned, and still retain focus even though it had closed. We have fixed this since Beta 2 (thankfully)
Thursday, 04 August 2005 05:30:03 UTC
I've run into this a lot and to my eye it seems to be cause by too much load on the machine. I have no way of describing what "too much" is, but I have noticed that it is much more likely to happen when either VS or Windows is really busy and paging a lot. CodeRush in VS2005 Beta 2 caused it, and getting rid of it made it go away. It happened more often in a VPC with less RAM than one with more RAM. Stuff like that. YMMV.
Friday, 05 August 2005 20:09:24 UTC
This is one of those annoying bugs that doesn't happen so much when you're actually working, on a nice big screen, but rather when you're presenting, and you're trying to fit into 1024 pixels across or heaven help me 800, so you unpin all the windows you normally use and suddenly you can type, but you can't backspace or use arrow keys. Since my workaround has been to close and re-open VS, I'm pleased to hear I can fix it by messing with tool windows instead. But it's super frustrating and I don't know why it hung around for so long!
Friday, 05 August 2005 20:22:30 UTC
This is a known (very annoying) issue and appears to be from a corrupt settings file. To fix it, click Tools...Import and Export Settings...and select Reset All Settings. If you have an already exported settings file, simply re-import your settings and this will be fixed.

Thanks,
-Dan
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.