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Fix slow keyboard on Dell Inspiron 1501

Posted: January 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: fun, howto | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 84 Comments »

One of my colleague asked me to take a look at her laptop and check why the characters appear so slow sometimes.
At that moment I thought it’s a software issue. After several checks we reinstalled the XP but the problem persisted. So, we sent the notebook to the service.
After one month, we received it untouched with the following resolution: please reinstall the OS :).
Ok then…

So I started to investigate by killing unneeded processes.
I have started with ati2evxx.exe.
I was lucky, after two days of tests it seems that this was the problem.
The exe is started by a service named ati hotkey poller (I can’t remember exactly right now).
This process is installed together with the Ati driver (catalyst).
I have changed the service settings to not start at boot time (it cannot be stopped) and rebooted.

The problem was resolved.

On another dell inspiron 1501, but with newer drivers, in the control center the hot key service is disabled by default. In the version from the CD with the drivers, the hot key service is enabled by default.

Update 1: Show me your happy face! if this works for you, you saved at least 500 euro…
Leave a comment if this fixed your laptop.

Update 2:

Edwin suggested below that the cause of this lag is because your batter is too old and you should replace it.
To test it, remove the battery and start your Dell.

If the battery replacement fixed the problem please leave a comment.

84 Comments on “Fix slow keyboard on Dell Inspiron 1501”

  1. 1ryan said at 7:40 am on November 9th, 2009:

    it wont let me turn mine to manual its like locked?

  2. 2paul said at 7:29 pm on November 9th, 2009:

    @ryan: use the Administrator account

  3. 3Zoltan said at 8:55 pm on November 10th, 2009:

    removing battery fixed my problem also.
    thanks a lot πŸ™‚
    advise: first ask, lookup on google than remove OS.
    luckily it is ubuntu πŸ™‚

  4. 4Marc said at 11:20 pm on November 10th, 2009:

    Thanks a lot! Your advise solved my problem!!

    ( Unfortunately, I already reinstalled Windows and have now to reinstall all the programs… But well.. at least the problem’s solved now πŸ™‚ )

  5. 5Sanjay said at 2:16 am on November 15th, 2009:

    Thank you! Dell tech support had no clue what the problem was. In fact, they told me that I needed to upgrade my RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB in Windows XP. I told them where they could go based on my experience with a 6 year old laptop with XP and 512 MB RAM that runs silky smooth. I knew it was going to be something like this.

  6. 6Dan said at 4:48 pm on December 7th, 2009:

    The tip to remove the old battery saved me! So simple! That’s why you gotta love Google. After hours of trying to solve the problem, it took me 2 minutes to find the tip, try it and solve it. Fantastic.

  7. 7Bob said at 11:44 pm on December 19th, 2009:

    Thanks soooo much for the great assistance!!

    Our old Dell Inspiron 1501 had the same horrible keyboard lagging problem. Was driving me nuts – figured it was a keylogger or something.

    Disabling the ati hotkey polling service did the trick!

    The battery was also dead, so I pulled that and things improved even more. So, the 1501 has some strange hardware issue where the laptop cannot fully bypass a dead battery.

    We will replace the battery and keep using the machine. It makes a fine knock around laptop for web, tv watching and email.

    Thanks for the great help!!!!!

  8. 8Fidel said at 3:47 pm on January 6th, 2010:

    Phew !!! I spent 1 day opening my 3 year old laptop up (for the first time), dusting it, reinstalled Win XP OS, and somewhere in between while re-installing the drivers, I got the same problem again ! Thanks to your post. I should have figured this out myself (Considering that the text entry on the windows login window was never problematic I should have figured out that the problem is definitely with some process that comes into existence after logging in !!!) Thanks again πŸ™‚

  9. 9Cyril said at 10:14 pm on January 8th, 2010:

    My neighbour had the some problems on his inspiron 1501. The time lag using the keyboard and regular ‘ hang’ of IE and/or system. I removed the add-in and the battery (completely dead). Both symptoms gone!


  10. 10Kamil said at 9:08 pm on January 9th, 2010:

    Paul, thank you so much for this solution!
    It helps.

    Thank you.

  11. 11Johan said at 2:01 pm on February 8th, 2010:

    Hello, the battery thing worked. Now my 6400 works perfect again. Great thanks!

  12. 12Andrei said at 8:48 pm on April 3rd, 2010:

    It works ..Thank you very much.

  13. 13David said at 3:45 pm on May 26th, 2010:

    Worked. Thanks for the time saver.

  14. 14shinta said at 5:41 pm on May 31st, 2010:

    thanks a lot Paul, you save my life πŸ™‚

  15. 15Seba said at 6:29 pm on August 13th, 2010:

    Gracias desde Chile!
    (thanks from Chile!)

  16. 16tavi said at 2:47 am on September 23rd, 2010:

    Removing the battery solves this annoying problem !

  17. 17Ale said at 10:12 am on October 9th, 2010:

    Man!!! you are a GENIUS!!!
    I was getting crazy and frustrated with my lap…



  18. 18Ale said at 10:16 am on October 9th, 2010:

    just a question… how did you find the solution of the hotkey??

  19. 19paul said at 10:43 am on October 9th, 2010:

    I was testing the problem with a linux live cd (ubuntu) and it didn’t reproduced. So it was clear that the problem is in the OS. From here, it was easy to kill processes. πŸ™‚


  20. 20Leo said at 8:21 am on October 15th, 2010:

    Many here have Dell pcs. I’ve Toshiba Satellite with the same keyboard problem in addition to an erratic mouse shuffling all over. I updated drives but problems persisted and later told I’ve a corrupt touchpad that needed to be replaced. Wooo! A ton of thanks! You save me a bundle, Paul.

  21. 21Morf said at 8:08 am on November 3rd, 2010:

    removing the battery on my wife’s inspiron 1501 solved the problem.
    after week’s of brain damage:)

    Paul you are the Man:D
    tons of respect from Moldova!

  22. 22Andreas said at 10:16 pm on November 29th, 2010:

    I spent one whole day trying to fix this issue. I am so glad I found your posting as I was going to buy a new computer if I couldn’t solve it.

  23. 23rick said at 5:15 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me with a constant beeping at start up I push shift and it stops and takes me into bios and asked me to select what to start with I’m running windows vista basic so I do and it starts right up no issues from there. I reset to origanal setting tried all the diagnostic programs and still it beeps at startup??????????? thanks for any help you can offer

  24. 24rick said at 5:21 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    sorry the computer is a dell inspiron 1501 thanks again.

  25. 25paul said at 5:37 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    do a diagnostic check: when starts, press F12 to show boot menu, select Diagnostics. run all.
    Or, download ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/diags/CW1320A0.exe (the link is at support.dell.com, inspiron 1501, diagnostics section).
    The application above will help producing a CD or a stick to boot from to do the diagnostics.


  26. 26rick said at 8:47 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    Hi Paul

    I ran all the tests already as well as the ones on the dell website i think it maybe the key board causing it to beep continuesly, does that make sence or should i be looking some were else. Thanks Paul

  27. 27rick said at 8:54 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    Hi Paul

    Ok i just opened the file you sent and I’ve never done this test before how does it work and which option is the easy way out lol thanks again.

  28. 28paul said at 9:14 pm on December 11th, 2010:

    You have to create either an USB boot stick or a bootable CD. Both one of these and run all the tests. Read information below each of these.

    The easiest way is using an empty usb drive if no empty CD is available.

  29. 29rick said at 12:13 am on December 12th, 2010:

    Hi Paul

    Thanks I updated the file and ran a test when it got to the keyboard test checking for sticky key it seemed to freeze at 25% as I waited and waited finally i pressed a button and tried the test again and the same thing happend so I’m guessing its the keyboard?. thank you so much for your help.

  30. 30Orlando said at 9:34 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    Yooo thank you so much. I have dell inspiron 1501 and it used to lag so bad on youtube when i played HD videos. But thanks to your tip it doesnt anymore. i was getting sick of it.

  31. 31Orlando said at 10:01 pm on April 25th, 2011:

    I wanted to ask something since u have alot of experience with this. I keep getting a display error, something about atikmdag stopped responding and then the screen turns black and then back to normal. It happens all the time usually when i play games or watch videos. And its really annoying. If u know how to fix it let me know, if you dont let me know too. I dont wanna get my hopes up. sorry for bad inglish

  32. 32paul said at 6:07 am on April 26th, 2011:

    You did not specified your windows version. But, if it’s Windows 7, is a common problem.
    I hope this helps.

  33. 33Mikael said at 7:44 am on May 28th, 2011:

    Disabling the service Ati hotkey poller solved the keyboard problem. Thanks a lot for writing the tip here!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  34. 34Grateful user said at 11:53 am on June 10th, 2011:

    Good work!
    Wish you success in new investigations πŸ™‚

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