Loss of Keyboard functionality in Visual Studio 2005 -- and a FIX!

Its funny but last night I installed IE 7, BETA 3 on my AMD x64 system running Windows Enterprise Server 2003 x64 Edition and just this morning I noticed an issue that had been reported back during BETA 2 of Visual Studio 2005 - all of a sudden in a Web Application project, the enter key, the F11 key (continue step through breakpoint), backspace and a couple others quit working. CTRL-V (Paste) and CTRL-C (Copy) etc. also don't work.

This has been described by Developers as "The Haunted Keyboard" bug, and was supposedly fixed after BETA 2. The only problem is, I'm getting to see the re-runs.

[NOTE: There is a FIX for this at the bottom of this post]

In fact, at first I thought it was my keyboard because it has a short cord and I've got it snaked behind the monitor, over the back of my desk, and then back up front under the desk to plug in the back of the CPU on the floor, and several times I"ve booted up in the past with no keyboard (probably from pulling on the stretched cord). So I went out and picked up a nice Microsoft USB keyboard and extender cord so there is no tension on the cord at all now.

But even after switching back to the original "supposedly broken" keyboard, I still have the same issues. Now - outside of Visual Studio 2005, both keyboards work great. I checked the Product Feedback Site on this and there are a whole group of issues along these lines, but they all seem to be fairly old. I'm posting this in the hopes that somebody else notices this and can definitively state that it's not "just a fluke" but a real issue that should be reported.

Incidentally, this issue has cropped up numerous times before- its been reported by Scott Hanselman, and Sean Laberee reports it - along with a fix - on his blog. Unfortunately, all the "fixes" don't work for me, yet...

NOTE: 7/6/2006: This is now FIXED. Thanks to the "What I Learnt at Work Today" MSDN blog.


The key to the fix is simple, and twofold:

  • Delete the contents of C:\Documents and Settings\<* user *>\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0

  • In VS2005, go to the Tools -> Import and Export settings... menu and Reset all settings

That's it! Don't ask me "why" this happens. Obviously, it probably has little to do with Internet Explorer-any version. Somehow the application configuration data in that folder is either getting corrupted, or the settings contain something that was never caught during the development cycle for Visual Studio.NET 2005. I just wish the communications in terms of having potential fixes or workarounds was better - will all the information found by anybody in one central place so developers and users can look it up. The product feedback site is a good start (yes, I *did* put the workaround in there), but not everybody uses it.