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Dell Laptop Slow / Lagging / Delayed Keyboard Response


Permalink 12:50:33 am by guy, Categories: Windows

I recently bought a Dell Laptop to replace my old HP desktop. I did so very reluctantly, because I really prefer the full power of a desktop, but I wanted to be able to use the computer around the house instead of just my little office upstairs. Anyway, I bought an Inspiron 1705 and was initially incredibly disappointed with it’s performance. I have 2gig of RAM and a decent dual core processor, tons more powerful than my old desktop, but it was sluggish and seemed to pause for seconds at a time. The main symptom was that I would be typing, but it was as if my typing was faster than the computer could keep up with. Trust me, I am not even a good typist. It was as if all input would halt for 1 or 2 seconds at a time and then suddenly catch up.

I could go on and on about it, but I think I’ll skip to the chase. As usual, I was able to diagnose and fix the problem using the amazing and free utilities from SysInternals which is actually now part of Microsoft. If you are a sysadmin and you don’t have these tools then you probably NEED to, there is a good reason that Microsoft purchased this stuff. His tools are tools that Microsoft SHOULD have provided.

I checked CPU and Disk access using Process Explorer and found next to nothing going on. 1% cpu and no significant disk access.

My experience told me that this machine was fine but that there was a driver, service, or other process causing some kind of resource block. Honestly, I didn’t know the mechanism, I just knew it had to be a process. I figured I could reluctantly try the trial and error method and disable services and autostart processes until things started to work properly, but then I thought of a SysInternals utility that I recently had tried called DebugView. Using this utility you can view any debug output generated by any application (including Windows itself) running on your system. Very useful, especially for developers. On a whim I ran it and immediately found output that correlated with a process called the PCMService.exe. This is the output:

If you look at the output you will see several entries referring to this application. None of them are particularly scary looking or even indicate a problem, but I did recognize them as being associated with the Dell MediaDirect application that Dell installs on some laptops. I believe that it is what allows you to use the little multimedia buttons that I don’t use. This is just the kind of software, tightly integrated with hardware that might cause a problem like this. While this wasn’t really evidence since there was no evidence of an actual error occuring I decided to disable it and see what happened. How do you think I went about that? Yes, a SysInternals tool. AutoRuns. See partial output below highlighting the process in question. Autoruns is a tool that shows all the different processes that autostart on your system. It knows all the little places in the registry where autostart processes are kicked off and give you a list and the ability to disable any one of them. You simply uncheck the process that you don’t want to auto start.

I unchecked it, rebooted, and the problem immediately went away.

I hope this saves someone else having this problem.

UPDATE 12/28/2007:
I found another blog where someone else had a similar problem, they came to a conclusion that it had to do with Outlook Address book size. He found that as the contacts list grew the typing symptom got worse and worse. His initial conclusion was incorrect, but he followed up (in the comments section) with the same conclusion that I did, but with additional info from Dell. Apparently it has to do with the “Instant Office” module of the Media Direct tool. If you disable the instant Office function the problem should go away. The alternate solution is the same as mine, disable the PCMService.


Comment from: jason [Visitor] Email · http://www.hooverfitness.com
I was experiencing the same problem and I found this page, did the same stuff that you did, and it fixed it immediately. A very easy solution to something that I thought was going to be a nightmare like most computer problems are. Thank you very much for the help!
12/20/07 @ 12:47
Comment from: Hitesh [Visitor] Email
My wife using Dell laptop and slow response of keyboard started since few days. I spent hours and hours. Scanned for virus by Nortons 360, De-fragmented drives, change keyboard response, browsed webpages to find solutions but only solution that worked instantly was posted here, downloaded Sysinternals and disabled PCMService using Autorun. It worked. I am thankful to you. It was scarry nightmare. Thanks again.
06/22/08 @ 04:31
Comment from: Louis [Visitor]
Thank you for the tip!

I was having the same problem on my new Dell Vostro 1500, and it was driving me nuts.

I downloaded Autorun, unchecked the same program as you did, and my computer is now typing fine. (and my little volume keys and such on the outside of my laptop still work)

You're the best!
07/06/08 @ 20:37
Comment from: Cnajarian [Visitor]
Thank you! thank you! I thought I'd made a huge mistake buying a Dell -- the keyboard lag time was so terrible. I was on line (#31) waiting to converse with Dell support when I thought of searching the net and trying to fix the problem myself. I found this page and wow! I'm a fast typist -- it was taking me a 1/2 hour to write one email. I did as you instructed above and Voila! It cleared the problem immediately. Thank you!
07/10/08 @ 21:19
Comment from: Steve [Visitor]
This problme started on our Dell Laptop one day out of no where. We followed above procedure and problem solved! Even as I type this, no more lagging key strokes!
07/13/08 @ 06:26
I got a new Dell M1330 laptop a few weeks back, and this problem appeared on it as well. Disabling the Instant Office feature has fixed it.

I can't believe the original post was in Sep 2007, and a laptop shipped 1 month ago still has this problem???
08/14/08 @ 21:44
Comment from: Alvaro de Orleans [Visitor] Email
On my Dell 1530 (200 G 7200 rpm, T7800 2.6 GHz, GeForce 8600 GT) I had a similar problem, but I adopted a more radical 5 workhours solution: reinstalling Vista from scratch (just follow the good instructions offered by Dell), after formatting the hard disk and partitioning it for the Dell MediaDirect fast (non-Vista) start.

Results are so exceptional that I recommend it strongly. Boot from ON-buttonpushing to fully functioning Internet ADSL connection is 38 seconds (yes, that's zero minutes thirtyeight seconds). Probably the "Vista OS image" that Dell pre-loads in their PC has some problem.

After re-installation I avoided "pruning" the services etc., all things I always did in the past. Vista does not seem to need it, and the risk of unintended consequences seems far greater that the benefits. Just leave everything as much default as possible, but yes, do disable autoruns as much as possible, and use a real small-footprint antivirus such as ESET Nod-32.

One more detail never mentioned: please note that there are two different power supply modules for these Dell notebooks, a 65 and a 90 Watt. The computer "talks" to the module and gets its max power capability, and seems to reduce its max performance accordingly. I know, because I have both, and you can see in the BIOS that the PC knows and displays if it's a 65 or a 90 W it is getting power from. So, if you have a Dell with a GeForce video card AND if you order additional power supply modules, be sure to specify the 90 W ones, or you'll get a 90 W with the computer, and all extra ones will 65 W, causing, it seems to me, to make the PC slow down the way it does when running on batteries.
08/18/08 @ 07:59
Comment from: Mark Rinfret [Visitor] Email
Excellent solution! I have a Dell Inspiron E1705 running Vista 32-bit. I often use this system to remote control my other systems when I need a break from my computer room. Some time ago, in the not too distant past, I started experiencing erratic response. Naturally, I suspected networking issues, etc., etc. When I finally suspected it was a local problem, I initially suspected the hardware - and with good reason. My almost-3 granddaughter has shared her beverages with my system on a couple of occasions. :-( In desperation this morning, and in anticipation of having to buy a replacement keyboard, I actually removed the keyboard (and noticed a little pool of water under it - GACK!) and blew it out with some canned compressed air. On reboot, I opened a document in OpenOffice Writer to perform some tests. I noticed that keystrokes weren't being lost, but the timing of their appearance on-screen was very erratic. (This was actually better than what I anticipated, but still bad.) To eliminate the application as a suspect, I switched to WordPad - same results. I even tried a new registration entry related to the PS/2 keyboard driver (found at another site), with no change. LUCKILY, I stumbled across your fix! In fact, my next investigation was going to be a full virus scan, even though I considered the possibility of infection to be remote. After reading the comments here, I considered disabling the InstantOffice setting - for about 10 seconds - then realized I didn't need the !@#$%* PCMService. (In fact, I had disabled that on my other Dell systems!). The only time I've used MediaDirect on this system was by accident, though I did consider it a cool feature when I bought the machine. :-)

Anywho, I just wanted to take the time to say "Thanks!". You've likely saved me some buckaroos for an expensive and unnecessary replacement keyboard or additional hours searching the Web for a solution.

09/07/08 @ 07:28
Comment from: Steve [Visitor]
You're a God-send! I've just bought a Dell and have spent the last 3-4 hours chasing the lagging keyboard problem: Went into MediaDirect, disabled Instant Office - problem instantly fixed. How is it that Dell is still releasing machines with this problem, and for that matter, why is there not anything on their tech support website about it????????
09/27/08 @ 06:35
Comment from: Ken [Visitor]
You are the man! I have been trying to fix this problem for a couple months now off and on. I have a Dell vostro 1500 dual core 2.2Ghz with 4gb ram running winxp pro. I took another crack at it today and found your solution and applied it. works perfectly. I can't thank you enough for posting this and sharing it with the rest of us.
10/16/08 @ 08:14
Comment from: Kelley [Visitor]
THANK YOU!!! You are brilliant! I have been struggling with this keyboard lag on my Inspiron E1505 for, oh, about a year now. I have endlessly researched the web, tech sites, forums, talked endlessly to Dell support... and now suddenly here I am typing with letters showing up on the screen instantly. Just like a normal person. And I swear the entire system is running faster. Again, thank you so much!
10/26/08 @ 14:48
Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]
Although I have the same keyboard problem in my Inspiron 1501, PCMService or installOffice wasn't found. My solution was in "another blog" that you mentioned; it was disabling ATI Hot Key poller service.
Thank you very much for sharing this info.
11/04/08 @ 15:36
Comment from: Leadfoot [Visitor]
Kyle thank you so much. I just spent the last day reformatting etc.. to fix this same problem. I disabled the ATI Hot Key Poller service and all is fine now. Inspiron 1501 also. THank you Thank you Thank you
11/14/08 @ 14:46
Comment from: Smith [Visitor]
ATI Hot Key Poller service was the problem for. Thank-you so much - I can't believe how simple this was. FYI for others - I read a similar post where the Outlook Address Book (!?) was causing the same problem. I unchecked this as well when I restarted. Thanks again! This is brilliant!
11/15/08 @ 15:02
Comment from: Piper [Visitor]
On my vostro I went to Media Direct, then had to run through the set up gambit....then went to instant office and disable the instant office......Great result! No lag typing wooo hoooo!
11/20/08 @ 17:29
Comment from: Mark K [Visitor] · http://www.VisualizeFuture.com
Dell laptops with MediaDirect - to eliminate keyboard typing lag and hesitating
In Windows XP

In System Configuration Services - STOP PCMService.exe

Click Start -> Run
Type msconfig
This will launch the System Configuration Services
Go to Services tab - STOP PCMService.exe

Click Start -> Run
Type services.msc
This will launch the Windows XP services.
STOP PCMService.exe

11/29/08 @ 17:32
Comment from: bassalf [Visitor] Email
OK, i've searched the entier net for a sloution to this program.

My problem is; i dont got any thing named pcmservice nor media direct or instant offie.

I will be so glad if someone ould help me with this problem.. this delayed keyboard are killing me :S

Btw i have an Inspirion 1501.
12/10/08 @ 18:06
Comment from: Barbara Ford [Visitor] Email
Does anyone know if this "fix" also takes care of the erratic keyboard--mine does not lag, but rather the keyboard is erratic--for example, I can be typing along just fine (I'm fast), and suddenly the last three (or so) letters I type become inserted in a different place on the screen--perhaps in the middle of an earlier line of text, or perhaps in a box such as font size; and/or, the window in which I am typing suddenly disappears (becomes minimized, as if I have clicked on the minimize icon). I have a Dell Inspiron 1525.
12/13/08 @ 14:33
Comment from: Gary [Visitor]
I too found that disabling PCMService via MSconfig does fix the nasty keyboard lag problem on my E1705. I use
MediaDirect from time to time and it does not appear to have any negative affect.

12/14/08 @ 09:07
Comment from: guy [Member] Email
Barbara, I don't think this fix will do anything to fix the problem that you are referring to, but I do have a guess at what is happening. I'm not a super fast typist, but when using certain laptops I have always had problems similar to what you are describing. You'll be typing along and suddenly the insertion point changes or a large chunk of your text gets selected and since you are still typing it gets replaced. Very frustrating. If I'm right it is probably the touchpad mouse built into the laptop getting touched. I would recommend that you try an experiment of plugging in a USB mouse to the laptop and turning off (temporarily) the touchpad. Once you have done that then try to duplicate the problem. I think you'll find the problem goes away. I know that was my problem despite the fact that I insisted I wasn't touching the pad. Just try it.

If that turns out to fix your problem the I would play with the settings of the touchpad. The controls for it are in the System Tray (icons in the lower right corner of the Windows taskbar). Right click on the icon that says 'Synaptics Pointing Device' when you move the mouse over it. There are a lot of settings there that deal with the sensitivity of the touchpad. I wouldn't be suprised to find that the touchpad can actually be triggered without touching it if the sensitivity is high enough!

Good luck!
12/14/08 @ 09:16
Comment from: Dead [Visitor]
Strange. I had the same issue (well, a friend) and removing the battery from her Inspiron 1501 solved the lag issues immediately. I'll have to go back and see if this program is on her laptop.

And bassalf, if you're having the input lag and this fix doesn't work. Try removing your battery and running plugged into the wall.
12/15/08 @ 19:40
Comment from: Andrew [Visitor]
Yah I have the same slow response on my inspiron 1501 and I had recently had a fatal virus and had my memory wiped. I figured that should have fixed it right? Wrong the repair guy said it way because my battery basicaly was a resistor. It was taking power and just eating it and making heat. I am ordering a new battery soon and without the one in and simply running on A/C my keyboard is fine. Try that before disabling programs. If that doesn't work turn off the programs but my new battery is better than my current one was when i got it. Check out ebay for some nice and cheap ones O.K.?
12/30/08 @ 23:59
Comment from: Dharlee [Visitor]
Oh my goodness I want to thank you so so much for this! I have tried for MONTHS to figure this out. I am a gamer an this is annoying all the time, but most specially in gaming. The games I play typically use the "w, a, s, and d" keys for character movement and the lag seems to happen with about every 3 to 5 key movements. My character was constantly running off cliffs or running into other mobs and agroing them without my meaning to. Now game play is smooth as silk and i have this post to thank for it. Thanks!

01/16/09 @ 12:27
Comment from: Darren [Visitor] · http://www.mhmotorcycles.co.uk
You are an absolute hero. Many thanks. I've suffered with my Inspiron 6400 that can't keep up with my two fingered typing for longer than I can remember. I mentioned it to a mate who's a bit of a pc whizz who put me on to your webpage. 2 minutes to read, 30 seconds to stop PCMservices and I've got a laptop that now just laughs at the speed of my typing. Many many thanks.
01/21/09 @ 14:06
Comment from: Andrew [Visitor]
Thank you for this fix... I was getting very irritated at the lagging, but it's all fixed now, thanks a lot.
01/26/09 @ 11:44
Comment from: Tomas Hlustik [Visitor]
Just wanted to thank you for the tip. A LOT! This bug was real PITA and I didn't have any idea why is that... THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
01/29/09 @ 13:58
Comment from: LauraBee [Visitor]
Dead and Andrew,
Your suggestion to remove the battery was just what my laptop needed. I couldn't find the PCMservices or anything else that seemed to be providing the problem. I was so distressed--but after four hours of clearing caches and doing searches, I finally removed the battery and the fix was instantaneous. THANK YOU!
02/06/09 @ 06:58
Comment from: Rajkumar [Visitor]
Thanks a Lot... i was struggling a week with problem ..... i tried this solution by killing the process PCMService in task manager.. it really worked.. once again .. thanks....
02/07/09 @ 07:26
Comment from: David [Visitor]
I have a Dell XPS M1710, which I bought about 14 months ago. A few weeks ago, the keyboard started lagging, both when typing, and when scrolling in Explorer. I went through the usual procedures for speeding up my system, all to no avail. Then I found this URL; I downloaded Autoruns, ran it, unchecked PCMservice, rebooted, and -- hey presto -- no more keyboard lagging. Many thanks to the original contributor for this tip!

Of course there is still the puzzle: what caused this problem to manifest itself after 13 months of usage? During this period, PCMservice was presumably running all the time, but not affecting the keyboard. Maybe there is some other application or utility that is the catalyst?
02/24/09 @ 08:29
Comment from: Walt [Visitor]
Cheers guys.

I have been suffering for 5 days. Driving me nuts especially as I have been struggling to type numerous reports for work.

In my case, the symptoms started when I backed up my Sony Ericsson address book. I deleted everything to do with Sony - no help. I have spent hours on checks, registry checks, driver updates, disk defrag you name it.

Disabled the Office Function in MediaDirect - hey Presto! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

All happy now
03/08/09 @ 13:59
Comment from: vray [Visitor]
I find it amazing that this problem has been going on for more than 2 years. I bought a Dell 1525 a few weeks ago and noticed the same symptoms. I happened to have killed PCMService.exe in the Task Monitor while I was idly trying to figure out what the problem was, and presto - the problem went away.

I placed a service call to Dell, but that was useless and went nowhere. All the tech wanted to do was close the case and move on, he didn't care if his product was using defective software. Same with Cyberlink support - obviously the support services are all outsourced overseas to techs who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground and only have a vague grasp of the English language.

Yeah, I'm bitter that I bought a Dell and had to suffer through a horrible performance problem with no help from the hardware or software vendors who sold me this pile of crap. Based on this experience, I will not be buying another Dell.
03/11/09 @ 13:53
Comment from: James [Visitor]
Just wanted to say thanks to whomever it was that started this thread. I can't believe how easy it was to follow and how simple the problem was. I've had my Dell Vistro laptop for about 1 1/2 years and the problem just kept getting worse. Now I can not only work with out any problems but also play games without them freezing up on me. Thanks.
03/12/09 @ 04:39
Comment from: Nick Western. [Visitor] Email · http://nigsego.wordpress.com/
I too just want to say thanks to whomever it was that started this thread.
I've had my 'Dell Vostro 1700' laptop for about a year. It was so bad that I really thought about changing it! Playing online was virtually impossible.
Now I can not only work without any problems but also play online like I can with my PC.

The way I solved this problem was:

In System Configuration Services - STOP PCMService.exe

Click Start -> Run
Type 'msconfig'
This will launch the System Configuration Services
Go to 'Startup' tab - STOP (by un-checking the box) 'PCMService.exe'

Re-boot. Problem solved!

Again, THANK YOU. It's like having a new laptop :)
04/01/09 @ 08:23
Comment from: Mark [Visitor] Email
I'm using a toshiba and this problem is a nightmare but no PCMservice listed in sysinternals utility. Taken 5mins to type this!!!! only happens on online...please help!
04/08/09 @ 03:19
Comment from: Mark [Visitor]
removing batt made no diff....also no instant office showing in sysinternals either!
04/08/09 @ 03:23
THIS IS WHAT I NEED.... I have Dell Vostro 1000, after 11 months, this typing problem happened. I try, to use anti virus, reinstalled OS, try to find PCM service.... Not found and finally remove the battery... PROBLEM SOLVED BIG thank you for this blog, topic and everybody who contribute comments... GREAT JOB...
04/08/09 @ 15:02
Comment from: Ros Kanter [Visitor] · http://www.lotcamping.com
I have suffered terribly from delayed keyboard response ever since I purchased my Dell Inspiron 6400. Thanks to my step son suggesting I search Google for a solution, I found the answer from Guy's Randoms Support. After down loading the SysInternals tool 'AutoRuns' and unchecking 'PCMservice' the problem is fixed. Thank you so much.
04/12/09 @ 06:22
Comment from: Robin N [Visitor] Email
We replaced the keyboard on our Inspiron E1705 because of sticky keys. The problem continued, and after reading the ideas here, I went to SysInternals tool AutoRuns. But I could not find PCMservice as one of the items to uncheck. What am I missing?
04/15/09 @ 12:16
Comment from: Zena [Visitor] Email
Thank you all, this problem was killing me, I reformatted my Dell Vostro three times but unfortunately the problem wasn’t fixed; I tried to disable the PCM Service but I couldn’t find it. Before trying anything else I read about the battery solution in the comments, it was like magic, my problem solved completely.
Thanks again and good luck
04/18/09 @ 04:15
Comment from: Dyko [Visitor]
Has anyone with the lag, who has ordered a new battery, had the lag disappear with the new battery?
05/01/09 @ 12:30
Comment from: Ian Flesher [Visitor]
I wish I’d read this a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been trying to fix my Dell Inspiron 1501 of an annoying time lag which was so intermittent. Tried System Restore as far back as possible, no change. Tried Dell System Restore, no change. Tried reinstallation twice, no change. Finally removed battery and hey presto all well…… put battery back in and back came the problem. I have no idea how the battery can effect the speed of the keyboard response even when it’s running on the mains but it definitely does. It’s a new battery for my laptop….. problem fixed…!!
05/08/09 @ 07:56
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]
Works perfectly. I've been searching for a solution for the past months and had actually accepted that this is a DELL/Vista issue. Tried your solution and works like a charm. Thanks for a very useful post.
05/12/09 @ 18:52
Comment from: Brandon [Visitor]
had the same problems on my wife's inspiron 1501 and reinstalled the OS tonight figuring the kids downloaded some s/w when playing on it that caused the problem. After that did not fix it, I started searching the web and ran across removing the battery. Presto, fixed it!
06/04/09 @ 19:50
Comment from: Richard [Visitor]
I wish I had read to the bottom of the thread before trying anything.... My wife's Vostro 1000 started keyboard delays after 3 years of fine use. Used autoruns etc and cleaned up everything but still had the problem. Several hours into solving the problem later I re-read the thread and for me it was the ATIlogger that caused the issue, but the battery has been playing up too.

Learnt a lot... Thanks to everyone!! Happy wife, happy me!!
06/07/09 @ 07:26
Comment from: Geoff [Visitor]
This problem has been plagueing me for over 12 months on my Dell XPS M1330.
I disabled the damn PCM Service and the Vista slow keyboard problem was fixed immediately. I was ready to reinstall the laptop with Vista.
I doubt I'll be buying a Dell again after this debacle!

06/20/09 @ 11:39
Comment from: Oliver [Visitor]
thank you very much! stupid PCMservice! You fixed my problem! Dell extended service wanted to charge me 69 bucks to fix the same problem!
06/21/09 @ 11:19
Comment from: Gary [Visitor]
This problem just started for me today, it was driving me crazy. I found this site and stopped the PCM Service and ATI hotkey, but it didn't work. The I removed the battery and ran it via the power outlet and have no more problems. Thanks!!
06/22/09 @ 10:01
Comment from: Mark [Visitor]
ATI Hotkey Poller was slowing mine with bad battery in. new battery would fix also.
07/11/09 @ 08:40
Comment from: Lame Steed [Visitor]
Hi to all Dell laptop owners who faced OS lags (keyboard, usb devices, system tray messages etc.) after using the laptop about a year or more. Here is a simple way to resole these troubles without removing the battery and disabling ATI hotkey polling service.

goto Start menu -> Control panel -> System
Choose Hardware tab and click Device Manager
Find Batteries section and expand it. Choose Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, right click and select Disable.

That's all. This actions will not prevent the system to recharge the battery so you may continue using your old battery and get rid of annoying lags at the same time.

IMHO when battery became old, battery controller starts sending events (like "bad battery") to the system and the number of such events depends on battery age. System event manager tries to handle all these hight priority events so it can lead to lags in service of other system events (keybouard or mouse input, messages from usb devices etc.) as it spends less time for them.

Best regards to all!
07/13/09 @ 09:59
Comment from: Billy [Visitor]
This was so helpful, I called Dell and they kept telling me it was other issues when I knew it wasn't, then they wanted to charge me $600 to run a check on my internet connection to see if my internet was slow, I was on Fios, and not only that, but the computer is only 3 months old. A friend showed me this site, performed the steps, and my computer has been working fine ever since. Thank you so much.
07/17/09 @ 09:23
Comment from: syl [Visitor]
I was having problems with keyboard delay issues after a recent reformat / reinstall of windows.
After disabling ATI hotkey poller, the delay went away.
07/18/09 @ 11:52
Comment from: Shannon [Visitor]
I cannot even begin to thank you for passing the information
along about the PCMService problem.
I'm actually crying i am so happy. This problem has made
me miserable for the past 5 months!
07/23/09 @ 20:34
Comment from: Shannon [Visitor]
And now the audio buttons on my computer work again!!!!!
07/23/09 @ 21:17
Comment from: Javier Barcena [Visitor]
Great! Genius! Aplausos!

hehe well done! Thanks
07/25/09 @ 11:01
Comment from: Ros Otzen[visitor] [Visitor] Email
This probem has shown up on my DELL Inspiron which is 1 week old - so the battery should be OK, but perhaps only when online. Machine has VISTA ;-(
Where do I find PCMService.exe ot the ATI hotkey poller.
07/29/09 @ 04:14
Comment from: Ros Otzen[visitor] [Visitor]
The problem has appeared on my 1 week old Inspiron. Wherer do I find PCMService and/or ATI hotkey poller
07/29/09 @ 04:17
Comment from: jennifer [Visitor]
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Tough to write a research paper when your computer can't keep up with you!
07/31/09 @ 16:43
Comment from: mahli [Visitor]
thank you!! i hope this works. how do i know when its done scanning my compuer though?
08/14/09 @ 00:28
Comment from: Ruth [Visitor]
Thanks much everyone! Been trying to fix my husband's Vostro1000 for 2 months. I've reloaded the OS twice and followed every blog recommendation I could find. What worked? I removed his battery! That was it! I knew it wouldn't charge anymore but it was also causing keyboard and system response delays! :) I am so relieved.
08/16/09 @ 19:57
Comment from: cindy [Visitor]
This is my second Dell and having issues typing without it deleting everything while I am typing. Would doing the following fix that? What am I disabling? What was it for? Scared to diable until I understand what it was for. I am not technical at all though. Thanks,

goto Start menu -> Control panel -> System
Choose Hardware tab and click Device Manager
Find Batteries section and expand it. Choose Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, right click and select Disable.

08/23/09 @ 16:37
Comment from: ibraham [Visitor]
I have a strange problem. Once I boot my PC and log on to a user, there is a press of key "S" continuously. eg. when I open a doc, Char S is typed on its own. Same with all applications. Can someone help to remove this.
08/23/09 @ 20:12
Comment from: paul [Visitor]
Thanks! I removed AT hotkey poller and it fixed the problem. This is just amazing to type properly. thank you!
09/01/09 @ 16:26
Comment from: micah [Visitor]
i have the same problem, but there is no ATI hotkey poller or PCM Service on my laptop. I disabled the battery thing but it didnt make any difference, are there any other solutions??
09/04/09 @ 15:52
Comment from: dale [Visitor]
I have an issue where the N, U, and H keys won't work unless I hit them over and over. Problem started when I plugged in a USB mouse. Keypad also works sporadically. Geeksquad ran HW diags and said everthing is fine. Not hardly. Any ideas anyone?
09/27/09 @ 12:40
Comment from: Scott Clancy [Visitor]
Disable ATI HotKey probe in Winxp services if it's a dell computer running winxp.
10/12/09 @ 11:15
Comment from: Roberta Colnago [Visitor] · http://www.robertacolnago.com.br
Thanks for solving my problem. My keyboard is fine once again.
10/15/09 @ 19:18
Comment from: Lou [Visitor]
A HUGE Thank You!

They were about to try to reinstall Windows and wipe out
the whole drive first - on Dell Vostro 1700 - to see if it would help.

I tried removing the battery first - but nope.
Disabled pcmservice.exe - and voila!

If only the techs had typed in "vostro 1700 slow keyboard"
and found your helpful page :).

I found the "offender" by typing msconfig command in Run...
and then... under the Services tab.

Thank you!
10/21/09 @ 22:08
Comment from: christy [Visitor]

there is no pcm.services.exe on 1 week old dell inspiron???

wht do iu do?????????
10/24/09 @ 08:17
Comment from: Yasar [Visitor]
My friend,
who give the solution with autoruns tool, I have no media direct (PCM services) installed but I am having exactly the same problem with windows vista business edition 32-bit, my laptop is 6400 inspiron with 1.73 ghz processor and 1gig ram. The problem was solved when i detach the laptop keyboard wire (inside the body) and plug it again. It start working for a few days but the keyboard become dead slow again. even though the keyboard inside wire is tightly attached. Please recommend me some helpful solution. I will be really grateful.
11/01/09 @ 07:04
Comment from: Rodney [Visitor] Email
What a relief!!!. I have been fighting this problem for a long time and no one seemed to know how to fix it. Tried the solution regarding PCM Service and bingo, problem solved. Thank you!!!
11/13/09 @ 10:41
Comment from: James [Visitor] Email
I had the same problem and it was especially slow in Gmail, and also when I entered passwords in IE.
Disabling the PCM service helped for a day or so then became painfully slow again.
(I have a brand new XPS M1530 with only Office 2007 installed so it could not really be any vagrant software)

AS this problem only happened when I was on the web (ie on Internet Explorer - I have V8) I decided to download Safari as a web browser, and uninstalled IE 8.

Since then I had no problems. Perhaps worth a try....
11/18/09 @ 15:53
Comment from: Eamonn Duffy [Visitor]
Thank you very much for this.

I tried the Instant Office approach and it worked and then I re-enabled it and went for disabling PCMService and that worked as well, with no discernable negative impact on my laptop (and the special media keys still work). Result.

Whilst it took a while to find this page, I am sure glad I did.

Thank you again, very, very much.
11/18/09 @ 16:08
Comment from: Kate [Visitor] Email
Hi - I have a 2 month old Dell Studio XPS laptop and I really struggle when typing online as it jst misses out letters - gmail is impossible to use and passwords are really difficult. Dell replaced th keyboard but it has not solved the problem - Th laptop is ew so battery isn't old and I have searched for PCMService but I don't seem to have that on this laptop - any other ideas ? This is impossible to bear. Thanks
11/26/09 @ 05:29
Comment from: rob [Visitor]
We also had this problem on a dell inspiron - although the keyboard delay was confined to hotmail. The solution for us was to un-install the skype internet add-ons (just through control panel). For some reason they seemed to be creating the delay in hotmail.
11/29/09 @ 12:51
Comment from: Kate [Visitor]
Thanks Rob - I've just done this and can already see a difference in googlemail and typing online - thank you so much - would never have thought of this. Let's hope it lasts. Kate
11/30/09 @ 07:04
Comment from: Lynsey [Visitor] Email
I hve had the same problem with my dell laptop, I have follwed both of the suggestions on this page and it still hasn't worked! It seems to be fixing for th first few lines and then falling back into sticking an catching up! Most of the text is indecipherable, or missing! I have Vista, I have disabled the instant office app an everythin else suggested. Please help, its beginning to really boil my blood! Thanks
12/16/09 @ 10:23
Comment from: Wendy [Visitor] Email
I got a new Dell laptop this past July and there were so many problems with it that they had to send me a new laptop (different model & color than was actually ordered - they told me I should be happy they were actually sending a new one out) by August because of all the component issues. They also provided me with extra attitude and frustration free of charge. By the time the keyboard problems began in Sept, I was resigned to having to live with it because Dell could give two poops about people spending enormous amounts of money with them (even with an extended 3 yr warranty). I have been cutting and pasting e-mails and docs together when I used my laptop until I found this site today. I couldn't find the PCM or AT hotbutton when I ran the AutoRuns tool BUT I did try the other method recommended above even though my battery isn't that old.

goto Start menu -> Control panel -> System
Choose Hardware tab and click Device Manager
Find Batteries section and expand it. Choose Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, right click and select Disable.

It seems to be making a difference but I am still struggling to type out a 2-line e-mail without it taking 17 min. I really appreciate all the guidance offered on this site because my laptop was becoming more of a paperweight than a tool since there has been no point to using it! If anyone knows how to disable the PCM/ATI on a new Dell, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for putting this info out there. I just don't understand why Dell wouldn't be able to give out info like this though. I truly appreciate the good people out there who are sharing all their knowledge so people like me don't lose our minds! THANKS again and Happy Holidays!!
12/22/09 @ 10:54
Comment from: frank [Visitor]
I was having the same problem on my daughters 4 month old dell studio laptop, running vista with interner explorer 7. Another site I tried suggested resetting interner explorer.
Resetting IE solved the problem.

to reset
open ie
go to tools
internet option
advanced tab
this will reset ie to its orignal settings

go luck
12/23/09 @ 15:26
Comment from: April [Visitor]
You freaking rock. I have been having this issue for a few weeks now and was on the verge of just buying a new laptop. All the other forums really didn't give me good information. I appreciate you letting the rest of us know what you did to work, so we wouldn't have to deal too much with the heartache/headache. Thanks again!
01/07/10 @ 07:59
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This totally solved my keyboard delay problem! I was becoming SO frustrated!! Yipee!
01/07/10 @ 19:06
Comment from: Alex [Visitor]
I want to thank the person who started this discussion and took the time to make screenshots and describe the problem and steps in detail. I was wrecking my brain for 2 days trying to fix things on my laptop before I stumbled upon this thread. On my laptop, it turned out to be both of the described problems, the "dead" battery and the PCMService.
01/10/10 @ 08:17
Comment from: Grandma Lucia [Visitor]
I have been so frustrated with keyboard skipping ( first month ) and keyboard lagging /unresponsive ( 1 year later)- especially while using emails to communicate with my grandkids. And I called DELL supports ( with 3 years warranty purchase) with our new Vista Laptop Inspiran 1525, they often pushed the problems to SOFTWARE category and demanded more service fee ( $59 -$139 ) for checking - fixing. And they are NOT even sure what is the reason for this keyboard problems. ( virus?? or other softwares? )
Being a not-very-hi-tech senior citizen, I read your whole column here and tried resetting the Explorer Internet 7 - Tool ... Reset method (from Frank, 12/23/09) ,. And it works like magic within 10 minutes! Thank you, thank you very much for your REAL support!
01/10/10 @ 21:20
Comment from: Gene [Visitor]
Great Mate.... Youre the Saviour....... Thanks a lot.
01/12/10 @ 01:20
Comment from: Maggie [Visitor]
Thanks so much for the advice even a novice like me managed to fix my keyboard problem :)
01/14/10 @ 01:44
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]
Who knew there could be so many different solutions to the one general problem. Why do laptops do this? Or is it something that affects desktops too? The unistall of Skype web options worked for me. Tried most of the other tricks first though without success.
01/16/10 @ 22:14
Comment from: Margaret [Visitor]
The reason there are so many answers is probably that the symptom of lagging keystrokes is usually caused by the system being too busy with something else. The something else can vary. Obviously, PCM service (Media Direct Instant Office feature) and ATI Hotkey Poller were common culprits. It sounds plausible that frantic messages about battery status may have also been distracting your laptop. Resetting Internet Explorer clearly got rid of some conflict that had your system going in circles rather than relaying your keystrokes. These computers are really complex and the number of combinations of hardware and software and individual settings is mind boggling. We are so luck that some people have the patience and knowledge to work through their problem and share their solutions with the rest of us. Thanks to all of you!!
01/21/10 @ 08:28
Comment from: dooroy [Visitor]
Thank you Guy Jackman!!! I only wish I found this site much sooner. My wife's Dell Inspiron 1501 had the same issues with the keyboard. Total reinstall of Windows XP temporarily fixed it though it returned. Re-installed everything from scratch again today as I now had the boot disc from Dell. Anyway, at first, things were fine. I allowed windows to autoupdate and somewhere in there after one of the reboots, the problem was back.

I could not find the PCMservice using autoruns but I did find the ATI hotkey poller. Unchecked the ATI, rebooted, and here I am, typing lag free. Man, I love google searches. I should just use them more often. She runs like she's brand new.
01/23/10 @ 18:22
Comment from: dooroy [Visitor]
As per my earlier link, unchecking ATI HotKey Poller helped quite a bit. Still a little slow re: menu bars opening up. Disabled the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery in the device manager (the battery is toast, waiting for a new one) and she works even better. That last step has resolved the menu bars issue.

Thanks again for the useful information on this site.
01/24/10 @ 09:10
Comment from: Daniel [Visitor]
NEW CAUSE/FIX found. Description below. Summary - killed ATI2evxx.exe process and problem went away immediately.

Thanks to all on this thread for all the help!

I am very technical. We recently received a laptop which seemed ok for a while. We did not use it often.

I recently started working on it for a new employee and the machine Inspiron 1501 with XP had the key lagging problem. I'm not sure where it came from. I found this page and tried all the suggested items but none seemed to work.
- PCM**** - not even installed
- rootkit reveal - nothing unusual
- task manager - low cpu and low memory usage - all ok there
- sysinternals debug view would not show processes - no help
- tried msconfig.exe and disabled all but the most essential startup items
- killed the ATI tasks for Mom.exe and CCC.exe - no help
- found the atihotkey service in MSCONFIG - disabled but no better
- disabled all ATI stuff - no help
- instead was able to get with ProcMon.exe
- tons of stuff in that listing - too much but I saw ATI2evxx.exe showing up
- went into Task manger and killed it - VIOLA no more lag

How I tested the lagging.
- open a notepad file
- hit a key and see if it lagged
- during the problem it would lag for a period and then catch up and have no lag for a short while (10 to 15 characters) then it would lag again.

- the only thing I can figure is that this must be an interaction with a windows update which caused the ATI program to start acting badly. Either that or the problem was there all along and we didn't notice before. (I doubt that.)

- problem was not noticed through about end of September 2009
- problem was noticed when we started trying to use the machine again around 1/20/2010
01/29/10 @ 10:00
Comment from: steve [Visitor]
AWESOME! WOW! My wife has had a slow Dell Inspiron keyboard since day one and she recently remarked that she thought I had set it up with a slow response as she was learning to to use the computer. I wondered about it and gave it a try, thoroughly frustrated with the lag within a couple minutes. I can't believe she put up with it for the last couple years. Anyway after trying lots of things and lots of failures of several hours, I discovered this during a random search for a solution. Once I got the Instant Office function turned off (didn't even know that software was there) VOILA PRESTO!!! IT WORKS!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
03/05/10 @ 16:56
Comment from: lina li [Visitor]
Thanks! I happened to me when it is still under warranty. Called up dell and they sent a technician to check. Technician came with a new battery. Test new battery on my Inspiron 1501, problem solved! But battery is not under extended warranty and i need to buy the battery. Decided not to buy and live without battery for many months. Randomsupport helped me or else i will be spending RM320(quoted by dell) for a new battery.
04/21/10 @ 00:47
Comment from: Janet [Visitor]
My slow key response started about the time I downloaded Skype. I uninstalled "Skype web features" and kept just Skype, which fixed my slowness problem. To uninstall it, go to Settings, Control Panel, Programs/Uninstall a program, choose Skype Web features and uninstall.
05/08/10 @ 08:24
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
Wow! Worked for me!
05/13/10 @ 22:04
Comment from: Marc [Visitor]
If you don't have PCMService in your list of services, you may find it in the task manager running as a regular process -- Image Name "PCMService.exe" with the Descrption "Cyberlink PowerCinema." In this case, go to msconfig.exe, select 'Startup' tab and disable the 'Cyberlink PowerCinema' program. Apply your changes and reboot. The problem should be resolved. If you don't want reboot, you can go ahead and kill the process in task manager -- it worked for me. Good luck and thanks to the original poster for resolving this issue!
06/13/10 @ 01:34
Comment from: Raghu [Visitor]
Thanks a bunch. I was facing this problem for my DELL laptop from the last 6 months and I thought there might be some Virus, got a new McCafe AV, but still problem persisted. Your suggestion of installing the Autoruns, and removing some logons really made my Laptop very fast. Thank you very much.

I am still wondering why DELL is not giving any solution for this.
06/20/10 @ 12:04
Comment from: Julz [Visitor]
Thanks. The battery removal worked for an end-user at my company. He put the battery back in and everything was still Ok. Very odd problem and fix....
06/21/10 @ 14:58
Comment from: JJK [Visitor]
Awesome. I'm glad it was so simple. Was so annoying, not just when typing essays but also for playing games.

06/21/10 @ 23:18
Comment from: steve [Visitor]
Wow, this solves my Vostro 1700 slow keyboard problem that I have had for over two years since I bought it in March 2008.

Thank you.
07/01/10 @ 22:28
Comment from: Ron Clark [Visitor]
The Media Direct Office solution appears to be working for me.

What a nightmare trying to find the solutions. I have disabled many things, ran scans, etc and not now I can
work effectively again on my laptop.

Thanks for the solution. Perhaps Dell should ensure a google search will find this solution for intermittent keyboard problems for laptops.
07/09/10 @ 01:04
Comment from: riya [Visitor]
dell inspiron 1300 Laptop keyboard just started typing VERY slow.. Letters are taking a LONG time to show up onto screen...?makes a tuk tuk sound when i press or when the key appears.....no solution yet.....plz help......i hav no technical knowledge.....tried autorun/spybot/...not worked...removed batteries..no use.....couldn find pcm service/ati hotkey/instant office as well....plz help u will be my live saver....
07/21/10 @ 08:41
Comment from: Xoua [Visitor]
Thanks so much for the tip. I used autorun as you stated and it worked. Hopefully it will be all. Thanks again!
07/21/10 @ 15:55
Comment from: Cheap Dell Laptop [Visitor]
I was also facing the same problem as my input was displaying in a gaps of some seconds or soo. It disturbs a lot while working. Thanks a lot for such great tip.

08/06/10 @ 16:19
Comment from: Acer [Visitor]
Hey all, I didn't have this exact problem but a similar one. I bought my daughter a Acer laptop so I could get on my computer and it was her birthday. At first it looked like the keyboard wasn't responding. I looked for a lock. No lock except it seemed the keyboard would respond to some functions. I looked for a conflicting process (service) but everything there seemed normal. I rebooted the computer and the password typed find, but after the login the same behavior occurred. Apparently the problem software related and not a hardware issue. I then noticed if I held down a key for about over second and a letter appear. I couldn't find a controls that would slow the keyboard response this long. Rather than reinstall the OS to get around the problem, I decided to create a new profile and viola! I'll try to find the exact problem but for now I'm letting my daughter use a new profile.
08/12/10 @ 08:37
Comment from: Giri.. [Visitor]
Thank you very much for ur help..me too faced same prob..i came through this page,then i fallowed the procedure as u told..i unchecked some of auto run applications..then my laptop working properly..

thank u very much ..
08/22/10 @ 12:36
Comment from: JB [Visitor]
a massive thanks to the guy decent enough to share his solution to a mind bending problem!!! this problem has been on my v1700 for a long time should have looked at this thread earlier!!!

many thanks
08/25/10 @ 15:08
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]

Who'd have thought disabling "Instant Office" (now there's an ironic name) would fix this?

08/27/10 @ 10:48
Comment from: RAO [Visitor]
I bought Inspiron9300 17'' laptop in 2005 and am in India now. Two years ago, 3 vertical blank bands appeared on the screen. The fault was isolated to the LCD screen. Since it was in Warranty, DELL India promptly sent their rep with a new LCD screen and connecting cable and changed them. Was so thrilled with their after sales service. That turned out not very longlived. About a month ago a blank vertical band of about 4" has come on the right extreme of the screen! However the 4 years warranty has expired in Oct 09. DELL wants me to replace the same items now at a hefty cost!! Is the life of the Screen/connector only 2 years? Any expert can guide me is there any other technical poroblem with the Video card/power supplies etc. which could cause this? Thanks a million.
08/30/10 @ 22:43
Comment from: Jay [Visitor]
This is a great fix for lagging problems. However it did not fix my problem with my Inspiron E1705, I had to remove the battery and then suddenly the laptop began to work again!!! Great program though!
10/03/10 @ 14:24
Comment from: Chester [Visitor] Email
Thank you all for sharing. I disabled Instant Office and the problem was instantly solved.

I had a Dell XPX M1210 for over 4 years and it worked fine till last week.

Out of the blue my keyboard started to lag something terrible. Tried about a dozen suggested fixes from other forums to no avail but I never suspected Media Direct could be the cause as I had used this app before with no problems.

Dell must have recently updated Media Direct with this buggy feature.

Once again, than you for sharing.
10/17/10 @ 19:26
Comment from: Joe D. [Visitor] · http://www.dell.com
I had the same problem; Dell leptop keyboard was delayed when typing and often had to hit the same key several times in order to get it to type the letter. I went to the Dell website and updated the Bios. Works fine now :-)
10/28/10 @ 11:25
Comment from: Joshua [Visitor]
Thanks a lot .. This saved a lot of time for me ..
11/12/10 @ 20:52
Comment from: James [Visitor] Email
I have a 3-yr old Dell XPS M1210 laptop, with lag on keystrokes (esp backspace) getting worse over time.

Couldn't find PCMservices.exe using Autoruns, but then disabled Instant Office in Media Direct instead, as suggested in another contribution above and hey-presto! Bug fixed. No battery removal or Mic'soft ACPI-compliant control method battery jigging required.

Of interest, then followed another suggestion above (gotta love this thread...) and found PCMservices.exe through Task Manager, and 'End Processed-ed' it anyway, for good measure.

2 questions: A) any other way to identify how PCMservices.exe is loading (no Cyberlink Powercinema to be found either, as in another suggestion above); and B) any drawback to using Remove Programs to delete Media Direct completely? I don't think I use it at all...

Again, many thanks to all who have taken the time to work out these solutions to a problem that seems to have been going on for years. In the meantime, anyone seen a fix or update from Dell...?


12/07/10 @ 06:37
Comment from: Curtis [Visitor]
Hey, thanks for the information!!! I've been dealing with horrible keyboard lag for months!! I'm using a Toshiba laptop, and the exe file that created my problem was PMSpeed.exe
02/02/11 @ 17:40

Comments are closed for this post.

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I'm a generalist, at least if I'm honest. In my job I am primarily a developer, but also a sysadmin, and (as little as possible) technical support. I know a little about a lot of things, a lot about some things, and everything about nothing. Here I will post random learnings...


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