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While trying to figure out another crash on a new HP Probook 4340s, Ubuntu 12.04, I noticed my syslog was getting continuously spammed by this:

Jan 14 06:50:02 localhost kernel: [ 1070.536686] atkbd serio0: Unknown key pressed (translated set 2, code 0xa7 on isa0060/serio0).
Jan 14 06:50:02 localhost kernel: [ 1070.536693] atkbd serio0: Use 'setkeycodes e027 <keycode>' to make it known.

This was happening every second or so and one of those things that once you know it, drives you nuts :| I hunted around and tried:

  • a power reset trick suggested in another thread (apparently it can be some battery or power event);
  • removing the wireless keyboard I'm using;
  • disabling all kinds of stuff in the BIOS (fingerprint reader, wireless switch etc)

but they still continued.

Then unplugged everything and took my laptop to another room to continue tinkering... and it stopped. After some trial and error, it seems to be down to the very specific angle of the stand that it sits on on my desk. It stops when flat, and stops when at a steeper angle. Even just raising it a few degrees reduces the frequency to, say, every 15 seconds.

I thought some flex in the case may be spuriously firing another key, but it doesn't register in xev, and all the other hotkeys seem to work as expected.

  • Does anyone have any idea what kind of sensor/hardware could cause this event? AFAIK the machine doesn't have a tilt sensor or anything...

  • Failing that - can I somehow ignore this scancode so it doesn't keep filling my log?

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I think the problem must be a G-sensor, that is of course if your laptop is equipped with one.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the reply - I did wonder that but it's a fairly ordinary machine and not touted with shock protection - I wasn't sure how commonplace it is? Is there any way to confirm this is the case and, if it's harmless enough, suppress them from my syslog? It makes it rather unwieldy to browse... – Matthew Jan 14 '13 at 9:53

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