This is a weird issue I'm facing recently. I installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my laptop (Acer E 15 E5-571G-51XR) and it was doing pretty fine until a weird issue popped up roughly 3 weeks later. Whenever I would press the key T on my laptop keyboard, the current screen would freeze - cannot move the cursor, keyboard stops working - followed by a black screen (the screen doesn't turn off; I can see the backlight). Only thing I'm able to do is a forced power off (pressing the power key for sometime until the system powers down). Also, this behaviour is completely random; it does not happen every time I press T. It is just random. Can anyone help me with this weird situation?

Some more information on this,

  1. I got this issue on LiveCD too.
  2. Ubuntu 14.04 has a similar tale.
  3. I popped the T key, cleaned the membrane inside, kept it back. The issue persists.
  4. There's nothing printed about the freeze in dmesg or syslog. In fact, there are absolutely no entries in any of the logs from the time when the system freezes till it starts again.
  5. One interesting thing. When I turn on the laptop after the forced power down, it boots normally except on one screen where you actually see a terminal like view which prints the boot messages. On that screen, I can see a pattern being continuously printed as if someone has kept some key pressed. Something like this ^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@. And only when I press some other key, the stream stops.
  6. I got another USB keyboard and it didn't give me any issues so far. I guess it's related to the keyboard on the laptop.

It seems the issue was with the hardware membrane for the T key. I popped out the key, tried pushing the membrane hard (Ubuntu froze and got a black screen), tried lifting the membrane up a little, cleaned it. Since then, I didn't get any issues so far. It seems, moving the membrane a little bit did the trick.

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