External KeyPad Jumps into NumLock Mode since...

I am not saying it was because of upgrading to Webroot SecureAnywhere Essentials but I never noticed it prior. I read about the wireless keyboard issue but not wired. Just figured I would throw this out as a possibility?

OK - I have tried this with two different external Microsoft Keyboards.

1. I will be using my keyboard and bouncing between keys and keypad. I normally just use the DEL key on the KeyPad for the most part. All of a sudden, I will hit the DEL key and a period comes up as if it changed into NumLock mode. As a matter of fact, all the KeyPad keys work as they should as if I had it in NumLock Mode without the NumLock indicator being lit on keyboard. I tried hitting the NumLock key to get it back to normal but nothing changes - it is as though it is stuck in NumLock mode. I might add - when I do hit NumLock - the indicator will come on and when I hit it again - the NumLock indicator light goes out but it seems to still be in NumLock Mode.

2. I thought it was a tired keyboard so bought a new one (Microsoft Natural to Microsoft Keyboard Pro) and after a while - it does the same exact thing.

3. I changed USB ports with the same result after a little use.

4. I found that rebooting corrects the problem for a while. I also found that by putting my laptop into sleep mode and waking it up - clears the problem for a while.

5. I ran a complete virus scan, etc. - nothing found.

Now, if I just ignore it for an hour or so the Keypad will start working properly - could it be Webroot is hitting the server's and updating? I am at a loss.

Best answer by JimM 15 January 2013, 23:29

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51 replies

Userlevel 4
Hi vpnavy,

First, I would like to welcome you to the Webroot Community!

As a general response to the issue that you are having with your keyboard(s), the fact that you changed to a different Microsoft keyboard and are still experiencing the same issue, leads me to believe that this may have something to do with the keyboard drivers and the keyboard software. Although SecureAnywhere does use the cloud, the amount of data passed between the cloud and your PC is very minimal and would not normally cause this type of problem.

Although you say that SecureAnywhere has not found any infections, I would ask that you please check the Quarantine folder to make sure that. there are no files that were flagged and then moved into the Quarantine that you may not have noticed.  If there are files in there we would want to check and make sure that none of the files are associated with the keyboard.
You can access the Quarantine by selecting the "PC Security" tab in the main SecureAnywhere UI, then select the "Quarantine" tab at the top of the window. Next, choose "View Quarantine." Please report back to us and let us know if there are any files in there.

I would also suggest that you run Windows Update to ensure you have the latest patches from Microsoft applied, and to also make sure that you are using the latest software for your keyboard.

Thank you,

Userlevel 7
It comes down to the basic but extremely sad fact that the protection offered by the Identity Shield cannot operate without making an arbitrary choice about the state of the Num Lock function.  Windows itself does not provide (or specifically programmatically expose) the needed functionality to do otherwise.
It is in no way a matter of not wanting to take the issue seriously, nor that there are "not enough complaints".  It's just not physically possible to "fix" because it's technically not our bug.  Trying to fix it is as programmatically impossible as trying to help people with a complaint that Webroot has a file on the computer.  Can't run a program without a file.  Can't detect the desired state of the Num Lock because Windows refuses to tell us.
Since Windows doesn't say what the Num Lock state is reliably, we have to make an educated guess.  The default setting on the vast majority of PCs is for the num lock to be on when the computer is started up, so we default to on.  With Laptops, we had a manner by which to detect that it's a laptop and thus trigger it off by default so the function-based number pad wouldn't make it impossible to type things in "iopjklnm,", but even that is not a perfect solution as a tremendous number of laptop keyboards are starting to have segregated number pads these days.  Definitely better than having "poll" come out as "9855" though.
In Technical terms:
A program can ask Windows whether the Num Lock is on.  It will tell the truth (or tell us at all) about 75% of the time.  As such, a program that is a keyboard filter needs to make an arbitrary decision about the num lock state.  Since the vast majority use num lock active, that is the decision that was made, except in cases where the computer is very obviously a laptop.  Even something that seems simple like detecting an external keypad is not a simple thing programmatically and given how many people use external numeric keypads to enter numbers, forcing it off based on detecting one would make more people upset than happy.
Unfortunately, as I said before, nothing will be perfect.  In all cases, you need to make the decision that is best for you and has the least downsides for your specific situation.  From our perspective, we would invariably fix it if it were physically possible for it to be fixed.  We don't look at things based on how many people are complaining.  We do, however, look at things based on the overall best effect. Sadly, in this case "fixing" it for a handful of folks would leave millions of other people unprotected.
The workaround of either turning off the ID shield or setting programs within it from Protect to Allow still exists.  Then at that point it's up to the individual to decide whether the ID shield functionality is a critical part of the software as a whole for their use.  We have thousands of customers who don't care about the ID Shield portion and disable it but still very happily use the rest of the software because going to something else sucks more than having the ID shield disabled.  They just figured that with something else, they'd not have a working ID shield or similar functionality, but they'd also be using a lot more resources, waiting for longer scans, and dealing with companies that don't care about things they -could- fix rather than not being able to fix something that isn't possible to fix.  When they realize that they lose the ID Shield functionality regardless of whether they use Webroot with it disabled or somebody else, but they lose a lot more other stuff as well when they use something else, they generally choose to keep Webroot because its imperfections are less imperfect.  *Shrug*
So, vpnavy, sad to see you go.  A lot of people would say that you threw out the baby with the bathwater, but as I said, it's all about making the decision that is best for you.  Since we already know that nothing else works the same way as the ID Shield does, we know you didn't get something else that has a working ID shield feature.  I suspect that you have thrown it out because of a misimpression that we don't care, which I assure you is nothing even vaguely close to the case (I'm QA for Web.  I don't have enough time in a 40-hour work week to do all my normal work, yet I still take the time to give a thorough explanation here).  Even a bit of research on Google confirms in numerous locations that it's impossible to always accurately read the Num Lock state from Windows. If there was any way - by hook, crook, or whacking Windows - that we could change this, we would.  As long as it doesn't reduce protection for everybody.  But this is just a case where Windows itself provides zero solution.
Userlevel 7

The registry export is now publicly available!  If you are not fond of WSA forcing NumLock to the ON position, this registry export is for you.
It is contained in this zip file.  AllowNumLock.reg will cause WSA to cease controlling the NumLock state.  Conversely, WSA_ControlNumLock.reg will cause WSA to resume control over the NumLock state.
Here is a short explanation of what to do with the zip file:
1.  Download the file.
2.  Double-click to open it.  It contains two .reg files.
3.  Copy the file AllowNumLock.reg to a convenient location, such as your Desktop.
4.  Double-click AllowNumLock.reg to launch it.
5.  If a User Account Control window appears, click Yes.
6.  If you receive a Registry Editor warning "Adding information can unintentionally change or delete values…", click Yes.
7.  A box indicating that the keys and values have been entered successfully appears.  Click OK.
8.  You must restart your computer for the change to take effect.  After the restart, the number pad should behave as expected.
Userlevel 7
The operation of the Identity Shield's keyboard protection currently does cause a force of the Num Lock to a specific status.  At this point, the status is forced to be On.
End result:  When an app is being protected, Num Lock will be forced to an active status.
Currently the workaround is, unfortunately, to disable the ID Shield protection for anything that you do not want Num Lock to be active in.  It primarily protects browsers.  Setting these to Allow instead of Protect will cause them to not be protected and therefore Num Lock will not be forced on.  Alternately, the Protection Level for Secure Sites can be reduced to Medium or lower.  And thirdly, adjusting one's use of the keyboard to accomodate for the Num Lock being on is an option as well.
This is currently being evaluated by several teams here regarding the side effects it causes (if you think typing . instead of Delete is bad, try using the keypad to navigate a screen reader. 😉 ).
I found the solution - I completely removed WebRoot from three systems, cancelled my automatic renewal and moved to another product.  It is apparent to me that WebRoot feels (IMHO) that their aren't enough complaints from the community to take this problem seriously.  Oh well - great product - but why should I spend my money on a product that hinder's my experience.  Best of luck - I am sure they will figure something out someday.  Yes, I sound upset - I am!
Kit, if windows won't tell you, why not put an option for users to tell you. This way I can just check that I prefer the num lock key to be off, and Webroot now knows my preference.
You could even ask that question during the install, and mention that you will default all browsers to this mode for security reasons.
You have a very serious issue here because of the fact when it happens to those of us always run with num locks off, we have no idea what is causing it.
It is not just an issue with Webroot not working right, you have essentially broken our computer on purpose without telling us, and we have no idea what is causing this issue.
I spent hours of wasted time searching Google for someone who had the same problem, never putting in the word Webroot because I had no idea Webroot was the source of the problem, and I never did find the answer.
Finally I started unloading programs one at a time, and after an hour or so of testing, I finally realized when I shut down Webroot my  computer works right again.
So you see, this is much more serious than just a bug in Webroot, or something malfunctioning in Webroot, as a company Webroot has made a decision to break our computer, and not tell us they are doing so, thereby causing havoc and many hours wasted.
I hate to say it, but this is like a Trojan.  A Trojan can be defined as a program that is supposed to be helpful that we download, only to find out it has actually harmed our computer.  This is what Webroot has done.
Thanks for the eggnog and making some good points!
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Welcome vpnavy to the Webroot Community Forums!
Userlevel 7
Hello vpnavy, Welcome to the Webroot Forum. 😃
Userlevel 3
Welcome Aboard Mate!  What is the significance of your user name?
Thanks for all the replies.
In the order of replies:
1.  -HowardR-  the keyboards use different drivers - so, don't believe that is the problem.  As far as the Quarantine Folder - only one quarantined and that was located in my temporary internet folder.  I always check for Microsoft Updates as a matter of policy - totally up-to-date.
2.  -TripleHelix and ProTruckDriver- thanks for the Welcome Aboard!
3.  -PatG - thanks for the welcome aboard.  My username (VPNAVY) - I was in the Navy and have a website called:  VPNAVY.ORG
 Again, thanks everyone for your quick replies.
UPDATE! I just noticed something - when my keyboard goes into my "Magical NumLock Mode" - my WebRoot "Foreground WIndow Protected" icon is on.  When it the "Foreground WIndow Protected" icon goes away - my "Magical NumLock Mode" problems go away.  I knew it was something to do with WebRoot! :D
So, how in the world do I disable that puppy?
Userlevel 7
Please search for exe files of your keyboard in Protected applications under Identity shield. If there are any please change their status to Allow. If they are not listed there please try to add them with status Allow.
Please revert with result. 
There were only four applications listed - the keyboard wasn't one of them?
Userlevel 7
Does it make any difference adding & allowing them?
Pegas - aren't keyboard SYS device drivers and not actual EXEcutables?  Geeez, as I type my WebRoot went into protection mode and my "Magical NumLock Mode" is on so my keypad is locked in NumLock.  I just got a phone call and guess what?  When I went back to this message - WebRoot went out of protection mode and my NumLock Mode now works correctly.
Userlevel 7
Sure, you are right that drivers aren't executables but I intentionally asked for exe's of your keyboard application (for instance  IntelliPoint or IntelliType) because I recall that adding an application with status "allow" have cured for me some malfunctioning applications. However with keyboard it might work differently ...
Userlevel 3
Thanks for the explanation of your user name!  I was on the other side (sea) for almost 23 years before retiring.  Thanks again!
Hello Vpnavy,

Welcome to the Community!

Thank you all for suggestion. Since this is happening when you see lock sign in Webroot, we required some logs file from the computer, so please submit the ticket from the link below:
One of the representative should be able to investigate the logs and should resolve this issue for you.

Thank You.


Front line Engeneer
Shreel - I submitted a trouble ticket.
Pega - No software installed - MicrosoftXP instantly recognized the keyboard(s).
PatG - You can run but you can't hide!  I spent two hours aboard a Submarine (cost us a case of San Miguel) and that was the extend of my Sea Duty!  :D
Thank you kit for the update.  Wow - I understand why it is being protected but my goodness - the implications for everyone who relies on the keypad.  Heck, it actually cost me money because I thought it was my keyboard and bought another.  Also, you would think that this "feature" would have been documented someplace "easy to find" on WebRoot so other users aren't spending money on keyboards, etc. trying to figure it out.  Anyway, thanks for the update.
Userlevel 7
No problem.  Interestingly enough, the "feature" was not documented for security reasons and because the vast majority of users have Num Lock on by default.  Now the feline is free of the pouch, but anyway, like I said, we're looking into it.
Hey kit - wonder if they could just affect the DEL key.  Anyway - at least I know what is going on.  Thanks!
FWIW - Webroot acknowledged the problem and said they were working on a solution.  It has been weeks and I am about ready to pitch this great product.  It is driving me crazy!
Userlevel 7
The downside is that there's really no good solution for this problem.  The second downside is that the possible manners of fixing it result in serious security holes.  While we work very hard to make an excellent product, we also recognize that we can't make everybody happy 100% of the time.  In any situation, there will be outlying cases that can't be covered, and when the underlying OS doesn't provide the capability to ddo certain things at all, it definitely creates the potential for certain annoyances.
You have the options to deal with it (which it sounds isn't very fun at this point unfortunately) to turn the Identity shield off, or set everything in it to "Allow", or you have the option to stop using the program entirely.  The question is whether the product has zero value to you if the ID Shield is off or things in it are allowed.  On my personal home computer, I don't use the ID shield and I still find the rest of the software tremendously useful. :)  Your specific choice is up to you.  Honestly, I don't know of any security suite that does nott have something tremendously annoying about it, so it becomes a situation sometimes of choosing the least annoying. 😉