Random Calculator Popups in XP

Some time ago my (fully patched) XP desktop contracted the dreaded Random Calculator Popup, although in my case the calculator only pops up a few times a day, usually when I'm typing furiously.

I've scanned for viruses with Symantic Endpoint Protection, run Spybot, and they didn't find anything. There is no shortcut assigned for the program in the Start Menu under accessories. (I searched the hard drive and there is one other copy of the calc.exe program in the i386 directory. It doesn't seem to have a shortcut that I could see.)

This post suggests it could be a keyboard hardware issue, but I find that a little hard to believe.

Maybe Ed Bott will ride to the rescue again.

Or maybe I really need to find a machine on which to test Wordperfect X14 in an xVM virtual box under Ubuntu or SUSE ….

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7 Responses to Random Calculator Popups in XP

  1. Ed Bott says:

    Damn, I’m stumped.

  2. Rhodo Zeb says:

    The legal profession might be a good entry point for Ubuntu or another flavor of Linux. As I understand many, many lawyers are still running Wordperfect because MS Word can’t do what is needed. And perhaps some inertia as well. I mean, Wordperfect is dead to the world, and yet it hung on. That’s anti-competitive behavior in a nutshell.

    I could contemplate a Linux Small Office product leveraging some kind of customized Open Office and office management apps together, maybe throw in some other bells and whistles, some kind of transcription help.

    I use Sun’s VirtualBox for some Windows apps, and Wine for others. The Virtualbox is just an actual install of XP, and I don’t bother to patch it or anything, or firewalls, a-v, or snoop protection because I can destroy it and create another in, what, 20 minutes, and often times I don’t need internet anyway through the virtual client. And all docs are copied outside the virtual system before close. Wine has worked for some streaming media applications.

    I have dual boot but intentionally never set up the XP completely (no email or anything) as a safety measure. Its still sitting there…

  3. TK_M says:

    I’m wondering if you have any tasks that should come up at the same intervals – Like some updater, or back up.

    I have known them get corrupted and become cross-linked to the program with the nearest name still on your computer (say after an incomplete uninstallation).

    There could be a “hot key” conflict, or do you have macro program running at all?

  4. michael says:

    Those are good questions. I don’t have any tasks that I have scheduled outside my calendar, and there’s no correlation with that. Of course there’s stuff running on its own, like a file indexer, but it’s hard to tell with those.

    I don’t have a macro program running. I’ve tried testing key combos to produce the calculator and always failed. I vaguely recall reading long ago about a freeware program that could tell you all the hotkeys on your machine, but I wasn’t able to find it when I searched for it.

  5. Brautigan says:

    Have you tried simply renaming calc.exe to something like MikeCalc.exe?

  6. joe says:

    Here’s a Microsoft Knowledge Base article that probably has nothing at all whatsoever to do with your problem….

    Programs May Start, Quit, Lose, and Gain Focus Randomly

    SYMPTOMS: Programs may quit, start, or lose and gain focus randomly; text in programs may be unreadable; and the logon screen may appear to be controlled by someone who is remotely connected to the computer.

    CAUSE: This behavior can occur if you turn on speech recognition and you do not configure it. You can activate speech recognition in Office XP and in Microsoft Plus! for Windows XP.

    . . .

    Read the rest of the article for a solution.

    HTH.

  7. michael says:

    Well, I checked the box to turn off the language services, and we’ll see. Thank you for the tip.

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