Damn Lag

For months I was suffering from terminal keyboard and mouse lag when trying to to play Half Life 2. The keyboard would seem to lock up momentarily which often meant I would glide forward even after I had stopped pressing any keys and the mouse would become unresponsive. As this coincided with a graphics card upgrade and had seen something in the Source FAQ about keyboard lag I presumed it was just some weird config thang. Time went on and nothing I did seemed to help. I then noticed it was happening in every single game I tried no matter how low the graphics settings were.

I finally gave up and swapped my old graphics card back in.

No difference.

Googled once more and found a post suggesting killing off a Logitech task. I don’t have a Logitech anything but it gave me the somewhat belated idea of wiping out all extraneous processes. So I did. With extreme prejudice.

Well, what do you know. It was gosh darn Google Desktop.

Yup. Google Desktop. It seems they can afford to pay $1.6bn for a boatload of skanky video clips and its zombie teenage passengers but they can’t write a routine that detects a double control key click without messing up the entire input buffer for everyone else.

Posted in the hope that other poor lagged out souls (and it seems that we are Legion) may find and be comforted.

December 26th, 2006 | AllReallyBad, OFFS


I had exactly the same lag symptoms as described within half-life (and to a lesser extent half-life 2).

I tracked mine down to a similar keyboard hog – Ati2evxx.exe – ATI’s External Event Utility EXE Module, AKA, “ATI Hotkey Poller”. Once I had disabled this service, all was good again.

Comment by Stephen — April 12, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

Another quick thank you for this. It’d ruined EVERY fps (HL2, BF2, UT2004, Quake 4 etc.) for me while not affecting any other game. I’d not suspected Google Desktop because I’m sure I had a similar problem back in the days of Deus Ex and the original HL and that turned out to be a Direct X issue with some sound drivers.

Comment by Carl — August 16, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

For some reason after playing through HL2 and HL2 Ep 1 for a while now, I started to exhibit sliding and an unresponsive mouse. I googled this page and promptly turned off Google Desktop which I have had for a loong time now.

This worked and I have no idea why this would be a problem just now. Now I start to wonder if this is the reason why I have been having problems with Vampire as well which is a Source game too!

Comment by Victor — May 14, 2007 @ 12:40 am

I have the exact same problem as you described, but I don’t have Google Desktop!

I’m at a real loss, I want to play this damn game…

Comment by Brett — March 25, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

Normally when google desktop causes problems its because theres a deeper disk problem causing it. Have you checked your Event Logs for bad sectors showing up? Maybe do a chkdsk /r, you might be surprised what other problems there are.

Comment by Dan — January 25, 2007 @ 2:57 am

Thanks a lot!
I’d just got HL2 ep. 1 and couldn’t play it properly. I’d have never guessed it was caused by google desktop (that I had installed just a few days b4).
Moreover, on the HL2 support forum, under keyboard and mouse lag no mention is made that this could be the problem.
And I was going nuts, developing all kind of crazy theories concerning usb keyboards and usb controllers.
Thanks again!

Comment by Tim — January 23, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

Wow – Great find… It was driving me crazy – and I had read another posting about lowering the process priority, which for some was set to high…

Google Desktop did me in as well. Thanks for posting this! You saved me a lot of frustration.

Comment by Barry — January 8, 2007 @ 5:44 am