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Unexplained loss of JAWS functionality and strange keyboard locked scenarios.

March 25, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
For quite some time, at least since running JAWS 8.0, I have been experiencing a very strange situation.  If I walk away and leave my system idle for a few minutes, there is no speech output when I return to continue working.  The following problems are observed:
  1. There is absolutely no JAWS functionality.  The computer is silent and has become an inaccessible paperweight.
  2. Starting Narrator results in constantly studdering speech.
  3. Key presses do not work at all as expected.  For instance, pressing the Windows key to open the Start menu causes it to quickly appear and disappear.
  4. Forcibly shutting down and restarting the computer is the only way to regain control.
  5. I have experienced this issue on at least two different systems. 
  6. It has been happening on JAWS 8.0, but also in previous versions, such as 6.2 and 7.1, but at a much lesser frequency in those older versions.
  7. The issue is not observed if other screen readers, such as NVDA, System Access or Window-Eyes are running when I walk away from the computer.  In all such cases, the computer remains accessible and completely usable as expected upon my return.
Has anyone else experienced an issue similar to this one?  If so, let’s see if we can put together a much more detailed accounting of this problem so we can get the Freedom Scientific programmers enough useful information to get it fixed in an upcoming version of JAWS.  If this is not an isolated issue, then I would classify it as a critical flaw that needs to receive a high priority.
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3 opinions on “Unexplained loss of JAWS functionality and strange keyboard locked scenarios.

  1. Hello, I’ve actually had the same problem too, or at least the problem where when you walk away from the computer for a while, Jaws stops working. However, I’m using a slow machine that has issues anyway, so I just htought it was only isolated to my comptuer here, as I don’t seem to have the same problem at work, and my desktop which is much faster than this one, and which is still at my brother’s house, doesnt’ seem to have this issue. Perhaps it is not because of this computer at all, if others are having the same issues. A lot of the itme when I come back to the computer, I have no speech, I can’t use the keyboard, and as you said the only way to solve the problem is to restart the system, which, well, this system is like a dinosaur when it comes to starting and shutting down. Anyway, very interesting, though. Maybe it’s not just my slow systme after all.

  2. I do see JFW crash sometimes on websites requiring Flash from Adobe. Otherwise I do not lose my speech when my PC is in idle mode.

  3. Have you attemptedthe memory dump command (windows key+insert+f4? Sometimes that works and it automatically reports problems to Fredom Scientific.

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