Keyman blocks Internet browsers?! (Windows) - Conflict with ESET

I installed Keyman 16.0.142 on Windows 11 yesterday, and after the restart, had some problems getting my keyboards to work. When I managed to close enough windows to restart again, I gave a quick test, and my keyboards seemed to be working again. There was a Windows update pending, so I went ahead and applied that, and after that closed the computer. A while later I started up again, and none of my browsers worked (Firefox, Edge, Chrome). Sometimes they would sort of bring up a window, but often would be “(Not responding)”, and could get nothing to show on the screen.

I assumed it was the Windows update, so I uninstalled that update. Same problem. That’s how I left my computer when I went to bed. During my not-so-restful night’s sleep, the fact that I had just updated Keyman also came to mind. So when I got to the office this morning, I verified the problem was still there (browsers hung), and when I turned off Keyman, my browsers started working again! Activate Keyman → browser hung, deactivate → browser works. And I’m typing this in my browser right now…

I see now that there is a version 16.0.143, which I have just now downloaded, and I will try to install to see if that helps. I can’t imagine that the problem was directly with Keyman 16.0.142, but maybe some weird interaction with other things? But I find this rather disconcerting…

The plot thickens… I tried to install 16.0.143, which said it failed:
But shortly after that, I also got this ESet block:
So I assumed it had blocked something about the installation.

I restarted, and Keyman now says version 16.0.143, but it also still hangs my browsers.

Next step is to uninstall Keyman completely, then reinstall. I’ll be back…

(Hope you don’t mind my running commentary… Seemed like the best way to document this, in case there is some real problem…)

I haven’t uninstalled and reinstalled yet, but wanted to share that in Windows Add and Remove Programs, I found this:

So both versions are installed at the same time? They seem to be unrelated to the Keyman Developer, which is older, but I plan to uninstall all three of them.

I uninstalled Developer and .143 without a problem, but when I tried to uninstall .142, I first got this:
I closed Signal, then told it to attempt to close the apps. I believe it said it would require a restart. I said OK.

But then I got this:

I also got the ESet message again. The file pointed to in that message was C:\Windows\Installer\MSI6E5C.tmp. So Keyman is still listed in the Installed apps list. I tried the uninstall again, and got the same result (except the file was MISI5AC3.tmp that time).

Going to reboot and see what that gives me…

Eset broke the install and uninstall – will likely make it difficult to repair. It is a false positove.

I rebooted, and still had the same problem. I paused ESet protection, and I WAS able to uninstall Keyman .142. (So what is Keyman producing for an uninstall that ESet doesn’t like?!) Rebooted again. No Keyman, so I installed .143, restarted and…

My browsers are still hung. Whenever I have Keyman activated (showing up in the tool tray), I can’t use my browsers.

Any suggestions, or more information you might want?

I didn’t get an ESet warning during install (but it was active). Should I disable ESet, uninstall and install while ESet is disabled?

I disabled ESet, uninstalled, told it not to try to close apps, requiring a restart, restarted, made sure ESet was still disabled, then installed .143.

No joy. When Keyman is activated, my browsers still hang.

I might also mention what the hang looks like. I open Firefox while Keyman is activated, it usually doesn’t even open a window, but appears in the Task Manager. As mentioned above, however, sometimes a window does appear, or if there already was a window, it will stop responding. If I close Keyman, it usually takes a little while (maybe around a minute?) for the browser window to start working again. (I could time it if that information is important…)

Since you’re dying to know… if I have my browser open, it will hang when I start Keyman (note that it doesn’t hang until I actually click the “Start Keyman” button on the Keyman dialog that shows up when I open the Keyman app). When I quit Keyman, it’s a little under a minute before the browser starts responding again.

So I’m at a loss here… I do actually need to use Keyman and my browser at the same moment from time to time… :slight_smile: How can I get that functionality back?

Not sure what is going in, can you send us a diagnostic report?

OK, I sent the diagnostic report, but it is entitled “qwertyuiop\asdfghjkl;'`zxcvbnm,./1234567890-=” because when I tried to type the title, that’s all Keyman would give me! I would type one character over and over, and it would give me this inventory of my keyboard. My keyboard that I had installed was turned off, but Keyman was on (obviously) when I sent the report, no keyboard activated.

It gets weirder and weirder…

I rebooted, and Keyman is back to “normal” now: I can type things correctly with Keyman activated, and I can activate my Tchad keyboard and type special characters. So I might try to send another diagnostic report, and see how that goes. If I type the email address, name, title and description of problem ahead of time, I can at least copy and paste into the diagnostic report.

I’m not sure I mentioned this before, but with Keyman activated, ALL other programs seem to work fine. But ALL of the browsers I’ve tried (Firefox, Edge, Chrome) hang.

Wow, that’s amazing! I can’t wait to read the diagnostic report now! I am away from my computer at dinner but will take a look in an hour or two

So I was able to send a second diagnostic report, and this time I was actually able to type into it! Keyman was behaving…

One other piece of info, when I close Keyman and look in the Task Manager, it is right at the moment when the Keyman engine (I forget the exact name) process ends that the browser starts working again. Not really surprising, but maybe helpful info.

Just a thought since ESet caused problems with the install/uninstall: did you try to open the browser with ESet disabled?

Thanks for this suggestion, Eberhard. I paused protection on ESet, verified that my browser was working, then started Keyman, browsed hung the same as before. I decided to type something into Slack, to make sure it was still working while Keyman was on. It was again in this “qwertyuiop” mode, with each keypress giving the succeeding character of the keyboard (but space character worked correctly…). So I couldn’t type what I wanted, but Slack could send the message. I quit out of Keyman and after about a minute, the browser came back to life the same as before. (And then I unpaused protection again!)

I sent Marc a ProcMon log of the process of shutting down Keyman (and the browser coming back to life), so maybe he’ll be able to get a better idea of what’s going wrong.

It turns out that Eberhard was on the right track. From the ProcMon log, Marc determined that when I exited out of Keyman, an ESET module was scanning the Keyman engine like 900 times before it could quit. So the obvious recommendation was to uninstall ESET. I uninstalled ESET, and after the reboot I quickly updated my Windows Defender, so I had at least some virus protection. My browsers and Keyman started working very nicely together again.

Since everything HAD worked nicely together before (ESET, Keyman, browsers), I decided to try a fresh install of ESET with the latest installer. It installed successfully, and updated it’s definitions, and Keyman and browsers are still working well together. ESET is still running its “Initial scan”, which will take some time, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m back in business.

Since I installed Keyman before I installed ESET, I don’t yet know if there are still some issues around Keyman install/uninstall with ESET active, but I don’t think I’ll worry about that today. This wasn’t how I was hoping to spend my Thanksgiving, but I am thankful that whatever weird interactions were happening seem to be gone now.

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All the adventures while I slept!

I wonder if we’ll ever be able to get to the bottom of this one?

The joys of a truly international organiz(s)ation… :smile: