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strange result with copy/paste

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This is a new one for me.
What application are you using when this occurs or does it occur in all applications?
Are you in a networked application when it happens?
If so, maybe the networked application might have its own clipboard that is superceding your local clipboard.

If you are in Windows XP, you can see what is in your clipboard by doing the following:
Click Start > Run > enter clipbrd.exe
This will open a window and show the current contents of clipboard.
Keep it open and you will see it change as you copy new contents.
If the contents are different from what CTRL-V puts out, your local clipboard is disabled and the application your are in is taking over.

Windows 7 does not haveclipbrd.exe but you can find it (Google it) and copy it to your system32 folder and run it from then on.

Hint: Make a clipbrd.exe shortuct so you can call it up quickly.