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Clipboard/Copy&Paste Broke - How to fix?

By Not2Nutz ·
All of a sudden my Copy & Paste function has broken. When I copy a string and then try to paste it, all I get is a single blank. I'm running Win-XP Pro SP2. C&P is broken for IE, Firefox and even Notepad, so it must be a problem deep in the bowels of the OS. MAY BE caused by overly agressive spyware/virus scanning as I do that a lot. Or it might be a bad install of some app. I don't have a clue how it happened.

I tried searching at the Microsoft Support Knowledgebase and that was no help at all. I tried Google and it retrieved hundreds of hits of a similar Linux problem. If I knew exactly what file(s) might be blitzed I could restore from a recent backup. But I don't even know where/how to start diagnosing this problem.

Can anyone give me some advise? Hints? Anything?

Thanks in advance. VV

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Possible causes

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Clipboard/Copy&Paste Brok ...

Really this should be over in the Q&A area. However, being a nice guy -

I take you you have tried using the 'Ctrl' and 'C' buttond to copy and the 'Ctrl' and 'V' buttons to paste - not everyone knows those keyboard shortcuts.

The interesting point I find is that you mention IE and Firefox, am I right in assuming that you are trying to cut information out of a web page and paste it into Notepad? If so the problem is more likely to be the web pages. Copy and paste functions will not always work on a web page that has been created as part of a script, usually JavaScript. This is due to the visible image not being text but a crafted image; what you are doing is like trying to cut and paste part of an image with a text editor.

The type of data on the web page can be checked by placing the cursor on the page, clicking the right hand mouse button to open the floating menu and selecting the choice 'View Source'. This will open a page (usually Notepad by default in Windows) with the page creating code; this will tell you if that part of the page is HTML of a script.

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Hey Ernest! Thanks for replying.

by Not2Nutz In reply to Possible causes

Actually, it had nothing to do with the type of data or being on the net. I discovered the problem when trying to respond to a message forum thread. I couldn't C&P the name of the person I was responding to while using either IE or Firefox.
I tested it by opening Notepad and just typeing in a simple text string. I tried the C&P with both the mouse right click, the hot keys, and the drop down menu. Nothing worked.
All of a sudden I realized that I might have to reinstall XP again and I became very desparate.
For some reason I checked the Services that were running and noticed that Network DDE and its 2 dependencies were disabled. I turned them back on and it FIXED the problem. I don't understand why this worked because in testing with Notepad I certainly wasn't using the LAN or the Net, etc.
I also don't understand how these services got turned off either. I certainly didn't do it.
I scan my machine once or twice a week. I occassionally find a virus or two and I always find several hundred spyware infections. I am running Norton AV Corporate and 5 different spyware scanners. I am trying to stay on top of the problem as best as I can but apparently there are limits of what these tools can do.
I also run Zone Alarm Firewall. I've noticed in the log that something is hitting my firewall trying to get out, several times a day, with no specific program/process ID. I may have picked up some kind of malignant and undetected bug. Also, the firewall was recently re-configured, not by me, turning off some ports which I open for various apps like VoIP. If you understand ZA I have my security set to HIGH on the Internet and medium on my LAN. Only my DSL modem IP is visible to the net, all LAN IPs are hidden.
My gut feeling tells me that there is something not right here. I am getting worried about this and I'm watching it like a hawk. It looks like my problem with Cut & Paste was a red flag of sorts and a benign warning.
Anyway, for now, my original problem is solved. Thanks Again.

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