Windows cut-and-paste flakiness

I originally thought this was just me, or just Visual Studio, but it’s pretty much happening on all my machines and with multiple programs.

What happens is that I go into a program, select, and copy that selection. I go to another program – or even within that same program – and paste, and it ends up pasting something else from like 30 minutes ago. I go back, recopy, and paste, and it works fine. Or sometimes it doesn’t.

It does with different programs, and it doesn’t matter whether I copy or I cut. It’s happened as long as I can remember, but I noticed it the most in Visual Studio since I obviously cut and paste the most there.

It only happens with the system clipboard, e.g. C-k and C-y in emacs work as you’d expect since that’s an application managed cut/paste buffer.

Anyone else heard of this or deal with this and, more importantly, know how to kill it?

Is office installed on all the machines?

Nope. In fact, it’s not installed on any of them (one machine has no office suite, the other has Open Office 2.0).

Does your C key work properly?

Yeah, I know what ranvarian is saying – that weird office mutli-history-clipboard thing that pops up and confuses me, when I try to copy/paste from Word to Outlook (before it fucks up my formatting), but I’ve never seen the behavior that you describe, Brian.

I’ve seen it. I’m convinced it’s a keyboard priority / control / input mapping issue, since right clicking and selecting copy then right clicking and pasting into the desired field always works (for me anyway).

Things that this happens to me in usually have their own key mapping functions (and no, I never remap ctrl-c or v). I’ve seen similar behavior in OS X as well occasionally.

Yeah, I’ve seen that along with the thing where my mouse suddenly thinks I’m pressing the shift key, making it so I can only select things but can’t get any actual work done. Very annoying.

wait a sec… don’t you work for those windows guys? log a bug and get them to fix it! :-)

Hard to repro! :(

But when it does happen to me, you can usually tell by the low hiss of cussing coming from my office.

Happens to me all the time, with working Ctrl and C keys (and on different keyboards). My interpretation is that the copy command somehow gets lost in Windows message processing occasionally. The solution was very simple: just hit the C key two or three times whenever you want to copy something. Haven’t had a problem since I adopted that approach.

This happens to me even with mouse selection cut-and-paste, which I resort to when C-c/C-v or Shift-Del/Shift-Ins just magically stop working.

I’ve had this occasionally as well, and if anyone ever figures out how to fix it, I will love them forever.

I suspect it’s a program failing to forward commands through the message queue when it doesn’t understand them. Or not doing it when it’s in a particular state, etc.

maybe if you get one of those super freeware clipboard programs it’ll go away?