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Strange behavior of Windows key

Level 7
Hi guys. I'm having a really hard time narrowing down this strange issue with my Windows key and I figured this would be a good place to ask since it may have something to do with our particular ASUS setups.

I use a lot of keyboard commands, especially Windows key + R, to open the run dialogue. But I've noticed that if I haven't struck the Windows key for a long time, say, maybe 5-10 minutes, the key will do nothing the first time I hit it. I have to hit it twice in order for the Start menu to pop up. Only then, will the Windows key work right away, assuming I don't go too long without pressing it. Still, the behavior is erratic and doesn't seem to be tied to any particular program I have running (I initially thought it might be the result of Adobe Flash stealing the keyboard's focus or something, but no). It is definitely not a problem with my keyboard since the same thing happens with both my old keyboard and my brand new one that I just got. Though, I will try to confirm if the same thing happens with the Windows key on the actual laptop, as opposed to my external keyboard. I've tried plugging the keyboard into different USB ports but the same thing happens.

Any of you ever run into this issue? Is this normal behavior in Windows 7? It's really annoying not being able to depend on one of your keys and having to hit it twice as if to say, "Yes, Windows, I really DO want to open the Start menu now!"

Thanks in advance and please let me know if there's any info I can provide that'll help. System specs are as follows:

ASUS G74SX laptop
Core i7 2670QM
Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
USB keyboard hooked up directly to laptop
Latest version of ASUS keyboard filter and ATK package
Power profile is set to Always On and USB selective suspend disabled
G74Sx-BBK8 BIOS 203
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Level 7
Some updates. Yes, the same problem is present on the Windows key on the laptop's built-in keyboard IF and only IF, an external keyboard is plugged in. When I unplug the external keyboard, the laptop's Windows key behaves normally. So it sounds like either the ASUS and/or Windows are getting 'confused' between the two keyboards. I've got all the latest drivers. There's no configuring to be done with the keyboard filter or ATK package is there? I have them both installed but I don't know if anything needs to be done with them after they've been installed.
G74Sx-BBK8 BIOS 203
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit