Just a note, obviously it won't help much at this stage, but certainly don't take it as an attack. I'm sure that was not the intention of @madmodder123 either, and I can imagine how frustrating it may be.
This last weekend not only was I backing things up to my laptop, but also to two separate external drives, and then even to Google Drive, just because if I do have to do it all over again - curating the games, artwork, media, settings, etc - I can imagine I'll lose motivation somewhat.
So, while I'm not going to repeat the suggestion for backing things up often, I can suggest for future setups to have your ROMs in an external USB thumb drive. At least for me it's been extremely helpful as if the SD card gets bricked because of an update, even though it's somewhat painful to have to reconfigure it all, it's nothing compared to having to recover your games, artwork, media, savegames, highscores, etc.
That might help you somewhat for the future.
Still, the warning is important. Wondering if it's kernel related or other packages - likely kernel but I'm not a Linux expert here.
thanx for your response and sorry for my late reply. I picked up the project now and tried your command lines. I believe they are actually configured the same, but I do not think that is the problem. If I run the jstest /dev/input/js0, I just see multiple randome records on the screen being populated as if the buttons are pressed, but they are not. I removed every player2 connections, and only have the button 8 + gdn connected; now the cmd line still shows btn 8 and btn 7 being pushed eventhough I though nothing. I believe the xm10 panel must be faulty....
@jorgenjl Get a Linux live distro (Ubuntu/Fedora/etc.), write it on an USb stick/CD and boot it up on your PC. You'll be able to read the SD card's contents to copy over your configs/roms, then write the latest RetroPie image on your SD card and transfer over your data.
It might be related to Debian Stretch, if the RetroPie image hasn't been correctly updated to Debian Stretch. I had this issue running OSMC Stretch with RetroSMC script. It used to work until Debian Stretch came out then it stuttered and was totally unplayable. Everything stuttered and slowed down drastically
Try this, it will update ALL your RetroPie cores and emulators to the latest Debian Stretch code. It compiles EVERYTHING from the source, which WILL take some considerable time. Leave it running overnight to compile and update ALL the code to the latest builds
Choose the following option, and be very patient. It WILL take hours and hours. Hence running overnight
Update All Installed Packages : This will update the RetroPie-Setup script and all installed packages
3rd party images are installed in a quick fashion with very little aftermarket support. You might be even better, as suggested, downloading a proper image and starting from scratch. At least then you know it WILL work correctly