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Faulty Laptop Key

logical
Grafter
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Faulty Laptop Key

Hello,
I'm suffering from a faulty key on my laptop. It's not the key itself however, there's a problem with the electronic device that sits under the key which detects that the key has in fact been pushed.
If you take the key off, you can see the detector; it does not work even if I try and push it manually. I've been quoted £100 to get it fixed which sounds extortionate to say the least.
Is there anything anyone can suggest to enable me to do with without spending that much money?
Thanks in advance,
Logical
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Is it a popular brand-name laptop or a more 'cloney' laptop?
You may find a replacement keyboard on eBay - In my experience laptop keyboards are generally very easy to replace!
A photo might help Smiley
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,817
Thanks: 449
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Is the contact completely dead?
I had a similar problem where the space bar key on my laptop would only register about 50% of the time, which made typing a bit difficult! I took the key off, cleaned the contact with electrical cleaner and all was well again.
You could try that, but if it is completely dead then I guess you'll have to look at replacing it as Barry said.
logical
Grafter
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Hello,
Thanks very much for your quick responses, your help is very much appreciated.
Quote from: Alex
Is the contact completely dead?

I don't think its completely dead, if I poke it with a pencil for example, it works sometimes but not very often.
Quote from: Alex
I had a similar problem where the space bar key on my laptop would only register about 50% of the time, which made typing a bit difficult! I took the key off, cleaned the contact with electrical cleaner and all was well again.

How do you clean the contact with an electrical cleaner? I might try that.
Quote from: Barry
Is it a popular brand-name laptop or a more 'cloney' laptop?

It's a Dell Inspiron 8500.
Quote from: Barry
You may find a replacement keyboard on eBay - In my experience laptop keyboards are generally very easy to replace!

I've found this one:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/DELL-INSPIRON-8500-8600-UK-KEYBOARD_W0QQitemZ200179342635QQihZ010QQcategoryZ31...

Do keyboards come with all the contacts as well or just the keys themselves?
Quote from: Barry
A photo might help Smiley

I will upload a photo later tonight.
Thanks,
Logical
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,817
Thanks: 449
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Hmm, sounds like a similar problem then .. except the key for me wasn't as bad. With mine being the space bar though you'd find it hard to type legible English!
It was about a year and a half ago, so I can't remember exactly what I did. I was with my dad at the time (who is better at this kind of stuff than me), but I remember prising the key off and taking off a rubber pad underneath to reveal (what I think was) two sets of contacts. I guess that's the case with the space bar, any other key would have one set.
I think we just got some cloth and WD40 and wiped the contacts for about 10 minutes, I remember them being dark and we just cleaned them until they were shiny. I was quite surprised when it fixed the problem, and it's still going today.
It's the only time I've ever fiddled with a laptop, but something worth trying before you consider trashing the old keyboard Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Should be fairly simple to replace the keyboard.
The hardest part will be safely cracking the case so that you can get to the two retaining screws holding the keyboard down.
Basically, above the keyboard, directly above the Function keys are two screws (according to the photo from eBay).  These will no-doubt be covered by a plastic fascia or a part of the case.  The trickiest bit is finding out how to reveal those screws.
Once you have done so, the keyboard will fold upwards and will be connected to the motherboard by a single plug.  Unplug it, plug the new one in and reverse it Smiley
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Faulty Laptop Key

Daft question but are you sure the key is broke?
I have a similar problem with a Dell laptop that the mru keys dont work. I suspected a duff key but if I boot into DOS or safe mode they work ok.
Solution delete the keyboard in Device manager and it reloads it and now works worth a try