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Keyboard Problems

  1. Jul 3, 2014 #1


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    Hi All,

    I have a problem with my Windows 8 laptop keyboard:
    Some of the letters in the keyboard produce no output when I use them, i.e.,
    some of the keys I hit on the keyboard do not result in any screen output. Note that I have not
    spilled anything in nor near the computer. Please note also that the fact that I cannot type-in certain letters makes it harder for me to access many functions within the computer, because I cannot, e.g., do a search for terms that contain trouble letters (I actually found a way, but it is both extremely-long and tedious.)

    What I have tried, after an online search:
    combinations of keys: like Num Lock+ Scroll Lock, FN and Num Lock, etc. I copied

    Strangely ( at least to me) , NumLock+ Scroll Lock helped a bit for a while, and I would
    get input from the trouble keys, but ultimately the beneficial effect disappeared.

    What I will try: Spray air, i.e., using pressurized air , hoping to get rid of dust particles
    does that make sense?

    What I have not tried:

    Opening-up the keyboard ; I have been told to be careful about static electricity. I don't
    have any experience working with electronics, and I don't want to experiment with my own
    computer (I would love to learn if I had access to some idle equipment). I hate to go to a
    repair place where they just open it up
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2014 #2
    For emergencies, (e.g. ordering a replacement keyboard on-line) ,
    Windows comes with an on-screen "virtual" keyboard that you operate with a mouse or touch-screen ... http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/win8/windows8-keyboard-virtual.htm


    My Dell laptop has a diagnostic program which, amongst other things , can tell if the laptop keyboard is damaged,
    e.g. http://youtu.be/avbZHNtV528?t=7s
    maybe your computer has similar self-diagnostic program to check hardware, ( it's not part of Windows ).

    If groups of keys have simultaneously become faulty then a cracked/dislodged ribbon-cable from the keyboard to the motherboard could be the cause.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  4. Jul 4, 2014 #3


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    Thanks, B0b-A, I will look into it. I Appreciate it.
  5. Jul 4, 2014 #4
    Overall, replacing a keyboard on a notebook computer is relatively easy. Some few require extra steps but in several, the keyboard will simply pop out if you push and lift properly. Don't worry too much about breaking it, these things can take some punishment. Just ground yourself before hand and you should be fine. If your computer is still under warranty, call the manufacturer and let them deal with it.

    If not, the easiest way is to simply google the following:
    replace keyboard <insert model #>
    You should be able to find out exactly how to remove the keyboard safely.

    I would first start with simply reseating (unplug the ribbon and plug it back in) the keyboard connector into the motherboard and testing to see if that made a difference. While you're at it, use a can of compressed air to blow the keyboard clean also when you remove it.

    If the problem still exists, reseat one more time to make sure you didn't make a mistake. If still no go, then it's time to replace the keyboard. Find a vendor that sells the same keyboard and replace the existing one. In the mean time, either use the Virtual Keyboard as Bob suggested or use a USB keyboard.
  6. Jul 12, 2014 #5


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    Even if you wriggle your finger energetically in all directions while pressing down firmly, none of these silent keys will produce any output?

    Have you tried a clean reboot? I know nothing about windows, but a few keyboard letters occasionally stop working for me on my Linux desktop, exactly like you are experiencing, and a reboot always restores proper working.
  7. Jul 12, 2014 #6


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    A new, entirely adequate keyboard costs less than $20. I've gone through a dozen or more. It's not worth the aggravation to try and fix one.
  8. Jul 18, 2014 #7


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    Thank you all, sorry I cannot reply in more detail, I am using an OSK.
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