Laptops forum

General discussion

A few keys don't work on my laptop

by 1Chris / April 20, 2008 7:49 AM PDT

I got a Dell Latitude CPt almost a year ago at a local used computer store. Had probs with it right away and turned out those folks are low life. They sold me some more memory and when I defragged it ran at a decent pace for what it is.
Anyway, I rarely used it for about 7 months and now I really need it for a trip. The i, k, and 8 keys are non functional. Can anyone give me a clue as to how and if I can fix this myself, is this common, what causes this?


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Try an external keyboard and if that works.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2008 8:07 AM PDT

Buy a new keyboard and replace the laptop's keyboard. About 2 out of 5 lightbulbs rating for difficulty.


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External Kbd works
by 1Chris / April 20, 2008 8:39 AM PDT

Hey, Thanks!

I have a bit of experience with desktops, not w/laptops yet. Is there much to replacing the keyboard? Know of a good sources/ballpark cost?

Thanks again, Chris

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Ebay and well under 100 bucks.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2008 8:43 AM PDT
In reply to: External Kbd works

Worth every penny for laptops.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2008 8:44 AM PDT

Over at are service manuals on how to replace such things. Sorry but I don't duplicate such here.

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Now it's working - go figure
by 1Chris / April 23, 2008 1:41 AM PDT

I was just about to get a new keyboard, and decided to try it one more time in other applications. I fired ye olde Dell up - and now those keys are working - in all applications. Any idea what might be going on here?

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Contacts fail over time.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 23, 2008 2:55 AM PDT

Sometimes they start working again. Without x-ray or other investigative tools we may never know exactly why.

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Now they're working, now they're not
by 1Chris / May 4, 2008 7:59 AM PDT

Every once in a great while, these three keys will work on a boot up. Makes me think it might be more than contacts. Any other ideas?

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This is why we have spares.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 4, 2008 11:16 AM PDT

We can swap them out. There is another cause but far more costly. The keyboard interface circuit on the mainboard can be heat sensitive causing odd works than doesn't complaints. We know to try the externals and replace the keyboard to sniff this out. Some owners will reload the OS and more until they tire of the issue.

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