PC Hardware forum


Problem with stuck keys

by Mongrel714 / February 17, 2017 2:10 PM PST

I have a very frustrating problem.

For a while now the "a" key on my keyboard has been sticky. When I push it down, the key itself will stick (though it will still only input "a" once). I tried popping they key off and cleaning the area and the key itself with alcohol and a q-tip, but it didn't do anything. Then I thought maybe cleaning the surrounding keys might help, so I popped off the "a," "q," and "s" keys and cleaned them and their surrounding areas. I popped the "a" key back in and it seemed to work fine, no sticking. I thought the problem was solved, but once I popped the q key back in the a key started getting stuck again, which is odd given the keys don't even appear to touch when the "a" key is stuck...then I tried to put the "s" key back in and had some difficulty for some reason. I took care not to force it in, but once I finally got it back in it started sticking even worse than the "a" key! The "a" key could be unstuck by just jostling the keyboard a little, but this doesn't work with the "s" key; I need to actually pry it back up. Also, the "s" key actually will get stuck inputting "s" repeatedly, unlike the "a" key. I now believe the problem has something to do with the keys themselves; the little plastic mechanisms on the back that fit them into the keyboard.

What is going on? How do I fix this??? Do I need to buy a new keyboard? =(

btw, I'm not sure exactly what keyboard I have...it'a a gaming keyboard with "gamer" on the bottom, and the keys are backlit by your choice of one of three different colored lights (purple, red, or blue). You can cycle through them by holding the Fn key and hitting the SL key (above the six key grouping that contains Del, End, Ins, etc.)

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All Answers

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To find out
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2017 2:22 PM PST

Try this keyboard on another PC and another keyboard on this PC.

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The problem is a hardware one, not a software one
by Mongrel714 / February 17, 2017 2:29 PM PST
In reply to: To find out

You misunderstand, the keys are physically becoming stuck. Only the "s" key gets its input stuck (causing "s" to be repeatedly typed in Word, for example), though that is probably because the key itself is actually physically stuck down.

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Unless you find spare bits and parts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2017 2:35 PM PST

Most folk replace the keyboard. These start at 5 to some number of dollars. No tech I know fixes keyboards for many many reasons.

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A potential solution
by Mongrel714 / February 17, 2017 2:41 PM PST

I am willing to do that if necessary, but would prefer to keep my current one if possible, even if it means jury rigging it.

The problem appears to be that something is obstructing the key, preventing it from popping back up; when I try to push the "s" key down it never pops back up. That is to say, if I push it down a little bit but not enough to trigger the input, it will remain pushed down to that level until I either pull it back up or push it down more.

If anyone knows the basic mechanisms of how the keys actually work (what pushes them down and what brings them back up) that would be valuable information for me. I'm contemplating simply removing some of the little plastic bits on the bottom of the key as I suspect they might be what is causing the obstruction, but I'd like to understand the mechanism a little better before I proceed.

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In that case. Youtubes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2017 2:52 PM PST
In reply to: A potential solution

And this. http://imgur.com/gallery/NXYwS

So you'll have to dive into what mechanism your keyboard has and find spare bits on Ebay. Most folk will never do this. I know I don't. Yes I'll replace a popped off keytop but beyond that the service charge is more than a new keyboard.

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Successful jury rigging
by Mongrel714 / February 17, 2017 3:00 PM PST

Ah, thanks. My key mechanism appears to be the top image you posted there.

I have actually successfully jury rigged the keys by swapping my "a" and "s" key with two keys I pretty much never use (I used the page up and page down keys). This confirms that the problem was with the keys themselves, and when I looked at the bits under the "a" and "s" keys next to the page up/down keys it appeared that the plastic bits to the left and right in the image you posted (that is to say, not the ones with "hooks" that hold the key in place after it pops back up) were slightly bent out of shape. It's possible that removing one of those two bits may have solved the issue, and I might try that at a later date, but for now I'll just deal with my "a" and "s" keys being "PD" and "PU," lol.

Anyway, thanks for your help =)

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