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Keyboard and Mouse on the same page? Read on to find out why...

Keyboard and Mouse repairs:


keyboard and mouseBecause we are human things happen. Like the coke spilled on the keyboard. Paper clips and staples get dropped, the keyboard has a magical attraction to these items. When I was a computer tech I found numerous items in keyboards: paper clips, staples, mechanical pencil lead, and even a diamond ring (not of high value) that the user didn't even realize she had lost!

A keyboard is your life line to your documents, you can open one and read it with a mouse but you can not modify it with the mouse (well that is not strictly true, if you have the Accessibility Options installed there is a mouse operated keyboard there......) so you need to keep it clean.

How do I clean the keyboard? Is it worth it?

Keyboards and mice are the cheapest components for the computer. They are also the most used and abused components. Because these components are so cheap it is better to replace than repair.

Cleaning the keyboard:

It is not recommended that you use liquids on keyboards. The reason is the circuit board under the keys is not sealed to keep moisture out. If you spill coke, coffee, tea, etc in the keyboard go buy a new one.

The best way to clean dust, fur, and general gunk is with a small fairly stiff paint brush and a can of compressed air. With the computer off (you don't want to be pressing those keys with the computer on!) use the brush to move the gunk to an area where the air can blow it out of the keyboard. The paint brush will get under the keys if you apply slight pressure. If the keys are just dirty with normal use you can clean them with a damp cloth, I have found window cleaner works best, do not spray the cleaner on the keyboard, spray the cloth and use it to wipe the keys.

Wired or wireless? Which is more secure?


Does your mouse stop when you move it from one side of the screen to the other? Have to pick it up and put it down to get the cursor to move?

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It is dirty! There are two types of mice (pointing device or touch pad for laptops), analog and digital. If you have a wired mouse and it does not have a led on the bottom then it is a analog mouse. By analog I mean there is a mechanism that moves the cursor. Turn the mouse upside down, you will see a small neoprene ball. This ball moves two small bars (or wheels) that turn what is call a potentiometer.

Cleaning the Mouse (analog)

There should be a way to open the cavity that the ball is house in, some are plates that rotate one way to open the opposite to close and lock. Open the cover, drop the ball into your hand, using a lint free cloth and window cleaner wipe the ball, it has gunk on it from the mouse pad.

Inside the cavity there should be either two bars and wheel or three wheels. Look at them, you will see gunk that has built up over time. We want to remove this buildup. I use a small screw driver but a paper clip that is straitened out will do the same thing. The hardest part is getting the build up off the bars and wheels, they spin freely. When you get the buildup off it probably fell inside the cavity, you can shake it out or turn the mouse right side up and use compressed air to blow it out. Clean? Put the ball back in the cavity, cover back on and lock it.

Mouse pads can be cleaned also, the cloth covered type can be washed with soapy water, it just takes time to dry. Window cleaner works on the hard type pads the best.

Wireless keyboard and mouse are more robust than their predecessor wired keyboard and mouse.

Although the keyboard will get the same amount of use it is the easiest of use. You can move the keyboard around to where it is comfortable and still be able to type, the constraint of the connecting wire is gone.

A wireless mouse has a very large advantage, being digital it doesn't have the mechanical parts thus the actual device will last a lot longer than the old analog mouse with a wire. The only way a wireless mouse will fail is if it is dropped repeatedly.


If you are having problems with either device try changing the internal battery or batteries before troubleshooting the device drivers, this may save you a lot of work and heartburn...

So to answer the age old question will a wireless mouse wear out? Yes, eventually electronic parts will fail.

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You keyboard isn't thirsty, and it doesn't need calcium. Milk and other liquids will ruin a keyaboard!

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