Some things to consider when repairing a laptop keyboard -
Two devices on the laptop get the most use and abuse are the Video Screen and
Repairing a laptop keyboard -
The keyboard gets a good workout every time you use the computer. Like all
keyboards it is prone to collect dust, dirt, and other objects.
fail from use not abuse.
Some times you see the lettering worn off the keys,
sometimes a key will pop off the underling support. Then there is the very thin
ribbon cable, because it is very thin mylar (plastic) film with the copper
traces embedded between the layers it will degrade with heat. Along with this
the connectors are also plastic and are very thin these also degrade with heat
I will not list the trouble shooting techniques here, if the laptop keyboard is
giving you problems it has failed. Unfortunately there is very little or no
repair for a laptop keyboard. Even the notebook manufactures realize this, they do not
require the old keyboard back when it is replaced under warranty.
To replace the keyboard you will need either a small cross point (Phillips)
screw driver, a #1 or a small hex driver (some have Allen wrench screws)
Compaq/HP uses a T8 hex.
You do not have to disassemble the complete case to get the keyboard out.
Most of the notebooks I have worked on have screws that go through the case to the
underside of the keyboard. Turn the computer upside down and remove the screws
from the vicinity of the keyboard. Depending on the make any where from five to
ten screws. (Look for little keyboard icons next to the holes in the case, ASUS
does this to some notebooks).
Once you have the screws out, turn the computer over and open the video
display, 90 to 120 degrees to get it out of the way. Using a small flat tip
(common) screw driver lift the keyboard slightly from the front of the keyboard.
Some keyboards have small tabs that insert into slots on the video side of the
Lift the keyboard about 2 or 3 inches. Look
inside and find the ribbon cable, you need to know how much cable you have loose
before you lift the keyboard all the way out of the case.
Because the keyboard has failed we really
don't care about the ribbon cable on the keyboard but do care about damaging the
connector on the motherboard, so use caution when lifting the keyboard.
see if the ribbon cable is held in place by any cable keepers, if so you will
need to open them before lifting the keyboard out. Once you are sure you have
cleared the ribbon cable you can lift the keyboard out and disconnect the ribbon
A word of caution: Some ribbon cable
connectors have a lock on them to keep them from working loose over time. If you
don't see or know how they work look at your replacement keyboard's ribbon cable
connector. Now that you have it apart all you have to do is reverse the
disassembly procedure to put it back together.
Once you have it assembled, test it.
Cleaning the keyboard -
To clean the keyboard you would treat it the same as a normal keyboard. I
would suggest you power the computer down before starting, you don't know what
those stray key press will do when you aren't looking at the screen.
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I usually use a small stiff paint brush and a vacuum or canned air to clean
out the dust and dirt. If you use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the dirt and dust
don't put the nozzle on the keys, good way to lose a couple of keys, they
will get sucked up the hose.
Using the paint brush try to move the dirt/dust to the center of the
keyboard. This will enable you to get under the keys and have it all in one
place to vacuum it out. If you use canned air, open the computer as normal and
turn it on its edge, brush/blow the dust/dirt down the keyboard.
You can use a glass cleaner to clean the grime off of the
keyboard. As with the video spray the cleaner on the
cloth. I don't recommend a paper towel because it will disintegrate and leave
pieces of paper in the keyboard. Leave the
computer off for ten minutes or so to let any excessive glass cleaner evaporate
Enjoy your clean keyboard!