Diagnosing KB


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Troubleshooting Keyboard (KB) - problems range from not working to random key presses showing up when least expected, to locking up your computer.

Troubleshooting keyboard techniques:

KB problems can occur with one of the following scenarios

Disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard cable:

When you move your computer or work on it sometimes you have to disconnect the cables, reconnecting them in a tight space could cause the small pins inside the connector body to get bent. If you look at the pins and one is bent then you can use a retractable ball point pen to bend them back to the original position. Or use a pair of very thin needle nose pliers. Be careful with the amount of force you use to grip and bend the pins with you can squash the pin (they are hollow) or break it off.

Another problem that occurs when moving a computer is that the mouse and keyboard connectors are the same, but with different functions. Plugging the mouse into the keyboard port or keyboard into the mouse port will cause the keyboard and mouse to fail, it will not damage any thing, they just won't work.


Keyboards and mice are the most used and abused devices connected to your computer. They get the most human contact. I am not saying that we are malicious, just careless sometimes. The impact from dropping a keyboard may cause the key caps to come louse. If it drops say three feet to carpet the force of the impact may only loosen some key caps in this case with the power off on the computer press firmly on the cap to reseat it... If it is a hard drop, say three feet to concrete you may as well replace it.

Spilling liquid on keyboard:

Electronic devices and liquids do not mix. Liquids spilled into a keyboard are no exception. If you spill your Pepsi or coffee on your keyboard you will have to replace it. The only exception is the newer sealed keyboards that have a plastic membrane over the keys sealing them from dirt and moisture. Even water will cause the keyboard to malfunction. The reason that water will cause the electronics to malfunctions is there are minerals in the water, it does not take much to cause a short in micro components.


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We rarely think of dirt getting into a component when it is inside a building. Well there is a lot of stuff floating in the air, even buildings with air conditioning. The filters can not take everything out of the air. The particles may be microscopic but they will build up over time. When dust settles on your keyboard it will migrate down inside and get between the key contacts and cause a short. You can keep this from happening by vacuuming your keyboard occasionally. Use a full size vacuum (those little battery powered vacuums don't have the power needed to pull the dust out of a keyboard) and a clean paint brush. Use the paint brush to get between the key caps and dislodge the dust, then with the vacuum head about one or two inches off the key caps vacuum up the dust, hair, and other foreign matter (if you put the vacuum cleaner nozzle directly over the key caps you will pull them off of the keyboard!).

Last point: Wireless mice and keyboards are becoming common in this wireless age if you are experiencing intermittent connections replace the battery or batteries. When you change them be sure to press the "reset" button on the device or it will not connect to the transmitter/receiver connected to the USB port.

And if the keyboard (kb) controller fails you have to replace the motherboard

Troubleshooting Keyboard for a laptop takes a different approach.

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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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