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Keyboard Problem

Posted on 1998-02-11
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Question by:khemicals
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magigraf earned 250 total points
ID: 1127952
khemicals...

You did exactly what I would have suggested to do (try another keyboard).
Now you tried another keyboard and the problem persist, so this looks to me like a motherboard problem on the level of the keyboard connector.  There is (as I heard) a small fuse or resistor, that should be changed.  (that's why you are experiencing that intermitent failure)

If you could have your system checked by a technician or a computer store, you would save yourself a hassle.

This is the best advise I can give from here.
Hope it helped
Regards
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Expert Comment

by:busuka
ID: 1127953
May I enter ? ... Thank you. Usually your keyboard controlled by
big chip somewhere around kb connector space. This chip is not
soldered, but inserted in slot. Shut down your computer and press
on this chip with finger. You should hear weak click(s). If this
not helped ... I'm afraid that Mag is right and you should check
your motherboard (and probably replace it).
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by:khemicals
ID: 1127954
sorry guys, but I seem to be having a problem locating either a fuse or the chip you say is there... right behind the connector is the power supply connectors and then the memory... I am gonna see if there is anything in my motherboard documentation about it. I don't wanna grade the answer until I know for sure whether it is right or not... and I believe it to be right... just have to find the stupid thing
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by:PBMax
ID: 1127955
Mag is probably right.  You did the steps that a PC Tech would do.  A fuse wouldn't be the problem though.  If a fuse was blown then the keyboard connector wouldn't even work!  But I still believe it is the MB.  If it is under warranty then call the MB manufactuerer and get an RMA(Return Merchandise Authorization)  If you take it to the shop they will charge you about $50 to tell you what you already know.  If it isn't under warranty then I would still call tech support for your MB manufactuerer to see if you can get it repaired cheaply.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127956
PBMax...
Since I'm not a technician, I asked 2 techs before answering the question. It's good to be sure what kind od statement you make.
This site if full of talented people.
Regards
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by:khemicals
ID: 1127957
still can't find either the fuse or chip as neither are documented in the motherboard documentation... I will check their web site next
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127958
khemicals...

I would have recommended that you consult a technician rather than doing this yourself.  I hate to see you shorting the motherboard.  Unless you have strong reasons to believe you could do it yourself.(if there is a fuse)

On the other hand you might have to change the entire motherboard.

Regards
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by:khemicals
ID: 1127959
I need to learn how to do this stuff anyways... besides I am knowledgeable about computer hardware and such... just never bothered learning the finer details about the motherboard. I just need to know what I am looking for... I have soldered to a motherboard before so I do know how to handle it
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127960
khemicals...

That little fuse or transistor that you're looking for is different from one motherboard to another.

Now for me or anybody else here to point exactly what you're looking for would be VERY HARD, since first we need the motherboard manufacturer, than we have to pull out the WIRING circuit of the board to pin point the place of that fuse or transistor.

An electronic tech will look at the board and immediately identify what he has to replace.

Remember he has to be LOOKING at the board which we can't do from here.

I wish we could help more than that, but when it comes to be looking at something unusual, we can't just do it over the net.

Keep me posted
Regards
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1127961
khemicals,
Go here for manufacturer's info on your motherboard:
http://203.73.138.1/html/sm5.htm

Regards,
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1127962
khemicals,
Just a guess, but if you're handy with that soldering iron.....
try re-flowing the solder at the keyboard connector on the bottom of the M/B.
Remember:  This can cause great damage if you are not careful!
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:doddd
ID: 1127963
Khemicals

  If you're going to put a soldering iron on your board, make sure you get one that is at the right temperature (unless you don't particularly care about the mainboard) and you are certain about what you are doing and you have practised on an old board first.

  I don't know much about this myself, but Mueller (Author of Upgrading and reparing PCs) does, and all I can remember is that to change a soldered 386 CPU, he used some sort of hot air jet, that sends a puff of air for a very short duration.  I have a feeling that the key is high temperature for a very short duration (but don't quote me).  The keyboard area of your mainboard is probably not as sensitive as a CPU, but that's where your memory is located.

  Modern mainboards have multiple wafers of silicon all stuck together like plywood, with etching in between.  This etching is very fine.  I would say that you would have more chance repairing your board with a sledgehammer than a soldering iron.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127964
khemicals...

I guess you could clearly see that most of the comments here do agree in some sence with my answer.

I again repeat myself in telling you that the WISE thing to do is to take the board to your dealer or to any repair center.

Good luck!
Regards
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Expert Comment

by:doddd
ID: 1127965
No Magigraf,
the sledgehammer has by far been the wisest answer.  ;).
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1127966
khemicals,
Forget about the sledgehammer.  I cant speak for anyone else, but I have used a soldering iron with good results on many occasions before.
Upon re-reading your original question, I wonder if the problem persisted only until you re-booted.  You said: "... but I am sure this will continue to occur."
Has this problem occured  since you tried the new keyboard?
If not, then that solved the problem.... not anything to do with  the other "solutions".
Ralph

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by:khemicals
ID: 1127967
the problem is intermittant... and a keyboard change does not solve it... most of the time the problem can be solved by unplugging and replugging in the keyboard... and the times that it doesn't work a reboot fixes.... I am waiting to try the various solutions until I finish building my new system...  so that if I get to the resoldering stage and ruin it I still have a functionaal machine... I will also refer to the afformentioned upgrading and repairing pcs book... whomever's suggestion works first I will award the points... just need the darn case and some time to put her together before I check voltages and the like

thanks for being patient
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1127968
khemicals,
Let's try another direction....
Unless there is some kind of movement with your keyboard cable or connector to induce the failure, I'm inclined to think that something else may be causing your lockups.
Have you added any new hardware or memory?
When the lockup happens, does the mouse quit working?
Is the modem in use?
Have you tried alt-ctrl-del?  
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:khemicals
ID: 1127969
there is no movement of the cable
no new hardware has been installed before i started having the problems
sometimes the moust quits working but most of the time it still works
sometimes the modem is in use... others it is not
3-finger salute never works either (when it just won't work)
sorry these answers were no help but I am pretty boggled myself
-khemicals
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127970
khemicals...

Could you tell me why are you overiding the option of having the board checked by a professional??
Or do you prefer breaking your head, and fiddle with soldering the board yourself when you're not sure that it is the problem??

Could you update!!
Regards
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by:khemicals
ID: 1127971
I just would prefer to do it myself.... consider it a "learning experience".... if it was mission critical that the pc work I would take it to a tech.... but as I am training to me one among other things I would like to know how to do it. If I screw it up so be it... ya gotta learn somehow.... besides today most places just say get a new motherboard around here.... which would mean going some distance to try something like this. FYI I am not gonna touch a soldering iron until I get to that as being the *last option* I still haven't even checked for proper voltages and there is always the chance that the motherboard isn't grounded properly etc etc.... so it will be easiest to figure all of this out by waiting until I get the parts for my new computer, tearing this one apart, and when apart do the tests... get out the good ol voltmeter for the keyboard plug etc etc...
I also work in my spare time as a volunteer tech at a local high school and anyone handy with a soldering iron with the pcs in the *boneyard* would be very useful. so if I get to the soldering stage I will get a bit of experience
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127972
khemicals...

That's fine then. I like your style of being careful, and willing to learn in the same time. (big plus)

As for these tech who will suggest you buy a new motherboard, in some sence they could be right, but if your board is under warranty, you wouldn't care,  I can then assume that it's off warranty.

Well good luck then, and I hope you succeed to have it fixed rather then destroying it.

Regards
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Expert Comment

by:busuka
ID: 1127973
khemicals, can you post your motherboard manufacturer and model.
I have strange feeling that this is that "big chip" that you can't
find. Hint: this chip not square one, but rectangle, not soldered
and located on far end of motherboard (where cards inserted). Make
sure to check whole side. If you located it, press it slightly to
hear clicks of its contacts.
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Author Comment

by:khemicals
ID: 1127974
basuka...
as posted in the question it is an abit am5-a... I cannot seem to located the chip but I am building a new computer which will allow me to take everything out and work with the bear motherboard and see if I can find the keyboard controller chip then... since I have a new motherboard already (not to replace this one for the other computer) I have located what the chip should look like (assuming they look alike and since they use the same bios different versions I think that they probably look alike).
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by:busuka
ID: 1127975
OK. Found your motherboard on www.abit.com.tw but picture too
small and unclear :(. Abit should put some effort to design their
homepages.
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Author Comment

by:khemicals
ID: 1127976
sorry guys... I shoulda tested the darn keyboard a bit more earlier on... that was the problem so I tried to fix it with a hammer as suggested and now I have a keyboard that works! (kidding)

thanks for your time and sorry for wasting some
-khems
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by:magigraf
ID: 1127977
khemicals...

That's all right, the most important for us is that your problem is solved.
Best of luck!
Regards
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