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Strange keyboard problem

Posted on 2002-05-25
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hello.

1've got a pretty we1rd problem. And f1rst let me expla1n why 1'm not us1ng r1ght letters...

My laptop seems to have gone crazy. 1t's lost control of one d1agonal l1ne of letters - 8ik and ,. 1've
got a F1nn1sh ceyboard 1n case anyone wonders. Any 1deas?

Here's what comes out when 1 try to press one of the ceys. All the others worc f1ne.

8=713824 or 097133824
i=UQEIWwr(backspace) or poUQEIWR
k=(enter)ölj
,=-.Mmzc, or -.MZC;XV
(=/¤=
I=UQEIU
K=ÖFJJJJDJSFJDDJ
;=MZC;XV

And noth1ng has really
happened to the mach1ne. 1t spent last n1ght on the floor load1ng the battery and when my g1rlfr1end turned
1t on th1s morn1ng the ceys d1dn't worc. They d1d last n1ght so 1 can't f1gure out what's happen1ng.

Before th1s the mach1ne has been to the Dutch Tos1ba Warranty Serv1ce tw1ce.
(1 currently l1ve 1n the Netherlands). Both t1mes the laptop lost some 1nternal power d1str1buter or
someth1ng. 1t worced w1th the battery but not w1th the power adaptor. The f1rst t1me 1t came bacc 1t worced
for 2 hours and went out aga1n. 1 sent 1t bacc and got 1t yesterday. Everyth1ng was f1ne for a day and
now th1s. What's wrong? Any 1deas?

And aga1n 1'm sorry for the strange spell1ng 1'm forced to use...

Antti Iiskola
aiiskola@mbnet.fi

Typ1ng that tooc a loooong t1me... :)

Update: after 1 banged the ceyboardc, everyth1ng worced f1ne for a wh1le but now 1'm bacc where 1 started...
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Question by:ZDevil
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27 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7034253
I had a row of keys go out.  Dell came out and replaced the keyboard under warranty.  Since this is still under warranty I would suggest a keyboard replacement.  It sounds like you are not getting along too well with Toshiba.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7034271
Yeah 1 cnow... 1 just can't use the warranty here r1ght now s1nce 1'm go1ng bacc to F1nland 1n a few weecs and 1 won't get the laptop bacc from the warranty by that t1me.
Any good 1deas anyone? 1 guess 1'll just start bang1ng on th1s aga1n...
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7034344
Can you find an authorized repair center close by?  They should be able to do the repair while you wait.  My keyboard replacement took about 15 minutes.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7034455
Tosh keyboards are pretty easy to remove, normally there's a plastic strip just above the kbd that pops out and a under this a central crosshead screw. Then very carefully release the zero insertion force clips that hold it into the motherboard sockets. Once seperated from the laptop the only thing you can do is shake it vigorously upside-down, swear at it, and put it back again gently reapplying the clips.

Maybe that fix it, maybe not but better than shaking the rest of the laptop. Could be that last time it was fixed the zif sickets were not done up properly or it could be internal problem to kbd.

Chances of getting a quick fix anywhere but Finland is unlikely, last time I ordered a French replacement keyboard in UK it took 3 weeks to arrive where as the UK ones are in local stock.
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Author Comment

by:ZDevil
ID: 7037071
Sounds good - just don't have the plast1c str1p. Th1s 1s Satell1te 1700 - S500. Don't cnow how to get the ceyboard out... W1ll 1 just have to suffer 2 more weecs unt1l 1 get to F1nland? 1t does seem to worc every now and then - espec1ally after a good whacc at the m1ddle... :)

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by:slink9
ID: 7037148
It sounds that way.  You wouldn't really want to do anything yourself since it would most likely void the warranty.  Then ANY problems you have will not be covered.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7037152
1 cnow. Th1s just pretty frustrat1ng when 1'm not able to type anyth1ng r1ght. 1 have few ma1ls 1 should send - off1c1al ones - and 1 obv1osly can't. 1 also not1ced that "large than - smaller than" and one other have stopped worc1ng. Cay seems to produce some control+ effects such as CTRL+S and CTRL+F.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7037181
Checked in the workshop and got almost every service manual except the 1700. Some have 2 crossheads at the back to release the keyboard mask. Obviously warranty is void if they know you've been inside it but it's been apart twice so you'd get away with scratched screwheads (not torn cables though).

The local Tosh repair centre could re-seat the keyboard for you with 50:50 chance of fixing it but as they don't replace any part Toshiba don't pay them for the work so they won't do it under warranty. If it's that important you could pay them instead.

Do you have the OS CD with you? if you install accessibility utilities you might be able to use the on-screen keyboard that you use with the mouse.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7037195
_Do you have the OS CD with you? if you install _accessibility utilities you might be able to use the
_on-screen keyboard that you use with the mouse.

1 do. Although 1 manage w1th copy/paste and replace. Just slows down everyth1ng. And passwords w1th 1's are tough too. 1 don't seem to f1nd a way to remove the ceyboard - there are no ceyboard loosen1ng screws on the bacc and the str1p on top of the board 1s connected to the cover too so 1 doubt that that can be removed. Th1s one 1s a b1tch to open - tr1ed 1t once. 1s 1t poss1ble that the screws would be under the ceys?
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7037196
_Do you have the OS CD with you? if you install _accessibility utilities you might be able to use the
_on-screen keyboard that you use with the mouse.

1 do. Although 1 manage w1th copy/paste and replace. Just slows down everyth1ng. And passwords w1th 1's are tough too. 1 don't seem to f1nd a way to remove the ceyboard - there are no ceyboard loosen1ng screws on the bacc and the str1p on top of the board 1s connected to the cover too so 1 doubt that that can be removed. Th1s one 1s a b1tch to open - tr1ed 1t once. 1s 1t poss1ble that the screws would be under the ceys?
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7037278
Very unlikely to find screws under the keycaps, normally if you manage to get the keycaps off it breaks the keyboard. Tosh have never put screws under keycaps in the past.

Damn, this one isn't even on their technical site (sorry, needs login and I can't give you a username/password). The 1700-200 , 300 and 400 are there and they do have 2 screws on the back that go through the hinge cover (not on the bottom, not underneath but on the back, so about an inch above the keyboard if you follow it 90 degrees around the P shaped curve of the hinge), then 4 screws at the top of the keyboard after this cover comes off.

If still confused, between back and bottom, open it a ^ shape and stand it up like a tent, look straight down on it and you are seeing the back.
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Author Comment

by:ZDevil
ID: 7037595
Got it (in a internet cafe now, so keys work...). Should that open the cover? I'll try that as soon as I get home, I remember it having those screws. I always thought they kept the screen in place...

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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7037691
Definitely those 2 screws just release the one inch wide plastic strip above the keyboard.
Then 4 evenly spaced screws on top of the kbd and 2 delicate ZIF locks to release the cables.
Now with the keyboard out you can see the screws that hold the rest of the cover in place but you don't need to go further.

Obviously you have to observe antistatic proceedures, only touch metal or carbon-loaded plastic and always trouch chassis, don't touch the chips, don't do it in a room with a nylon carpet, remove silk and nylon clothes first.

Always best to ask as I've seen lots of other makes where similar screws do hold the screen to the body and that really makes a mess by tearing the flexible ribbon cable in half.

Have an independant witness watch you disassemble it as there's a good chance the ZIF locks were broken last time they mended it which is causing the problem.

You could always buy a replacement kbd http://shop.store.yahoo.com/laptopsforless/lapkeyfortos1.html which probably includes the engineering drawing but then the keycaps would be wrong. If it's full of coffee or coke then self replacement is best as you'd pay another $100 for handling and fitting.
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7037761
Go for it.  I hope you don't need any more service under warranty because it will probably void the warranty.
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by:andyalder
ID: 7037831
You coward Slink.

How many laptops have you taken apart? Admittedly we don't know that he isn't going to take a black&decker drill to the screwheads and drill through the case and the CPU but this is after all "Experts Exchange" and one must expect he is capable of dissasembling it with a jewelers screwdriver without accidentally smashing the motherboard with a hammer while doing it as long as he knows which screws to undo. Half the "qualified" engineers break the ZIF locks where as 90% of owners take a quick look without causing any damage.

If your new car breaks down by the side of the road do you just sit in it and cry or do you open the bonnet and look at it? Sure crying by the side of the road keeps your warranty intact but it doesn't get you home for supper if a sparkplug cap has come loose.

Tell me how *they* can prove he has taken it apart carefully with a jewelers screwdriver when it's already been taken apart twice and now has an intermittent fault before he's even been inside it.

Admittedly it need delicate fingers but he is from Finland so we have to assume he hasn't got oversized hands from eating half a pound of hormone injected beef every day.
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7037843
Good point about it already being opened by them twice.  I had forgotten that.  They may have some sort of method for determining if it has been opened that they put back.  If so, the warranty will be void.  Just being a little cautious.  If they do have a way of finding out and the twice-repaired problem pops up again, you will be SOL.
By the way, if my car (Jeep in my case) breaks down, I won't cry about it, but about all that I could do under the hood is tighten the spark plug wires.  I am a puter guy, not a car guy.  I do some work for car guys, though, and they can help me out if I need it.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7037882
I've mended about 100 Tosh portables right back to the ones that had no batteries and had to be plugged into mains to work about 12 years ago, quality build all right but no hidden warranty seals except for the obvious locally applied sticky paper label across the case by Tosh's 3rd party contractors.

Some I've not split and reassembled yet but all Toshes come apart and reassemble good. Except for those tiny locking sliders on the zif locks. Easily broken but hard to replace, pretend you don't see the hairline crack on the nylon lock and you might get away with it since they don't ship a bag of replacement zif-locks sliders with the spare part as it belongs to the motherboard. Oh, and don't break the little plastic flaps on the modem connector since this is chargeable as user damage.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7038951
Ok, guys, slow down... :) I know how to open a computer and how to prevent static shocks, and I even got the ZIF's open. BUT. They were okay, I took them (the keyboard and the pointer-device :) out and put them in and even tried to wiggle the keyboard one a bit with power on, but the problem is still there. I even took the keyboard out, shook it and swore at it...

So, 8,i,k and comma still don't work. Also <> and the one with ^ don't work. If I press all fourof 8 to , down I get all four beautifully, but one at a time produces a mess.

andyalder, I think that the Dutch Toshiba  might have caused all the cracks and stuff if anything has happened... :)
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7038990
The keyboard itself is having problems.  You may see an electrical short across the solder joints of these keys.  The fact that it is one vertical row is the exact same thing that happened to mine.  Replace the keyboard yourself or have it done under warranty.
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Author Comment

by:ZDevil
ID: 7038994
So I guess I'll have to wait until I get to Finland. I doubt that I'll be getting a Finnish keyboard here. Damn.
Any ideas on the points?
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 7038995
Must be an internal short circuit since you've already shaken it to get any paperclips out of it. You can't dissasemble the keyboard itself so the only answer is warranty replacement.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7039000
BTW, it is possible to get the keycaps out. It just requires the exact riht  amount of strenght and an ingenious tactic for putting them back...
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Accepted Solution

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andyalder earned 200 total points
ID: 7039034
Why not buy an external keyboard for now and give it to the hotel staff instead of a tip when you leave? Admittedly you'll have to learn where all the ALT characters for the Finnish characters.
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by:slink9
ID: 7039076
Good (and cheap, US at least) idea.  Maybe that should get the points.
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7041768
I've been thinking about that, but I'll need to find out what keyboards cost here. Guess I'll have to go and see... If they are cheap, I'll give you the points. Agreed?

:)
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7041823
AndyAlder wins the prize!!
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by:ZDevil
ID: 7044309
Oc d1dn't buy 1t but here goes. Cheers mates.

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