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Stuck Key (but not physically stuck) new problems...

Posted on 2003-10-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I asked this question before and got an acceptable answer, HOWEVER, I have come across some new developments I would like to share.

The key in question is the 2 key (right now I have to use the NUMLOCK just to type it, which is a problem for me on my laptop.

Usually, my PC would continuosly BEEP due to the key until Windows started. Once Windows started if I tried to type in anything, the twos would keep typing sparatica2lly. (like here I didn't place a two in sparatically).

One time when this was happening, I held down the key and typed a few words. Amazingly, the twos stopped typing and I was again able to use the two key as normal.

I did a couple restarts and there seemed to be no problem. However, I left the laptop for a few hours and turned it back on and it was happening again. I have tried repeating the process with no results, however I thought perhaps someone or perhaps the others who helped me before might be able to build off of this.

Lets see where we go from here.
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Question by:Millie4Life
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by:stevenlewis
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How old is the machine? If new (under warrenty, return it)
If not, my guess is a heat issue, take it to a qualified repair man
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by:cpaglee
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What kind of Notebook is it? The keyboards on laptops are all different, so that is kind of important.

It sounds like you have some dirt or foreign matter stuck in the keyboard in the laptop. You should take the keyboard out and see if you can clean it. Most laptops us a rubber filament laid over top a PCB. The rubber filament has a metalic contact on it and the PCB has two wires that are close together but not connected. When the rubber filament is pressed down the metalic contact on it closes the connection on the PCB and creates a key character. It sounds like right now you have something in there that is making the connection for you when you don't want it to and not allowing you to make the connection (when you press the 2 key) when you want to.

There are two ways you can fix this:

1. Pop off the keycap for the key. Be careful when you do this because you don't want to break the plastic of the keycap otherwise you will never be able to get it back on. On most keyboards you can place a little screwdriver at the bottom of the key cap and pry it up and the key cap will pop right off.

See if you can remove the rubber filament, clean it. While you have it out take a Qtip, dampen it with alcohol and clean the contacts on the PCB. After the PCB is dry put the rubber filament back and replace the key cap. Note that your ability to do this will depend on what kind of laptop you have. Some laptops have individual rubber contacts so you can clean an individual key. Other keyboards all the rubber filaments are linked together so you will need to follow solution 2.

When you put the key cap back on be very careful. Place the key cap directly over where it should be and gently push straight down. It should click back into place and you should be fine.

2. Take out the keyboard and try to clean it. You can try spraying it with compressed air (sold in cans at your local electronics store, or available at most auto repair shops). Maybe this will knock out the dust.

Depending on what type of keyboard your laptop has you may have to remove all the keys to the keyboard to peal back the rubber element. The process would be to repeat the steps described in 1. over and over for each key, remove the rubber element, clean it, and replace the key caps. Because the '2' key is the one having the problem you may be able to just remove the key caps in the upper left hand corner, clean the rubber filament, and put everything back, and still be OK.

3. Take out the keyboard and go buy a new one. You can look on ebay for a new keyboard search for "notebook keyboard" or "laptop keybaord" or "'the brand of your notebook' + keyboard". Replace the keyboard.

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by:Millie4Life
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This is a Compaq Presario 1277 Laptop.

I have tried removing all the keys, and there is another plastic piece under it which seems not to be removable, and where each key is placed there are rubber pieces which you can also see the PCB I believe. Each rubber piece is connected to another.

Also, why would I be able to type if I remove the KEYBOARD from the DEVICE MANAGER?
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by:caza13
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I've seen that kind of switch before.  Each rubber piece has a carbon pad that closes the contacts on the PCB when it is pressed down.  With age the rubber can tear and let the carbon pad fall onto the contacts which makes the operation very eratic.  I have never taken apart the keyboard of a laptop, so I don't know how difficult it will be to rapair it.  I also don't know where to get replacement parts.  You might be able to swap one from another key that you don't normally use.  That might not be possible if the rubber pieces are formed into a continuous sheet.  That would probably require you to replace them all.
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cpaglee earned 500 total points
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The plastic thing is exaclty what I am talking about. You need to remove it and clean underneath it with some Q-tips and rubbing alcohol for the '2' key. Don't mess with the other keys. The old addage if it ain't broke don't fix it applies here. Since they are all connected you may have to actually take the keyboard apart physically.

Someone who is telling you to remove KEYBOARD from the DEVICE MANAGER is talking about a software setting under the SYSTEM in your Control Panel. Don't worry about this. From your description this sounds like a hardware problem rather than a software problem.

You have either two alternatives, either clean the key out according to the directions above or get a new keyboard and replace it.

So will you award me the points?
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by:CleanupPing
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Millie4Life:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1
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Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.
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