Disable Laptop keyboard

WernerVonBraun
WernerVonBraun used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello there.

I work on a laptop, but most of the time I use it at work, rather than on the road, so I have a USB keyboard plugged into it and a USB mouse.

Now I noticed a wee problem that occasionally raises its ugly head. I'd be typing happily, and suddenly strange things happen. Whenever I hit the "t", for example, the OS starts tabbing from one application to the next. When I hit the "m" key, the current window minimizes. You catch my drift. It looks like the "windows" key or something is getting stuck occasionally.

I investigated the matter and it's not the USB keyboard. The same thing still happened when I unplugged the USB keyboard and I hit the "t" on the laptop's keyboard.

So I hit on a cunning plan.

I decided I would simply disable the laptop's keyboard. After all, I have a USB keyboard and it works just fine.

Problem is this: When I go into Device Manager, I see the laptop's own Keyboard listed as a Standard PS/2 Keyboard. And when I check out its driver, the "Disable" button is .... well .... disabled [oh the humanity]


As a drastic solution, I reckoned I could simply uninstall and reinstall the driver. Well, that DOES work. Except, every time you uninstall the driver you need to re-boot the machine, and then when it re-boots, Windows discovers the new Hardware and then re-installs the driver. And that, TOO, can be fixed. You go into Local Group Policy Editor, into Administrative Templates, into System, to "Device Installation", and into "Device Installation Restrictions", enable "Prevent installation of devices using drivers that match these device setup classes", and add guid {4d36e96b-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}

Well whoop-tee-doo

It works. And it's fine. But it's a rather cumbersome process if all you want to do is be able to disable and enable the inbuilt keyboard as you see fit.

So I was wondering, is there a better solution "out there", for example a Device Driver that DOES allow for Disabling and Enabling?

Cheers


Pino
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Commented:
Hi Pino

It sounds like your problem may be best resolved by targetting the cause rather than disabling the whole keyboard.

Firstly, I would look to sticky keys as a possible cause, turn it off (and ensure it never comes on again):
Got to your control Panel
Open "Ease of Access Center"
Click on "Make the Keyboard Easier to use"
Click on "Set up Sticky Keys"
Untick the box for "Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times"
Apply your settings and click OK

I usually take similar actions for Togglekeys and Filter keys also, to prevent them starting unintentionally.

If this Fails (i.e. if there is a fault with the driver or keyboard) then I would disable the Windows key:

The following link is to a forum which offers the registry files to do this:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/5937-windows-key-shortcuts-enable-disable.html

Hope this helps.

Author

Commented:
Alas, no. None of the Sticky Key options are set up. I think that in this case the keyboard is literally sticky....
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Hello WernerVonBraun, I would agree with you... is it an old laptop? Have you spilled anything on the built in keyboard? When you were doing the tests on the built in keyboard...I would assume you unplugged the USB Keyboard? Correct?
If this is the case, the fastest and simplest solution is to replace the laptop's keyboard. Most of them are so cheap that it doesn't merit a second thought (your luck will vary)... usually from $35 to $100.... Take a look at the procedure to replace it (it takes about 5 min or less:
http://www.refurbished-laptop-guide.com/how-to-replace-laptop-keyboard.html
Bits ...
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Commented:
If it is just the Windows key that is affected then the link in my last post to disable the Windows Hot keys, would probably make a good compromise.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
This is a more typical scenario when replacing a keyboard than the one I posted above:
http://www.laptoprepair101.com/laptop/2007/08/30/removing-replacing-laptop-keyboard/
Notice the ribbon cable connector lock: you sound experienced but some who have never done it, tend to pull the cable without "unlocking" the connector.
Personally, I would not compromise.... I would hate to have to work with a "crippled" keyboard. If you don't mind this .... then just unplugging the keyboard would have been a solution for you or the method you are currently using should be fine.
Bits ...
Commented:
Here's an easy solution, you said the key is literally sticky? why not just take it off since you don't use it and it's an old  laptop. just pull it off(you can always put it back on if you really want to) just make sure you don't grab other keys with it.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Ouch.... come on guys.... it's a cheap keyboard replacement ... it's going to look like cr..p without a key .....
 
Bits ....

Author

Commented:
ROFL
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
ROFLMAO

Commented:
all right, then take it off and check to see what's sticking if you don't like it off
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Actually ... now that you mention it, I've heard of people removing the keyboard, putting it in the dishwasher, drying it out with a hair dryer and pluging it back into the computer..... Really!!....(I've never tried it myself but if you are planning on pulling the key out you might be willing to try anything) .... lol

Commented:
Yeah just make sure it doesn't rust, you could after you put it in the dishwasher pour rubbing alcohol over it, since it evaporates faster than water...  

Author

Commented:
ok

The first thing I'll is check whether there is anything icky stuck under that key. If so I'll just try to clean it. If not, I'll try taking it out, cleaning it, and putting it back in. If THAT doesn't work I'll stick with disabling it when I don't need it, even if it's a nuisance. In the end it's a work computer so I'm not going to waste TOO much time on getting it back in perfect working order. ;-)

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