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Dell keyboard typing funny characters

Posted on 2011-10-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Dell c640 machine with windows Xp installed.
recently it has started cauisng some issues with the keyboard.
Pressing some of the keys are typing funny characters e.g
- Y - types y]  t
- U - types uiopqewr
- similar problems with keys for H, J, N, M

none of the other keys have any problem
This problem DOES NOT happen if i use an external USB keyboard

I have already tried the solutions below but no luck
- changed the system keyboard
- flashed the BIOS

Need some experts to help out here.......please !
Question by:fooji
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 36901587
Turn the system off, unplug the ac adapter and remove the battery, now press and hold the power button for at least 30 seconds, plug the ac adapter back in and power it back on. I have seen this fix keyboards issues in many older Dell laptops.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36901875
Try the suggested solutions.

If still no cure determine if its a hardware or software issue.
You could run a live CD like Knoppix and test. If there is no problem while running Knoppix its likely to be a software driver issue.

If the problem also persists in Knoppix its a hardware issue.
You will need to replace the keyboard of your machine.

There are many people who are selling the keyboard for you machine.
By a new keyboard if you plan to keep the machine for a while more.
You can get keyboards http://www.nextag.com/dell-latitude-keyboard-c640/products-html or try the ebay. You may find you get better deals at ebay.

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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36901880
Also some info on how to remove the keyboard if necessary.
Replacing the keyboard is an easy procedure. Most DIY enthusiast
should be able to replace it.

Check out the detailed procedure of removal of the keyboard at

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36901892
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36901951
since you replaced the keyboard - and still have the problem ; AND it does not happen with USB keyboard,
i suspect a bad mother board (keyboard controller)
options :
use the USB keyboard , and continue using it
replace motherboard

long shot : you can also clean out the motherboard with a brush and a acan of compressed air (something can be shortin)
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 36902984
I agree with Nobus. Keyboard controller issues.
Perhaps a flexible usb  keyboard can be used as it doesn' take up much room and is easily transported.

Author Comment

ID: 36903134
@ Asidu.....i have already replaced the keyboard but no luck....I can try Knoppix and check can you send me instructions on where to buy/download it and how to run it.

@ Nobus.....i am thinking the same here........but have a question......is the keyboard controller different when I use the USB keyboard....(since the USB keybd works fine)
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36903208
You can get knoppix from

Down load and burn it on to a CD.

Just thinking did you replace the set with a new keyboard?
If yes make sure you re-connected the ribbon cable properly again.
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36903747
sure it is different; the inbuilt has parallel connection, when the usb one works like an USB device

Accepted Solution

fooji earned 0 total points
ID: 36936251
Guys it seems the problem was with the registry entries and/or driver issues for the keyboard.
I followed the manual process given at the link below.......


This fixed the issue for me.........thanks for your assistance


Author Closing Comment

ID: 36960743
found solution on the internet by googling for registry entry issues

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