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Keyboard help

By MrMelkor
Jun 29, 2007
  1. My fiance has an Inspiron 1100 laptop, it's a few years old, but has never had any problems with it before. Her keyboard has suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason. According to the hardware settings everything is fine, but most of the keys aren't working, or are working sporadically, or are working incorrectly.
    Most of the time none of them work, but sometimes they do, but mostly they don't work correctly. For example: control, alt delete will make the computer beep a few times, and then the right click for the desktop appears in the upper right corner. Sometimes typing the q key will make it type "qwe" or c will become a whole line of c's.
    It was working fine all day, and it just suddenly stopped. Nothing was spilled on it, the caps lock key works, but something is very badly wrong with it.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    This is definitely a software problem. First, the BIOS does a keyboard test as part of POST (Power On Self Test), so if there was a problem at the hardware or hardware/software interface layer, it would likely have been picked up then. Let me guess, the keyboard works until Windows is started, right? Also, the nature of the problem smacks of software. If it were hardware, it would be the same key or set of keys not working. This, on again, off again, sporatic behaviour sounds like a software problem.

    My first suggestions is to boot into Safe Mode and see if the problem still exists. If it doesn't, there something is conflicting with the keyboard driver in NOrmal Mode. If it does still happen in Safe Mode, then the driver itself may be corrupted. You might need to reinstall your chipsets drivers (which will be hard to do without a working keyboard!)

    Re-post with results and let's take it from there.
     
  3. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried restarting it in safe mode, but never got the chance. It beeped about 10 times with the screen blank, and then showed the load screen for XP, nothing in between the two.

    ETA: her laptop doesn't have the right ports to plug my keyboard in either.
     
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Well, you're in serious trouble then!

    Try booting from an XP installation CD. See if you can get into Recovery Console. That will at least prove that the keyboard hardware is working.
     
  5. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK. The keyboard works sometimes outside of windows. For example, I can hit F12 to get to setup, but then the arrows and enter don't work. Sometimes it will beep several time and show a list of all the specs for the hardware, but the keyboard doesn't work there either.
    I've uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers for the keyboard twice with no results.
     
  6. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    So the keyboard problem exists outside of windows. Now you have a serious problem! BTW, how were you able to uninstall/reinstall drivers without a functioning keyboard? You must be a magician!

    This now brings us almost full circle. It could in fact be a hardware problem. Initially I was 90% sure it's software but sometimes hardware problems look like software. The next best step would be to swap in another keyboard and see if the problem persists. Somehow, I know that won't be the solution. Could be a problem with the MoBo hardware. For example, corroided connection, excessive dust, ...

    This reminds me of the tutorial my E&M professor had where he explained how a colour TV works. He mentioned how a build of dust can affect the connections, "Your gf's father will be so impressed that you fixed his TV, all for the simple price of a BLOWJOB!!"
     
  7. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, now thoroughly confused; keyboard works. No idea why, as it wasn't working and just suddenly started. IE settings keep changing themselves (text size, menus disappearing). Running virus scan now, but no idea what's going on
     
  8. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Sounds like bad spyware symptoms! Run the following 3 anti-spyware utilities:

    • Ad-Aware 2007
    • Spybot Search & Destroy
    • AVG Anti-Spyware

    All are free and can be downloaded via the Internet.
     
  9. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Keyboards stopped working again. I was actually typing when it just.....stopped
     
  10. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I'm a little confused. You said that the keyboard flacks out even before you start Windows, i.e. when accessing BIOS Well, virus and spyware can't corrupt BIOS, or at least not easily.

    I think your MoBo is flacky. How old is your comp? Perhaps it needs a good blowjob to get all that dust out of it!
     
  11. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's about three years old. I'll try opening it up once the virus scan is done and blowing all the dust out to see if that helps.
    Thank you very much for your help with this. I'll post an update tomorrow.
     
  12. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Another thought, is the connector from the keyboard to the backplane on the chassis loose? Is it worn? Again, find another keyboard, swap it and see if you still have keyboard problems. I'm almost certain it's hardware related.
     
  13. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Opened it up this morning and checked the connections, blew out the little bit of dust that was in it, and now it works fine
     
  14. MrMelkor

    MrMelkor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That is, it did work fine for a while. Stopped working again after a while, so I had her shut it down for a bit, and now everything but one shift button is working. It almost sounds like it's overheating since it only starts after she's been using it for a while, but there was almost no dust in there, and I blew all that out.
     
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