Shift keys not working

By bellodee
Mar 20, 2010
  1. Hello,
    I have a problem with my shift keys. neither of them works which is frustrating because to capitalise I have to hit the caps lock and unlock when I have finished. i cannot type the 'at' symbol for instance so when i need it i have to cut and paste. i think it is software rather than hardware or am i wrong. please help
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    What is the Dell model number, desktop, laptop? When I search Dell 1100 I get a laser printer
  3. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 179

  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Left off the word "Inspiron"... Did you recently install any updates or programs?
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Dell's do, as a rule, have a set of hardware test programs - consult your manual as to where they are - can be to press a certain key during boot, or can be on a supplied CD.

    When you find them, choose the one that tests your keyboard. This should/will tell you if the key is stuck. If you cannot find the test programs, try Dell support website.

    If it turns out the key does not register, get a can of compressed air, ask someone to hold the switched-off laptup upsite down over your head and give it a good rogering with the air-can. One of your weeks-old lunches might fall out....actually, I spot your point about 'both of them', but Dell support should be able to advise about re-installing whatever keyboard driver is involved, as a test.

    PS a quick search of the Dell forum comes up with the same problem going back to 2005, on a variety of laptops. No solutions appear to be posted. What is notable is all cases mention that both shift-keys fail. Bit suspicious really. Worth raising a compliant with Dell - and is it still under warranty?
  6. bellodee

    bellodee TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thanks very much and my apologies for not giving more info on my laptop. It is a Dell Inspiron 1100 running on XP. The fact that is seems to be a common Dell problem is a bit worrying. My laptop is old and well out of warranty but i guess I'll try Dell and see what they say. I have run the Dell diagnostics software and it reports the keyboard as normal. I'll post again when I 've talked to Dell.
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Too right. I searched the Dell forum for 'shift key fail' and got 7,424 hits !!!

    I suspect you will have no joy, as it is possibly the keyboard chip which has failed. As an alternative, how about plugging-in a standard (or usb) keyboard and mouse. You can get pretty light and compact ones. Also much easier to use than the laptop keyboard !!

    Maybe even a wireless keyboard/mouse set would be good. Personally, I hate using a laptop for reasons of both keyboard and mouse useability.
  8. bellodee

    bellodee TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    You were right. No joy from Dell. I've managed the laptop like that for a while so I'll have to carry on until I get a new one as it is due for replacement anyway; as I mentioned it is old. Why dont they make them like washing machines or TV's which last for ever?!!

  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    While keyboard may well have just failed (so trying another) is a good test

    But you might also try:
    > Hold down the right Shift key for about 15 seconds. Do you get a FilterKeys window pop-up?
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