Laptop turns off or won't turn on Unless holding down certain keys

By DemonVenom ยท 8 replies
Jun 22, 2014
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  1. Okay, sorry if this isn't in the right place, wasn't sure how to classify this!

    I have a Toshiba Laptop that will not turn on unless you are holding EITHER the Ctrl, Shift or Alt Key while powering it up! and the second you let go of the key the screen goes black and it shuts down.

    It took me a while to figure out holding any one of those keys while pressing power would work. I placed a weight on the shift button & managed to reformat it with Win 7 Pro thinking it may somehow alleviate this perplexing issue. it's reformatted with all the updates done, but still has this issue.

    One thing I also notice is whenever the "machine" shuts down or restarts (even during the reformat) it goes to the boot screen where I am forced to select "F2" for the bios menu or "F12" for the boot order... I select the HD and then Win 7 starts up.

    I just don't understand how these buttons are somehow tied to the power or hibernation maybe of the Laptop

    If anyone can help me figure out an approach to this it would be greatly appreciated, at this point I'm baffled and could use any suggestions you may have to offer... Thanks in advance!
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    My first guess would be a faulty keyboard. Have a look in Device Manager and see if it has any exclamation marks next to it. Follow the route, Control Panel, System and Security, System, Device Manager. Replacing a keyboard can be cheap or dear and easy or hard depending on your make of laptop. Has it ever had a good clean out since new including vacuuming the keys to remove fluff and crumbs? If anyone has spilt some liquid on the keyboard that's another potential cause of the problem.
    DemonVenom likes this.
  3. DemonVenom

    DemonVenom TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 49   +7

    Thanks for your reply, I have tried using a USB Keyboard attached to it and using the On-Screen keyboard running into the same issue where if one of the previously mentioned keys isn't held down on the main keyboard it immediately "fails" again!

    The owner did tell me that her Infant son was playing with it prior to this... she said nothing was spilled on it but he may have pressed too hard... I doubt I have a laptop keyboard that fits it but I'll see if I have one which at least has the same hook-up to test

    and I doubt it has been cleaned properly... I will do so when I remove it

    It's just so peculiar that these buttons are acting like the power button somewhat
  4. DemonVenom

    DemonVenom TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 49   +7

    Alrite so... I removed the keyboard and cleaned it!
    I tested using an "external" keyboard but the laptop wont even turn on... I then hooked the "cleaned" original keyboard back up but didn't screw it in place!
    along with the Ctrl, Shift, & Alt Keys I've now noticed the "Caps Lock" button also works!
    So while holding down caps lock I press the power and the laptop does it's usual, taking me to the boot screen where it offers "F2" or "F12" until I choose F12 & select the HD to boot... Now it starts win 7. I can lift the Keyboard up in the air so long as I'm holding one of those "special" keys and it works still (I thought maybe it was an issue underneath and pressure on the board was keeping the Power switch relay in line or something). I don't have another keyboard with the same hook up to test but it's absolutely baffling me how holding a certain key means the difference between there being a display or not... I just don't get this one!

    EDIT: Now it seems so long as I hold down Any Key the machine will work. Even a "letter" key.... when I let go of whatever Key I am holding down the screen dims to Black... when I get it to come back on it is at the "User login/Switch User Screen.... WTF!!!!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    The keyboard is most likely damaged. There are loads of laptops on eBay with missing keys and now I think I know how it happens. :) How about checking out the cost of a replacement keyboard?
  6. DemonVenom

    DemonVenom TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 49   +7

    Yeah I hope I can find one to test before I buy one, I'm just worried that it may be where the Board connects and not necessarily the Keyboard itself!
    Thanks for the feedback though, appreciated!

    EDIT: I just found a spare Keyboard (actually the right keyboard to fit) and it still has the same issue! Damn...
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    It's strange that a usb keyboard and onscreen keyboard have the same problem. The ribbon connector to the motherboard doesn't seem relevant for those. Did you try uninstalling the keyboard drivers from Device Manger and restarting? I can't really see that helping though. It's looking like there may be a motherboard fault in which case a repair is likely uneconomic.
    DemonVenom likes this.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yes, it might be a motherboard issue... You can get most laptop motherboard for less than $100 but it takes skill to replace them properly
    DemonVenom likes this.
  9. DemonVenom

    DemonVenom TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 49   +7

    Sorry, I wasn't very Clear in my previous post. When I mentioned the USB & On-Screen Keyboards, I meant that I still had to hold a Key on the Laptop keyboard for them to work.
    I did also try Uninstalling The keyboard drivers & Re-installing them, as well as rolling them back etc., but still with No luck!

    I have been suspecting a MoBo issue from the start simply because of the Odd nature of this problem! I'm capable of swapping out "Boards" myself but doubt it would be worth the cost & effort!

    Thanks For your Help... I appreciate the feedback!

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