How-to fix a laptop keyboard

laptop keyboard

The keyboard on [IraqiGeek]’s aging Averatec started to fail after two years of use. He didn’t want to pay $60-80 for a replacement. Instead he decided to dissect a cheap membrane keyboard and use the key contacts out if it. The how-to is really thorough and covers the disassembly and reassembly of the complex key supports in the notebook.

35 thoughts on “How-to fix a laptop keyboard

  1. In the keyboards I have you can just unhinge one side of the bracket instead of carefully separating the pieces as shown in the article — bending those pieces like that is just begging for them to snap.

  2. damn, i just tossed a laptop keyboard and purchased a new one. and it really never occurred to me that I could have fixed it myself. Great writeup and great hack.

  3. And while you’re at it, why not add a little bit of LED backlighting?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist suggesting it. I’d document it too, if I had a laptop. And a camera. Oh well.

  4. i’d like to point out one fact: if one or more keys have failed, others are likely to follow. if you’d rather pay $5 than rip apart your laptop and painfully trim a tiny rubber cup from another keyboard every time a key fails, it adds up to $60 pretty easily. don’t just look at the bad keys, think of the failures and typos you’re preventing in the future. buy a new part.

  5. mac… most of us are “young” — we still have decent vision (be it with or without help)… trimming small rubber, plastic, copper etc. etc. whatever is not painful at all… If it is for you, you’d probably be doing yourself a favor by visiting an optometrist or asking asking yourself (when it becomes painful in any sense of the term) “am I doing this the best way I can.”

    If the answer to that question is yes… again, you’d probably be doing yourself a favor by visiting the doctor ;)

  6. I just bought a single key on ebay for $1. came with the silicone membrane and all the little levers. I realise that if there were more than a few keys this isn’t a good idea, but I only had one key that needed replacing (the entire key was gone)

  7. josh: whoosh. i was making a point about not opening your laptop and risking unrepairable damage being worth $5…adding up to the $60 price of a brand new keyboard if you keep having to open the computer.

    trebuchet03: whoosh. i’ve soldered tiny smd parts and have no vision troubles. however, i do things because the investment is worth the return. will i spend $15 and two hours repairing one key and potentially ruining the keyboard anyway? no. i’ll spend the $60 and simply pop a new keyboard in, which in my book counts as “painless.” i looked at today’s hack and “am i doing this the best way i can” would result in buying a real part.

  8. How timely, was just trying to figure out a way to repair my 8088 laptop keyboard right at the moment! Nice hack!

    Oh and those ‘get zwinked!’ ads make me want to puke

  9. I have done this many time with my notebook. To clean under the keys or fix a loose key. Its really simple as long as you pay extreme attention to not snapping the brackets. They are very fragile. Oh and “mac” there is virtually no chance of screwing up a keyboard this way. As a last note smd leds under the keys might be a cool idea as long as it does not interfere with the key compression.

  10. Probably the most practical thing I’ve seen on this site. Great article

    However, isn’t it usually those hinge brackets themselves that break, rather than the rubber cups below?

  11. with respect, mr. mac, I think anyone who is about to do this can decide for themselves whether or not they would like to take that risk for the possible benefit of saving $55. If thats not worth it to you, then that’s your decision, but there are an very small quantity of people who care about that.

  12. If you break a pole off one of the plastic hinge brackets on a key, I have had luck heating a staple up with a soldering iron and pushing it straight it into the spot where the pole used to be. Then trim the staple to the correct length using a wire cutter.

    The plastic melts from the hot staple, and if you push the staple in far enough, it is held into place very securely.

  13. This is nice but I need a fix for my dell laptops keyboard, the 8-i-k keys work only intermittantly. I don’t think it has anything to with the keyboard directly though. It’s a very common problem on real old dell laptops.

  14. Maybe it is promotional comment, but it may help to some people who has missing keys on laptop keyboard.

    Here are lots of keys from different laptop models.

    Check this shop
    h t t p : / / s t o r e s . e b a y . c o . u k / H e l p – f i x – l a p t o p s

    Regards,
    Edvardas

  15. A key has came off of my moms laptop and i have to fix it before she finds out…how do i get it back on..ive tried but i cant figure it out..please help

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s