Problem with stuck key on laptop

  1. F34R

    F34R Member Gold Member

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    I have a bit a of a problem with my laptop. It's a Toshiba Satellite Pro and the one key on my keyboard started acting up recently. Sometimes I just see the letter "e" being typed continuously on the screen in a text editor, browser, etc. The key seems to be stuck, although it doesn't feel that way. It hasn't to my knowledge had any liquids spilt on it. Although it is very humid where I live (SA) just lately in Summer, so it might be possible that moisture got in there. It is a second hand laptop, and my brother (the person I got it from) says that he might remember having issues like this at some point with it (failed to tell me that when he gave it to me initially). He claims it might be the result of another key other than the e key being stuck.

    I've tried cleaning the keyboard with cotton buds, wet wipes (brother did this - don't know if it was a good idea), compressed air, and an anti-static cloth. But it still happens. I even did a virus and malware scan to be sure - but I'm pretty sure this is a hardware issue. It's the e key - sometimes it works, other times it doesn't work, if I press it on occasion it acts up, and if I press a key near it, then it stops being stuck. Other times things are fine for days. It's odd to say the least.

    To my knowledge I now have two or three options: take the keys out somehow and clean them (with rubbing alcohol I've been told); get a new keyboard/set for the laptop (is this possible?), or buy a new laptop.

    Any suggestions on what to do, or where to go?

    Thanks.
  2. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Can you give us the exact make and model of your laptop. I think you will need a new keyboard.
    Monkeymagic.
  3. Hengis

    Hengis Proud PCHF'er since 2004 Tech Member Elite Member

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    Hi

    Lets make completely sure it's a hardware issue - plug in another external keyboard and check if it also types that letter without any interaction.
  4. F34R

    F34R Member Gold Member

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    I could give that a try, plugging in another keyboard. I might have to use my PC's one though temporarily. It's plug 'n play AFAIK.

    The key issue hasn't bothered me for a day or two now. I'm just thinking, is there a way to disable the laptop keyboard while I'm testing the external keyboard? Say the issue starts up again with the laptop keyboard, and I want to test the other keyboard to see if it happens with that one? Or would it be automatically disabled? I mean, I think you can disable a laptop's touchpad if you have a mouse installed, correct?

    I'll also find out the exact model name of this laptop as the first poster requested.
  5. Hengis

    Hengis Proud PCHF'er since 2004 Tech Member Elite Member

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    In terms of dis-abling the keyboard, you don't really need to BUT if you wanted to, you could do something drastic, like installing an incompatible keyboard driver...
  6. F34R

    F34R Member Gold Member

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    Ok, the make and model name: tecra a8/ toshiba satellite pro a120; psac1e-oj303lza

    I've noticed that when this key issue happens right from startup, I end up at a screen for something called Vista boot manager, with Vista sp 2 as the only option. Might be a shortcut key or something.

    I tried plugging in my external kb, but it's a p/s 2 and not usb, so I'll have to get an adapter. Lol, I'm having to type this message using a virtual kb!
  7. Hengis

    Hengis Proud PCHF'er since 2004 Tech Member Elite Member

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    Let's wait for the keyboard test and then we'll know if you need to invest in a replacement keyboard for that laptop.
  8. iBennish

    iBennish New Member Bronze Member

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    Problems like this have occured to me in the past, but I hadn't to do anything which was suggested here. I was on a half-term break, and the laptop keyboard was starting to bug me. So I started to un-clip every letter on the keyboard, and just went across the keyboard slowly but efficiently with a damp cotton-bud.

    I then clipped all of the keys back on, and I haven't had a problem with it since. If you are to do this, make sure you don't forget where the keys are originally.

    All the best.
  9. Hengis

    Hengis Proud PCHF'er since 2004 Tech Member Elite Member

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    Hehe :D
    iBennish likes this.
  10. F34R

    F34R Member Gold Member

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    How do you unclip them properly? Just pull them off?
  11. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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  12. F34R

    F34R Member Gold Member

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    Well, since it's my brother's keyboard, I had him come over and try to fix it. He got a screwdriver, some Q-20, toilet paper, and wet wipes to do the job. His methods are brutal, barbaric, and I think he just might qualify as a neanderthal - but it seems to have worked. He sprayed the Q-20 in the mechanism under the key, which made it worse initially because he says he later realised the key works on air pressure. Cleaning it out with a cotton bud for a while, it came right. He knew that he had to do something seeing as it's his laptop, and likely wouldn't want to fit the bill for a new keyboard (don't know how much one would cost). I'll try it out for a week or two, and if it doesn't play up again, I'd think that it's fine, and that it was a hardware-keyboard related issue.

    Tried to find an adapter for my keyboard but apparently P/S2 to USB is hard to come by - whereas USB to P/S2 is more common. I don't have any USB keyboards around - the one I had was damaged by rain water years ago when it poured through the ceiling one night.
    Hengis likes this.
  13. Hengis

    Hengis Proud PCHF'er since 2004 Tech Member Elite Member

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    Hehe... :D
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