#1  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:33 AM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239

Keyboard troubles.


Sometimes the O key on my keyboard doesn't register. What do I do?
  #2  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:52 AM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rural Western PA
Posts: 33,245
I'm lazy&cheap, so I'd try cleaning the keyboard, removing the "O" key. If that didn't work, I'd use my "0" in place of "O".
  #3  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:32 AM
Exapno Mapcase is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,839
Tell it firmly that if it doesn't register it doesn't get to vote.
  #4  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:49 AM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I'm lazy&cheap, so I'd try cleaning the keyboard, removing the "O" key. If that didn't work, I'd use my "0" in place of "O".
How do I remove the O key?
  #5  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:57 AM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 13,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by CastletonSnob View Post
How do I remove the O key?
Depends on the keyboard. What type of keys are we talking about here? Is this a laptop or a PC? Are the keys short and flat, or raised?

Generally, all you need is a flathead screwdriver and just wedge it under the key and pop it off, especially the raised type.

If it's a Mac, it's a little more complicated, but basically the same procedure, you just have to be careful about not damaging the "scissor lift" mechanism that Apple uses under each key.
  #6  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:05 PM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Depends on the keyboard. What type of keys are we talking about here? Is this a laptop or a PC? Are the keys short and flat, or raised?

Generally, all you need is a flathead screwdriver and just wedge it under the key and pop it off, especially the raised type.

If it's a Mac, it's a little more complicated, but basically the same procedure, you just have to be careful about not damaging the "scissor lift" mechanism that Apple uses under each key.
PC, and raised.
  #7  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:21 PM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 13,052
Yeah, those are the easy ones. Just pop it off with a screwdriver. Clean out the area underneath with some compressed air, a Q-tip, or the corner of a clean, dry rag. Replace the key by just pushing down on it until it "clicks."
  #8  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:28 PM
Jasmine's Avatar
Jasmine is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 2,367
Treat yourself to a really nice wireless keyboard and mouse set! Really, you need to spoil yourself at every opportunity.
__________________
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge."
--Daniel J Boorstin
  #9  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:29 PM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
It's probably just dirty, then?
  #10  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:31 PM
Folly's Avatar
Folly is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicago! (no more burbs)
Posts: 2,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Yeah, those are the easy ones. Just pop it off with a screwdriver. Clean out the area underneath with some compressed air, a Q-tip, or the corner of a clean, dry rag. Replace the key by just pushing down on it until it "clicks."
Instructions unclear. House is on fire.
  #11  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:33 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rural Western PA
Posts: 33,245
Before you pop off the "O" key, try just banging the keyboard upside down on a hard surface. I've "fixed" keyboards by doing that.
  #12  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:48 PM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
Popped off the O key. Didn't look all that dirty.
  #13  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:55 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rural Western PA
Posts: 33,245
Castlet0nSn0b it is!
  #14  
Old 12-03-2019, 04:32 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,777
I would not recommend popping the key off as a first step. Some are nearly impossible to get back on or it might just break. This is very poor advice to give to a newbie. I don't go around popping off keys ever and I'm quite knowledgeable about computer repairs.

Spray air duster under the keys. Test.

Unplug the keyboard, take off the back (6+ screws, be sure to check under labels), pull out the membrane and such. Spray air duster. Check for dried liquids on the membrane and clean those with a slightly damp swab. Reassemble.

And whatever you do, don't run it through a dishwasher. (Yeah, people suggest this all the time.)
  #15  
Old 12-03-2019, 05:13 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 48,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
I would not recommend popping the key off as a first step. Some are nearly impossible to get back on or it might just break. This is very poor advice to give to a newbie. I don't go around popping off keys ever and I'm quite knowledgeable about computer repairs.

Spray air duster under the keys. Test.

Unplug the keyboard, take off the back (6+ screws, be sure to check under labels), pull out the membrane and such. Spray air duster. Check for dried liquids on the membrane and clean those with a slightly damp swab. Reassemble.

And whatever you do, don't run it through a dishwasher. (Yeah, people suggest this all the time.)
I actually did do the last as a last ditch effort to save my wired Mac keyboard. I was going to toss it otherwise. Surprisingly, it worked a charm!
  #16  
Old 12-04-2019, 09:24 AM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
The O key hasn't failed to register at all so far today.

Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of my new keyboard?
  #17  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:20 PM
CastletonSnob is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 239
99% of the time, the O key works fine.
  #18  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:49 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 13,252
O, O, O, Ozempic!
  #19  
Old 12-04-2019, 05:04 PM
Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 21,381
Here's a trick to remove some keys. Using a needle-nose pliers, make a small hook (1-4 mm?) by bending the end of a paper clip into a "J" (the jumbo ones work best). Use the hook to lift the key. Sometimes you need two hooks to avoid breakage.

Last edited by Musicat; 12-04-2019 at 05:06 PM.
  #20  
Old 12-05-2019, 03:16 PM
KMS94 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Maine
Posts: 185
Run it through the dishwasher.











  #21  
Old 12-05-2019, 05:02 PM
engineer_comp_geek's Avatar
engineer_comp_geek is offline
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 25,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by KMS94 View Post
Run it through the dishwasher.
Smiley or not, this is actually good advice. I have run many old keyboards through the dishwasher.

There are a few tricks to it, though, if you want to be successful.

Place the keyboard upside down on the top rack.

Make sure you wrap up the cord so that it can't get caught in the moving parts inside the dishwasher.

Do not use soap.

Dishwashers have a heat drying cycle at the end which bakes the water off of your dishes. This will usually melt the plastic keyboard. To prevent damage to your keyboard, you need to turn the heat cycle off. This may be labeled somewhat confusingly, as in it might be labeled "energy saver dry" or something like that, in which case you need to turn it ON to turn the heat OFF.

Leave the keyboard unplugged for a day or two to make sure all of the water inside has evaporated.

It takes longer since you need to wait for the keyboard to dry, but it takes a lot less effort on your part than disassembling the keyboard.

I have resurrected many keyboards this way. YMMV. I personally have never had a problem, but some people have reported issues.

Not recommended for keyboards with fancy displays (especially LCDs) built into them.

If it's a wireless keyboard, make sure to remove the batteries and don't put them back in until the keyboard has had a chance to completely dry out. Some people have reported issues with running wireless keyboards through their dishwasher, but I don't know if they turned the heat cycle off or remembered to take the battery out.

This is not something that you want to do often, but if your keyboard is gunked up and you're going to toss it anyway, you don't exactly have anything to lose and it will usually revive it.
  #22  
Old Today, 08:08 AM
albino_manatee's Avatar
albino_manatee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: enceladus-prime, nibiru
Posts: 243
even though you eventually specified it as being pc you never stated if the keyboard is part of a laptop or its own entity (desktop).

my laptop is six years old three months ago, one character started putting up resistance to my depresses. took off the key for that character and cleaned it. never really helped 1-2 months later another key reacted in same fashion located a respectable distance from the first key.

this laptop is not a service friendly sort the keyboard does not remove from the top rather, underneath. in order to replace the keyboard everything in the laptop needs to be removed (i do mean everything). however, i couldn't simply purchase a new laptop because of win-10 architecture, some of my software (adobe-cs4) probably wouldn't install (mine was grandfathered in from win-8).

so i set about purchasing a replacement keyboard part. rather than the $178 oem from the manufacturer i settled for a spin-off from china ($19 + free shipping). before ordering the unit i disassembled the laptop to make sure i could reassemble when it came time. the parts outlet suggested it would take anywhere from 7-30 days to receive the item mine arrived less than a week. took 4 hours to replace with the new keyboard can definitely feel a difference between old/new mechanism tighter and crisper (good for another six years).

yes the laptop is working perfectly even the backlit-key feature performs as it should. however i don't consider myself a novice and i probably would suggest for another person to replace the whole laptop. two things rang true for me outta' this experience i am dogmatic/indignant and, if another part goes kaput, i already know how to replace all components. bring it on!
__________________
at one point in time, i was offered a wooden scīpiō (handstaff) after a time, i slowly 'n methodically whittled that cane down until it became one ginormous toothpick.

Last edited by albino_manatee; Today at 08:13 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017