Is it possible to entirely disable a laptop's keyboard and use an external?

I cleaned my computer, used too much electronic cleaning solution for too long and basically shorted out my keyboard on my laptop. Not too big of a deal since I typically use it as a desktop anyway.
The keyboard seems to go on the fritz at times and repeats letters hundreds of times. It’s beyond an annoyance and I just have to let it run it’s course or reboot.

I want to disable that keyboard completely to put an end to this but I’m not sure how. Does anyone know the correct way?


You can usually plug in a keyboard, but then it just takes that much more space on your desk. If you get a docking station, your laptop essentially becomes a desktop, and you plug everything (a monitor, mouse, etc.) into the docking station.

Or just find a place out of the way for the laptop, and plug everything in to the laptop direct. It just makes it inconvenient to turn the thing on and access the CD-ROM drive (and floppy, if it has one).

The surest method is to physically unplug the keyboard’s connector on the motherboard. Depending on the model of laptop the difficulty of this operation can range from pretty easy to nigh impossible. See if the manufacturer makes a service manual available on their website.

Other than that I’m not sure if there’s a good way. The BIOS is lucky to have an option for it. Windows won’t let you disable a keyboard in Device Manager. You can re-map specific keys, but those changes would probably affect any other keyboards you plugged in.

Make that “The BIOS is unlikely to have an option for it.”

Disabling the keyboard in bios is a good way to never be able to access that machine again without clearing the bios. Rarely desirable in all but a handful of situations.

You should be able to go into the device manager and select disable for the internal keyboard. Best to have plugged an external keyboard in BEFORE you do that, in case anything goes wrong.

On a related note, is there a way to set up a laptop to disable the touchpad when a mouse is plugged in? I set Vista to crank the sensitivity of the touchpad way down, but I’d kinda like to just cut it out entirely when I don’t need it.

Pretty much all modern PCs support USB keyboards all the way through setup, so disabling the built-in one would not be a major disaster. But yes, the need to do so is not a common situation.

You should be able to, but you cannot. Just try it. Right-clicking on a keyboard in Device Manager does not bring up a Disable option as it would for most other devices. If you go into Properties, the Device Usage drop-down menu is grayed-out. If there is another method I would be interested to hear it.