Laptop Help!


My 12 year old son has an Asus laptop running Win10. I am not certain what happened to it, but the keyboard seemingly spontaneously stopped working, so when it boots up, we get to the sign in screen but cannot sign in. The touch pad does work for the mouse pointer however.

Anyone know of anything I can try to get this thing working again? My son Jacob swears he didn’t spill anything on it, but I am not sure if that’s entirely true, so the keyboard may just be fried because of that, but I’d like to exhaust my options before getting rid of it if it’s toast.

Yes, I have looked online for answers, but there’s so many possibilities I thought I’d ask the computer experts here on the Dope. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Pick up a usb keyboard from somewhere like Monoprice for $5, that should do the job. As to repairing the the original, I’m guessing it’s not worth the effort and opening the case could toast it if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Yes. USB keyboard should work just as well.

What is possible is that the cable from the keyboard to the laptop has come disconnected. Odd, but it might be. Or the controller chip for keyboard died… or… who knows.
Unless you are really confident it may be difficult to take a PC apart yourself. It’s too easy to damage something.
But your choices are:
-USB keyboard - not much of a portable now.
-Try to repair it yourself. Need a bunch of fine screwdrivers, take pictures all the way, careful, and still risk dead PC.
-take it to a repair shop. May need new keyboard, may just need cable reconnected - there will be a minimal charge just to check it out.
-and… final choice: trash it. Or scrap for parts, retrieve disk etc.

What happens when you plug in a USB keyboard?

If that works, you could probably either:

  1. Just buy a cheap-o USB keyboard and tell him he has to use it, sorry, or
  2. have the laptop’s keyboard replaced (can be tricky for a lot of models)

If the USB keyboard doesn’t work then you have bigger issues. You could try booting into the BIOS (Google your laptop model for instructions) and seeing if the keyboard works there. If so, then it’s probably a weirdly severe Windows driver screw-up and doing a repair install of Windows might fix it.

If a USB keyboard doesn’t work and the laptop’s keyboard doesn’t work in the BIOS, then you have some bad mojo. You could still try replacing the laptop’s keyboard, but I wouldn’t be optimistic that it’d work.

One issue I have discovered is that BOTH of his USB ports are blocked by the exterior shell of wireless antennas he’s plugged into them. If I had a really small set of needle nose pliers I might be able to extract them.

So for now, the USB keyboard is out until I can get one of those blockages cleared.

I was thinking maybe along the lines of trying to interrupt the boot sequence and try to reset the laptop back to a restore point (if the keyboard even works during this process…doubtful) or somehow maybe uninstall and reinstall the keyboard drivers…I’m just not sure where to start.

Well Bluetooth keyboards are a thing, but it’s going to be really difficult to connect to one if you can’t log into the machine because the built-in keyboard doesn’t work.

I’d recommend unjamming a USB port and trying a USB keyboard before trying to do a Windows repair. The odds are it’s a hardware problem, and changing the software won’t help anything at all.

(I only mentioned it as a last-resort-before-you-throw-it-away kind of thing. The chances that your BIOS will be able to read the keyboard but Windows won’t are minuscule.)

A bluetooth keyboard like thisLogitech may also work if the laptop is capable. My guess is a physical failure rather than software.

I have to ask, what kind of antennas is he sticking in the usb ports, and more importantly, why?

They make 'em really tiny now:

I could easily see something like that get jammed in a laptop if the casing “stuck out” from the USB port even a couple of millimeters.

A better question would be: “after jamming the first USB port, why did he continue and jam the second as well?” to which the answer is: he’s 12. I’ve done dumber.

Thank you very much for the replies guys, I really appreciate it. For some reason I didn’t think about the bluetooth keyboard initially, and I think the extraction of the left behind portion of his mouse, etc antennae with extreme prejudice and then going the wireless keyboard is my best route.

The laptop is a couple years old now, and I do think that he spilled a drink on it and doesn’t want to fess up as it was his “big gift” for the 2016 Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa.

So, I’ll try that route and report back. I need to get him off his brother’s identical laptop to free it up.

Unplug the USB antennas. They’re not needed if you cannot access computer in the first place. So unplug them and plug in the USB keyboard.

Oh yeah. Duh. I cannot believe I didn’t just think of all this while ruminating on what to do. Thank you. Jeez people and myself can have serious momentary lapses!

Pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with the laptop would require logging in and a keyboard or other comparable access. (On screen keyboard, etc.)