1

I have 2 malfunctioning keys in my laptop's keyboard. First I tried to buy replacement keys online, but they are only available in foreign countries and charges are too high. Then I tried to buy a full replacement keyboard, but again payment problems in foreign. Finally I bought a keyboard from India only, but the quality was very bad. I had planned I will remove keys from the new one and replace on my laptop, but they were different kind of keys. So I returned it as it was expensive and not very good quality.

Then I talked to my laptop's customer care. They told me installation charges which I can't afford as they were much more than the price of the laptop.

Finally, I was very depressed as just because of 2 malfunctioning keys, I'm facing so much trouble.

Here are photos of problems with the keys:

Key 1 (~): The one part of hinge became very loose because maybe of friction. So it keeps coming out. See photos:

enter image description hereenter image description here

Key 2 (R): The problem is with key itself. A slight part of the key is broken (I have the broken tiny part still with me incase possible to glue it again). See photos:

enter image description here enter image description here

R isn't causing much problem because only one part is broken, but soon it will affect other parts too.

Here is a page that has more details about similar key types (D206) in case you want to see better images.

So is there any way to buy some less expensive tools and fix these keys at home? Maybe glue them to hinge? Or fix those tiny broken/loose parts?

5
  • 1
    Glue may seep through and it may cause problem to your laptop. Replacement keyboards are available under 1000 Rs in Amazon. May be try getting one and get help from someone known to you to fix it. I had keyboard issues with my old laptop, so I got a wired USB keyboard and worked with that. If you are fine with this, then IMO the cheapest way is to use an external USB keyboard.
    – Ak.
    Apr 27 at 17:21
  • 1
    @Ak. I can't find for my model on Amazon.
    – Vikas
    Apr 27 at 17:28
  • Does an external USB keyboard need to be a correct model? The suggestion from @Ak. is a great hack! That's what this site is about - not shopping. Replacing anything inside a laptop is a job for an expert. Another option is an on-screen touch keyboard, if the laptop has a touch screen. Apr 27 at 17:57
  • @WeatherVane well pretty great hack then. Never imagined this :P
    – Vikas
    Apr 27 at 17:59
  • I've used a new kind of UV light (included) activated plastic welding material called Bondic™ developed by a dentist. It worked first time; but, gets better with experience. It remains "liquid" until you hit it with the UV — becomes solid in a couple of seconds. Hardware store item - demonstrations of applications are online.
    – Stan
    Apr 28 at 0:44
2

Maybe you can find an old laptop for cheap and salvage the keyboard.

I don't know which resources are available to you, but you might

  • Go to a scrap yard (preferably one specialized in electronics) and search for a broken laptop with the same keyboard. Scrap dealers are mostly interested in the metals, but plastic keys are worthless for them.
  • Use online platforms like ebay or facebook or whatever is available to you to search for a cheap old laptop. (Where I live there's "ebay" for professional traders and there's "ebay small ads" for private people to sell used and second hand stuff)
  • Ask in electronics shops around you if they may have an old and broken laptop with the same keyboard. Maybe a customer recently had their keyboard replaced and the shop still has the broken keyboard. All you need is some keys.

If a laptop is broken and doesn't work anymore, it's useless for most people and they may give it to you for free or very cheap. All you need is the keyboard.

1

If possible, exchange the part(s) with their twins from rarely-used keys.

After you have gotten the weakened part into a low-traffic position, some replacement or repair can be done to lengthen its useful life.

Comment: I find that some of the materials used by dentists and dental technicians are as high-tech as they come. Many materials exist to bond, build-up, weld, reinforce, and attach which are activated by heat, chemical interactions, and ultraviolet radiation. Some pride themselves as skilled structural engineers in miniature. Perhaps a mold can be made for a cast replacement. I would seek their advice for the scale of your requirements.

Good luck.

1
  • @Vikas I've used a new kind of UV light (included) activated plastic welding material called Bondic™ developed by a dentist. It worked first time; but, gets better with experience. It remains "liquid" until you hit it with the UV — becomes solid in a couple of seconds. Hardware store item - demonstrations of applications are online. It might be what you're looking for.
    – Stan
    Apr 28 at 0:47
0

I have worked around broken keys on a laptop keyboard by setting up keyboard remappings using the operating system and free software. In Linux it's trivial and built-in. In MacOS it's a little harder ... some common remappings are built-in but for others you'll need Karabiner Elements or Hammerspoon or the like. I'm less familiar with Windows 10 solutions but I think Autohotkey is a reasonable choice; you may also be able to remap keys using Windows Powertoys from Microsoft. For example you could remap 4 to R and F4 to 4 (and maybe all the Fi keys to numbers so you don't get confused ... you can customize it however you want).

For an extra weird solution, that I've never tried but might work, turn on voice control and just say R when you want that key ... type all the others. That could be annoying, though, if you're in a quiet or loud environment.

A very lightweight and cool looking solution, if you're willing to spend some money, is a projection keyboard aka laser keyboard. I got one for my wife as a joke, but it turned out it really works well and she loves it. Read reviews and check return policy before you commit. It's not really practical if you do a lot of typing, however.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.