Basically any liquid containing sugar (soft drinks, beer, wine, coffee
or tea) are bad news...
A couple of laptop keyboard repair
do’s and don’ts in the event of a spill..
DON’T panic. Panic makes us do stupid things, think before you
DON’T use a hairdryer to dry out a spill...melted keys are hard
to type with.
DON’T tilt the machine upside down or on its side (if you do feel
the need it's better to
tilt it to the side that houses the CDROM as the CDROM area inside the
machine has less
components on it than the mainboard).
DO switch the machine off immediately and resist switching it
back on until you're certain the
spill has dried. Survey the damage after you've dried it out. At this
point you could remove
the keyboard and try the machine using an external keyboard to see if
anything else has been
This diagram shows what a basic keyboard looks like, the ribbon cable
which connects the keyboard
to the motherboard is indicated by the red arrow.
The ribbon cable can also be located on the front edge of the keyboard
depending on the age and
model of the laptop you have.
Note the keyboard holder (thin strip of plastic) that sits on the
top edge of the laptop keyboard needs to be removed to get access to the
the keyboard down.
Most of the current laptop keyboards are like the diagram below.
Traditionally a spill will kill a keyboard or at best at least some
function will be lost. I have only ever been successful
with a laptop
keyboard repair that involved a water spill, anything else normally
results in a tragic loss and putting your old faithful keyboard to
How to replace a laptop keyboard
Keyboard removal is relatively simple, most keyboards are held in place
a couple of screws, and in some models, also a couple of screws that
need to be removed
from the base of the unit. A quick call to your local authorized laptop
computer repairer should
what screws need to be removed (if they know their stuff).
The keyboard connector
is something that needs a little care when unplugging, if you are too
heavy handed and damage
the connector in any way you may even damage the mainboard also which
can cause a world of
pain.. be careful.
See below for the most commonly used connector.
In order to release the keyboard ribbon cable ease the connector edge
upwards only about 2 or
3 millimeters, the ribbon should now slip out with ease.
The refitting of the keyboard once cleaned or replaced is just done in
Broken off some keys??
Whoops, these are a difficult one to fix and once again often end in
having to replace the keyboard entirely. Some very small plastic
arms hold the keys in place and are often broken, either that
or the little clips that the mounting arms click into break.
to have or get a hold of an old keyboard of the same type in order to
poach the parts you need.
You may need some tweezers and a
steady hand to fix these. The best thing I can suggest is to gently
remove one of the other keys to see exactly how the mounting arms sit,
once you have an idea of how it should look grab those tweezers and be
patient, it may take some time.
We will soon have some detailed
photos showing how these are assembled, until then remember to be
patient and gentle.
If you seek professional advice regarding
your laptop keyboard repair, the repairer will probably try to sell you a
new keyboard complete with hefty
lab our charge to fix this for you.
With the tips we have given you here, you can do your own laptop
keyboard repair, fit it yourself and pocket the savings.
A key fell off the laptop keyboard. Fixing the
One or more keys fell off the laptop keyboard and you are not sure
how to put them back? Don’t worry, most likely you can fix the keyboard
and it’s not necessary to buy a new one. There is no universal repair
guide because all keyboards are different. Here’s what I usually do in
Situation 1. The key cap and key retainer fell off the
keyboard and you cannot figure out how to assemble them back.
Carefully remove the cap from any other working key so the key
retainer stays connected to the keyboard.
ake a closer look at the key retainer, it’s connected to the keyboard
at four different points.
Assemble the disconnected retainer the same way as one on the
keyboard and put it back in place.
Put the key cap on the retainer and snap the cap back in place.
Situation 2. The key fell off the keyboard and you
lost the cap or the retainer. In this case you can purchase a single key
here, just search for it.
(Search examples: "Dell keyboard key”, "Toshiba keyboard key”, "HP
keyboard key”, etc… )
After you found a new key, put it back in place the same way as I
described in the situation 1.
Installing the space bar key.
The space bar key is connected to the keyboard a little bit
differently then any other key.
There is a metal retainer connected to the space bar key (on some
keyboard models). Separate the retainer from the space bar key with a
Install the retainer back in place as it shown on the picture. You
have to engage the retainer with the small hooks on the keyboard.
Put the space bar key back in place and gently press on it with
fingers until it snaps back in place.
That’s it. The space bar key is installed back in place and should
work as before.
Here’s another technique you can use to fix a broken keyboard
As you see on the picture below the keyboard is missing the U key.
The key cap, retainer and even silicone membrane were lost. Let’s see if
it’s possible to temporarily fix the U key without buying any spare
Personally, I cannot use keyboard without U key but I can live
without a key located on the side from the right ALT, I’m not even sure
what this key does. In the following guide I will remove the useless key
and install it in the place of missing U.
Carefully remove the key cap with your fingers.
Remove the retainer. The retainer has two pieces connected to each
other. If one piece got disconnected from the other, connect them back
The silicon membrane is glued to the keyboard. Very very slowly
separate the membrane from the keyboard with a sharp knife. While
creating this disassembly guide I damaged one membrane because I wasn’t
Again, you have to be very careful removing the membrane.
If you damage the membrane you’ll end up with two broken keys instead of
The silicon membrane has been removed.
Now apply some superglue on the bottom edge of the membrane, just
enough to keep the membrane in the place.
Carefully place the membrane in the center of the U. Make sure the
membrane is positioned correctly. Wait until the glue cures.
Install the retainer.
Position the key cap above the retainer. Gently press on the key cap
until it clips in and connects to the retainer.
Now you can use the U key again.
Troubleshooting. Why the key will not clip on.
Turn the key upside down and take a closer look at the locking clips.
It’s possible that one of the clips is damaged and because of that the
key will not clip on the retainer. If that’s the case, you’ll have to
purchase a new key.
On the next picture you can see that one of the clips is missing,
it’s broken. This key will not stay connected to the retainer either. If
that’s the case, you’ll have to purchase a new key.
It’s possible that the key is fine, but the retainer itself is
broken. On the next picture you can see that one of the tips is missing
on the retainer. The left tip is OK,
but the right one is missing. If
that’s the case, you’ll have to purchase a new retainer.
Here’s one more picture. In this case two parts of the retainer will
not stay connected to each other. It happens because one of the tips is
The left tip is OK, but the right one is missing. If that’s the
case, you’ll have to purchase a new retainer.
fix a broken keyboard connector on a laptop motherboard.
This guide explains how to fix a broken keyboard connector on a
laptop motherboard. I do not claim that my instructions will work for
any connector type in any laptop brand, but if I can help a few people, I
can call my mission accomplished.
Let’s say the keyboard in your laptop stopped working properly and
you decided to install
a new keyboard yourself. You disassembled the laptop, removed the
keyboard, tried to unlock the keyboard connector and… OHH! MAN!… a piece
of the locking clip on the connector got broken!
What can you do? Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of options. The
keyboard connector is permanently soldered to the motherboard and cannot
be replaced at home. If the connector was damaged, you’ll have to
replace the whole motherboard, use the laptop with an external USB
keyboard, or…. try the following trick. Hopefully it works or you.
The keyboard cable is locked inside the connector on the motherboard.
In order to remove the keyboard,
you have to unlock the connector and
release the cable.
On the picture below you see one of the most common connectors. It
has the base (white in my case) and locking clip (brown in my case). The
keyboard cable is jammed between the locking clip and base.
To unlock the connector, you have to move the locking clip about 2
millimeters in the direction shown by two yellow arrows.
The locking clip must stay attached to the connector base.
After that you can pull the keyboard cable (green arrow) and remove
If you are not careful enough, you can move the locking clip too much
and break it.
On the picture below you can see the locking clip is missing the left
On the next picture both sides of the clip are broken.
Do not though away the broken clip even though it looks
If you insert the cable into the connector and will not lock it with a
clip, the cable will not make good contact with pins inside the
connector and the keyboard
will not work.
Here’s how to install the broken clip back in place and make it work.
Position the broken clip the way it was before. In my case both sides
of the connector are broken. What could have been worse?
Carefully insert the keyboard cable into the connector. Note, in this
type of connector, the cable goes above the locking clip.
Carefully push the broken clip back in place. You can use a small
screwdriver to push on the clip behind the cable.
The clip fits tightly when there is a cable inside the connector.
Secure the connection with sticky tape and you should be good to go.
The keyboard should work just fine.
The keyboard connector shown on the following picture is very similar
to the previous one. The only difference – the keyboard cable is routed
under the locking clip. Fix it the same way as the previous connector.
On the next picture you see another type of keyboard connector. The
cable is inserted vertically.
In order to unlock the connector, you’ll have to move the locking
clip (brown piece) about 2 millimeters up in the direction shown by two
yellow arrows. After that you can pull the keyboard cable (green arrow)
and remove the keyboard.
If you move the locking clip too far, you can break it.
In my example the right side of the clip is broken. But you still can
Insert the keyboard cable into the connector, position the broken
locking clip correctly (behind the cable in my case) and carefully push
Even with a broken clip the cable will make good connection with the
base and the keyboard should work.
Here’s the same connector shown from the opposite side. You cannot
even tell if the locking clip is broken.