[24hoursupport] Re: Keyboard Question

  • From: "Ron Allen" <chizotz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 22:34:35 -0600


On 02/04/2003 at 10:06 PM Michele wrote:

>My daughter has an old Compaq laptop, LTE 5300.  Last night, she spilled
>on it and now the keys are sticking.  Does anyone know if the keys can be
>removed for cleaning?

Hello Michele,

Yes, but how easy it is depends on the keyboard.

On some keyboards, you can take the top off, with all the keys still=
 attached, and literally wash the keys off under running water. Then you=
 can use a damp cloth and cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol (some=
 suggest other substances, but I've never had a problem with plain old=
 rubbing alcohol) to clean the inside of the keyboard case.

 In other cases, the keys will be attached to the main board inside the=
 case, and the top is just a frame that sits around the outside edges of=
 the keys themselves. In this case, you'll need to swab between and under=
 each key as best you can with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol.

The worst case scenario is that the keys will all come loose when you=
 remove the top. It can still be done, but you'll have a heck of a time=
 getting they keys all back right again.

In any event, you'll have to remove the case top. Generally there are 6 or=
 8 screws holding the two case halves together. Look on the bottom of the=
 keyboard around the edges, and don't remove any screws in the middle of=
 the keyboard unless you have to. Once you get the case top off, you can=
 see if the inner structure will come out as a unit; if it does, you might=
 want to take more screws out of the back and clean under it as well.

Although keyboards are pretty hardy critters, try not to get any more water=
 or alcohol on the electronic parts than you have to.

When putting the screws back in, be careful to only snug them up. The=
 plastic of the case will easily strip out and you'll have a loose keyboard=
 case form then on.

An alternative is to just buy a new keyboard. "OK" keyboards can be had=
 from K-Mart and Wal-Mart for about $15, maybe $20, or so. Or you can get a=
 fancy one for $100 or more, but for a child/teen computer, where the pop=
 incident might be repeated, it might be cost effective to just buy a=
 cheapie and let it go at that.

I don't honestly suggest it, but I have washed really dirty and sticky=
 keyboards out by holding them under the bathroom faucet and letting them=
 air dry overnight. I've done this to two keyboards, and I didn't kill=
 either one by doing this to them, but it isn't exactly the way the=
 manufacturer would suggest <g>. If you don't want to mess with taking it=
 apart, and are willing to buy a new keyboard if you have to, I'd say you=
 have nothing to lose by trying it though.



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