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Please help with toddler-induced keyboard repair need
September 18, 2010 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Please help me repair my laptop after my 2yo attacked the keys.

My 2yo sneaked into my offce, opened up the laptop, and removed 12 keys. Me - the mom - was able to get 10 of them back on by using some vdeos and "nstructons". However, mom here can't figure out how to put the tab key back on and something awful has happened to my "eye" key. Only under duress can that key be used.

Dell 1nsp1ron 1525.

Tab key - Mom can't get the whte plastc mechansm to slde back on.

"Eye" key - one of the nobs on the key broke off, so the key cannot clck back on. Worse yet, the small rubber bouncy nobby thng won't stay n place. Mom here frets that the sensor underneath wll be damaged and also the i key only now works when she pushes really hard on the rght spot, whch does not help wth touch typng.

Sngle mom would prefer not to replace the keypad (computer older now, but not a lot of cash on hand ths month). Any thoughts? Way to at least get rubber nobby thng to stay n place? Then maybe t'would be possble to order key off ebay or somethng. Or perhaps wrte 3rd person forever. Thanks.
posted by acoutu to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
FWIW, replacement keyboards for the 1525 are $15-$25.
posted by orthogonality at 11:11 PM on September 18, 2010


Dell Insprion 1525 keyboards are going for less than $15 on eBay, and they install with just two screws.

I suspect your keyboard can be fixed, but consider what your time is worth.
posted by fake at 11:13 PM on September 18, 2010


I would be more worried about the two missing keys.
posted by sanka at 11:14 PM on September 18, 2010


If the knob on the key is broken there's not much you can do about it besides buying a new board; they don't sell individual I keys.
posted by shii at 11:15 PM on September 18, 2010


Thanks. Never thought to look for the keyboard on ebay. Wll I be able to screw and unscrew the keyboard myself? I am in Canada, so I'm looking at $30. How do you get the keyboard out? Forgve me. Englsh major.
posted by acoutu at 11:25 PM on September 18, 2010


Instructions
posted by lee at 11:35 PM on September 18, 2010


Don't be scared to replace the keyboard yourself. See fake's instructions. You can pick up sets of small screwdrivers for a few bucks. It's not a big deal.
posted by nangar at 11:39 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wll I be able to screw and unscrew the keyboard myself?

Yep. It's easy, just follow the instructions linked to. It doesn't take any actual skills.
posted by nangar at 11:46 PM on September 18, 2010


Here are a few workarounds you could try while waiting for a replacement keyboard to arrive:

- You can use the Character Map utility in Windows to copy/paste the "I" and "i" letters when you need them (or copy and paste them from a web page or some other document that has the letters). Not exactly ideal, but it'll get you access to the letters.

- Remap a couple of keys (e.g. easy-to-reach keys that you never use otherwise) to function as "Tab" and "I" instead of their original functions -- you can do this with remap feature of AutoHotkey, for example -- it's free. This would get you both Tab and I/i (albeit in different positions than usual, but at least it's more convenient than the copy/paste option).

- Use an external USB keyboard, which would get you full functionality (although not as portable). You should be able to find one under 20 CAD at Office Depot/Staples/etc. Or if that's outside the budget, would a nearby friend maybe have a spare USB keyboard (and mouse, if they have an extra one of those, too) that you could use, even temporarily?
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:22 AM on September 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Use an external USB keyboard, which would get you full functionality (although not as portable). You should be able to find one under 20 CAD at Office Depot/Staples/etc

In the UK they can be had for as little as £2.99, so I would think you could do a lot better than 20CAD.
posted by robertc at 4:01 AM on September 19, 2010


Thanks. I will order a new keyboard. I have an external keyboard, but I hate using it and it isn't very portable. Thanks for all the encouragement and instructions!
posted by acoutu at 9:11 AM on September 19, 2010


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