How to fix laptop keyboard keys that fell off?
May 20, 2009 1:21 PM   Subscribe

How to fix laptop keyboard keys that fell off?

I have a Dell XPS M1710 laptop, and some of the keyboard keys have popped out of their spot. I have tried to reattach the plastic retainers on the keys to their spot on the keyboard, but inevitably they never latch on like they used to, and in fact some are now broken or lost. Is there a secret to getting them to pop on, or is there an alternative, i.e. mini-springs and superglue, etc.? I'm willing to try most reasonable ideas. Thanks in advance!
posted by macsigler to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
In an old Dell C500, the keys have a plastic hinge on one end and a clickey retainer on the other. If any those points are broken off, you're out of luck. Even if you manage to get them back on, imexperience, the points are a little worn and they'll just pop back out. I've superglued a couple back on (tiny dab o glue on the highest point under the key) directly onto the membrane button. Not ideal.

eBay has complete replacement keyboards for that model for $15-20. They're easy to replace.
posted by porpoise at 1:56 PM on May 20, 2009

If you're under warranty, just call tech support for a replacement keyboard. It's seldom actually possible to get keycaps back on.

(ex-Dell Tech Support)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:11 PM on May 20, 2009

New keyboard. Once those bastards start popping off on their own, it'll just get worse and they'll pop off every time you hit the key, which is infuriating. I'm not sure what kind of keyboard your model has, but my powerbook has a little plastic see-saw affair that snaps into grooves on both the key and the board. If the little groove or peg is worn down/broken off, it simply won't stay put. You can't superglue it because it needs to move so you get spring action. It gets even more complicated for the bigger keys.
posted by cj_ at 3:25 PM on May 20, 2009

I'd agree with cj. I've lost a few keys to toddler action, and once they are off they are basically off. Sometime you can kind of ease them back into place, but it never lasts feels right again and falls off again eventually anyway.
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on May 20, 2009

Putting the little see-saw affair in place is rather tricky, but not impossible once you figure out how it's done - try googling for instructions. You can also get replacement springs, but once you're going to be ordering, it probably makes sense to just get a complete new keyboard.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:38 PM on May 20, 2009

This happened to me last summer on my laptop at work, and super glue will not work. I fought with my keyboard for months because my boss was cheap and didn't think it was a big deal, and nothing I tried worked. Buy the new keyboard and save yourself the hassle.
posted by lilac girl at 8:02 PM on May 21, 2009

> Putting the little see-saw affair in place is rather tricky, but not impossible once you figure out how it's done

Yeah totally, but in my experience when they pop off on their own it's because one of the pegs on the seesaw is broken off. You can get it back in but it won't want to stay. YMMV I suppose.
posted by cj_ at 9:14 PM on May 24, 2009

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