Blackberry Bold Keyboard Quirky Problem - Any Advice?
August 4, 2010 4:02 PM   Subscribe

I just bought a Blackberry Bold 9700, and unlocked it (so there's no warranty). I have used it for about a month or 6 weeks, and following a trip to the beach where it did not get wet, the buttons are not responding properly. Example: the keyguard button on the top left of the phone locks keys but won't unlock keys. The End Call / Power button ends calls and turns off the phone, but won't turn it on. All the keys work but pushing two buttons at once cancels both requests. I've re-installed the software (I think) and left it in rice overnight and both did not help, except for an hour or so when it randomly started working and then stopped again. Do you have any ideas what's wrong with it, and if I am able to fix it myself? (I have a T5 screwdriver if I need to crack it open). Thanks in advance! :)
posted by to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You probably got sand underneath some of the keys, mine also acted funky after a dry trip to the beach. I poked around some of the malfunctioning keys but didn't remove any - although I would have if I had known how - and it seems to be fine now, a few weeks later.
posted by hepta at 5:04 PM on August 4, 2010

Have you tried an compressed air gun to blow out the sand? That's my first stop on gunked up keys.
posted by 26.2 at 5:42 PM on August 4, 2010

To see if it is a physical issue, you can try using the self test app. Go into Options > Status and type "test" - click on the Menu key and choose Start. Then run the Keyboard and Trackball test, which will confirm if when you press a button the BB registers the action 100% or 80% of the time.

If the lock button is affected, something apart from the keyboard itself, I'd guess this is pointing more to a software issue.

When you reloaded the software, was it a "clean" one (no data restored)? That's a good thing to try if it seems like the issue is a software one, just make sure you do a backup first.
posted by hala mass at 6:06 PM on August 4, 2010

Did you take the phone from a cold (air conditioned) environment directly to a warm, humid environment? That can cause condensation, which combined with the salt in the air...

You could bake it at a low temperature or place it in rice to dry it out. Beyond that, there probably isn't too much to do.
posted by squorch at 7:52 PM on August 4, 2010

P.s. The rice takes more than a day. Think 3 or 4.
posted by squorch at 7:53 PM on August 4, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the thoughts on this. So I just tried the "test" suggestion and followed instructions. The diagnostic program would show me {alt} every time I hit that button, but would not recognize my asking it for a colon : (i.e. using 2 keys at the same time). I have tried to re-install system software off the computer, and I've tried "wiping" the system. Both to no avail.

I will buy more rice tomorrow and leave it in from tomorrow through Monday or something like that. I've also bought a T5 screwdriver and some alcohol, per this video I will consider open surgery if the rice doesn't work. I will post the question on Crackberry.

Please keep the idea / suggestions combing!
posted by at 10:04 PM on August 4, 2010

Um, just get it replaced. Unlocking doesn't void your phone's warranty. Even if it did, you could play dumb. "I bought a phone from you and now it doesn't work" is all you need.

If it's from at&t, since it is out of the 30 day period, they'll send you a refurb by mail and you send them the old one back.
posted by wierdo at 11:57 PM on August 4, 2010

For some reason, I failed to finish that first paragraph:

..all you need to say. There's no need for verbal diarrhea and explaining everything that's happened. All you know is that the keyboard doesn't work anymore. The beach, not relevant. The rice? Not relevant. Getting it unlocked? Not relevant. The keyboard doesn't work. If they ask you if it got wet, say no. It's the truth.

Unless someone opened the phone, there's nothing to worry about.
posted by wierdo at 12:03 AM on August 5, 2010

Nth-ing send it for repair via an outlet of your network provider.

On my warranty I sent mine back with a faulty trackpad. After 3 failures to repair it they replaced the phone hardware.

Make sure you take backups of all your contacts/pics/other files before sending it off.
posted by KMH at 1:58 AM on August 5, 2010

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