Locked key problem
April 25, 2005 9:06 PM   Subscribe

I spilt some water on my keyboard and now my 'f' key likes to go off a lot. Is there anyway to disable the key untill I get it fixed (Windows XP)?
posted by jmd82 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Can't you just take apart the keyboard and dry it? PC keyboards are usually pretty easy to take apart - pop a screwdriver under the keys and gently squeeze them out (remember where each one goes), unscrew the screws, and voila.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:14 PM on April 25, 2005

I already did that...Last night, the latptop wasn't working at all. It's dried out now, but I spilt the water on the keyboard so that seems to be what was affected in the end.
posted by jmd82 at 9:17 PM on April 25, 2005

Yeah, you can remap the keyboard. See here for how.

Since this substitutes one key for another, you need to substitute for "F" a key that does nothing. Using a fake scan code might work, but a safer bet is to use a real scan code for a key that (generally) does nothing. That would be the "Scroll Lock" key, with a scan code that's probably 46*. The F key has the scan code 21. (All numbers are in hexadecimal.) You can find complete lists of scan codes here.

To substitute Scroll Lock for F, and F for Scroll Lock, you'd want this as your entire file, as copied into the plain-text editor of your choice, or notepad if you don't have a better plain-text editor:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout];
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,46,00,21,00,21,00,46,00
You'd then save that file as "fkey.reg" or something else ending in .reg, then right-click that .reg file in Windows Explorer and choose "Merge" from the menu.

After restarting your computer, your keyboard's "F" key will be interpreted as a Scroll Lock key, and the Scroll-Lock key as an "F" key.

*The scan code for Scroll Lock varies: it might be 46, but it might also be 7E or 5F. Again, you don't really care if it works as Scroll Lock, you just want the closest thing to a null scan code. But some experimentation may be required.
posted by orthogonality at 9:31 PM on April 25, 2005

Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for!
posted by jmd82 at 9:43 PM on April 25, 2005

Note that left and right ALT and CTRL keys are mapped differently. Because I never use L-ALT or R-CTRL those are the keys I always remap first when I need a special function or to "repair" a defective key.
posted by Mitheral at 5:04 PM on April 26, 2005

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