How to disable a laptop keyboard?
July 18, 2007 10:11 PM   Subscribe

I need to disable my malfunctioning laptop keyboard, but when uninstalling drivers, windows reinstalls on restart. What can I do?

My laptop keyboard has developed the frustrating habit of constantly pressing ALT while I'm trying to work (probably due to a water+keyboard incident a while back) I have tried taking apart the keyboard and leaving it to dry for days, and its only the one key thats still a problem. At this point I need to have the computer functional so I can get some schoolwork done.

I have a wireless keyboard to use, but with both enabled the alt keeps getting pressed and I can't get a word in, so to speak. Any way to stop the automatic install of drivers, or to disable the keyboard without uninstalling the driver? I'd like to avoid actually opening the laptop case until I take it in for repair. Thanks for all suggestions.
posted by gilsonal to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
You can disable a device in the device manager (if you're logged in as administrator). That's not the same as uninstalling the driver. If the driver is uninstalled, then as you have noticed it will search for, find, and install the driver again. But in principle if the device is disabled then the OS is supposed to proceed as if it doesn't exist.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:17 PM on July 18, 2007

Alternatively, you could try disconnecting it internally. I'm not sure if this is a really good idea though.
posted by spiderskull at 10:19 PM on July 18, 2007

Response by poster: When in the device manager, I do not see an option for disabling it, simply Uninstall or Update Driver or Properties

when clicking properties, I am given the option of updating, rolling back, uninstalling or looking at the driver details.

Am I looking in the wrong place?
posted by gilsonal at 10:45 PM on July 18, 2007

I just took a look, and it seems that function is disabled for the keyboard. Sorry about that.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:57 PM on July 18, 2007

It's pretty easy to disconnect the keyboard physically. For many laptops...
Shutdown the laptop. Open the screen as far as it will open.
Remove the hinge cover (plastic, be careful). Unscrew a few screws, and lift and tilt the keyboard out of place. You'll see a ribbon going from the keyboard to the mobo... pull gently.
Reinstallation is the reverse
posted by cellojoe at 12:15 AM on July 19, 2007

Sometimes hitting a stuck key very hard fixes it. That's if there is something mechanically wrong as opposed to a circuit short or something.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:26 AM on July 19, 2007

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