Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:36 PM
Hello - not sure if this issue was resolved or not, but I thought I would reply anyway (just in case someone else has the same issue).
Malfunctioning keyboards are generally a hardware issue. If you have spilled honey, jam, peanut butter, maple syrup... well, you get the point... then the individual keys might stick and need to be cleaned. However, I would never recommend trying to remove individual keys. Many keyboard have keys that are locked in place with a very thin piece of plastic that breaks easily.
Usually the keyboard will malfunction because it is too dusty/dirty or the cable has slipped. The keyboard cable is very thin with incredibly tiny wires. The slightest jarring or movement by the cable will cause portions of the keyboard not to work.
First, use a can of air and blow the dust from under the keys as much as possible.
If that didn't resolve the issue, remove the keyboard and carefully put the cable back in properly and securely. Different laptops disassemble differently, so check with the manufacturer or another support site for specific instructions for your model. I have a Sony Vaio, and the online information is great. (So is HP/Compaq!)
Now if cleaning the keyboard and resetting the cable didn't work, then definitely invest in a replacement keyboard. Now that you already took yours off, you now how to replace it anyway! (Besides, your computer is worth nearly nothing if the keyboard doesn't work, so at least replace the keyboard before you post it on craigslist.) Where do you find a replacement that isn't a rip-off? Good question! Ebay can be a place to start, but of course there's always a risk that the part won't work, it was really for a different model, etc. Find a seller that has a positive history and has a large stock of parts. I normally get my parts from LaptopAid because they are closer to me and the shipping is faster - also they have not let me down with a bad part yet. Anyway, you can usually find a replacement laptop (new or used) for between $10-$60.
Best of luck & remember to keep your laptops clean & safe!!