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2 Keyboard keys returning incorrect values & results


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#1 Tumbo

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:45 PM

Windows XP, Dell D420 Laptop.

When I use the "n" or "b" key in any application I get returns such as: n ///, /n, /b, or the open application minimizes, or the start menu opens, and several other similar variants of problems. I basically cannot use the n or b key. This problem started a few weeks ago, only occurred from time to time, but has progressively got worse to the point of making the computer almost unusable.

I ran quick and full scans with Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes, and also ran the ESET online scanner - no threats found.

I tried to do a system restore to an earlier date, but the restore process fails, no matter which restore point I select. I also tried to restore in safe mode, with no luck.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your assistance in advance.

Edited by hamluis, 04 April 2011 - 09:19 AM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware.


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#2 noknojon

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:47 PM

Hi Tumbo -
A few items , it will "most likely" not be an infection -
You have by now noticed that the B and N keys are next to each other - Turn your computer off and while the screen is open, try to knock/tap the back of the keyboard -
There may always be scraps / bugs / crumbs etc. between the 2 keys -
Next use a can of compressed air to blow between the 2 problem keys (while you are there do the whole keyboard) -
If you have an owners manual (or if one is available on line), see if they show how to remove a single key to inspect under it -

Thank You -

#3 Tumbo

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:55 AM

Hello, and thank you for the prompt reply.

I tried each of your suggestions, compressed air, removed the B key, with no success, unfortunately.

I even left the B key off, and pressed the button, but still problems - no food or any particles in the way...

I still get odd results when pressing keys (n ///, active window minimizes, start menu opens, file dropdown menu, all sorts of variations).

I am also now noticing that the spacebar is doing this as well.

As you pointed out, it is noticeable that B, N and now the spacebar are close together, but how could I be getting backslashes, and the minimizations and file dropdown menu's if keys like the backslash are not near the B, N and spacebar?

Again, thanks in advance -

#4 noknojon

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:18 AM

Hi again -
I have attempted to reproduce this, but as you can imagine, without any adverse results -
I had thought they may be a "Quick keys" combination that produces shortcuts to other symbols - - - but - - -
Please remember to stick the B key back on the correct way when you finish -

A bit more checking to do on my laptop first - Back later (I hope) -



#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:44 AM

What you described are symptoms that a keyboard has died, so it is possible that is what has happened.

Do you have access to a desktop USB keyboard? If you do, hook it up to your laptop and see if the problem goes away.

#6 Eyesee

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:42 AM

I think its the keyboard as well but you might try it in safe mode.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#7 Tumbo

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:54 PM

Thank you each for the replies on this problem.

1. I tried the keyboard in Safe Mode, same problems.

2. I like the idea of isolating the keyboard and trying an external one from a desktop. I don't have one, but will try to borrow one today and report back with the results.

I do have a spare keyboard for another Dell laptop (Inspiron 8500), but I'm thinking that won't work just for testing purposes since it is a different keyboard layout...

Again, I'll try to get my hands on an external keyboard and post the results soon. If you have any other suggestions in the meantime, feel free to post.

Thanks -

#8 Tumbo

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:38 PM

I was able to get my hands on a desktop USB keyboard. The desktop keyboard works fine in various tests, while the notebook keyboard is still problematic.

Based on these results, if you are certain that the notebook keyboard needs to be replaced, please let me know. Otherwise, I can try other tests to confirm that the keyboard is the culprit.

Again, thanks for your time -

#9 Queen-Evie

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:26 AM

Since the external keyboard works, it sounds like you do need to replace the laptop keyboard.

Almost 2 months ago my desktop keyboard did the same thing. At the time I wasn't very happy about it, but at least my experience enabled me to recognize what is possibly going on with you.

My left shift key opened up the calculator,

Letter and number keys ended up garbled. Example, G ended up 7GB. I was able to plug my keyboard into a different system, and the same thing happened.

You may be able to find a replacement keyboard and do it yourself.

I found this on you tube-different model Dell, but it may be the same or similar to yours-which shows step-by-step how to replace a laptop keyboard.



#10 Tumbo

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:34 PM

Perfect. I did get the part number from Dell for the keyboard, and have browsed around a bit, and they seem readily available and not all that expensive, so I will order a replacement. That video is very helpful too. Thank you. I have another Dell (Inspiron) in which I have had to get the keyboard off numerous times to get to a video card that likes to fail every few years, not too difficult.

Again, many thanks for the assistance and advice, everyone - I appreciate it.

#11 Queen-Evie

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:20 PM

When you get the new keyboard on the laptop, please let us know if your issue is resolved.

#12 Tumbo

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

I have ordered a new keyboard and will reply with the results after it is installed.

#13 Tumbo

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:58 PM

I received the replacement keyboard, removed the old one and installed the new one in a few minutes, everything seems fine now. Although there are cheaper keyboards out there, I decided to order mine from Dell for $30 since I knew I could return it if this was not the problem, it has a 90-day warranty, and because I have had mixed results when ordering replacement computer parts from other sellers (i.e. via eBay).

Here are easy keyboard installation instructions:

How to Install Dell Latitude D420 Keyboard
1. Place your laptop on a clean, flat surface and remove all power sources from it. Open your laptop screen as far as you can.

2. Use the flathead screwdriver to pop open the hinge cover. Slowly and carefully pry it open from the right side to the left side, exposing the Dell keyboard screws. Using the Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws that hold the Dell Latitude D420 Keyboard in place. Keep these screws in a safe place.

3. Gently tug the Dell Latitude D420 Keyboard component toward your laptop screen. You are trying to pull it out of the slot that is located near the palm rest and mouse pad. It doesn't take much force, but you must be firm. Once you have pulled it out of the slot, you can lift it up to expose the two flat connections for the keyboard to the computer. Flip open the two hinged connector lids on the laptop which hold the flat strips in place, remove the connectors, then remove the keyboard.

4. Take the replacement keyboard, carefully connect the two strips, and slide the keyboard it into the slot. Once in place, screw it into place with the Phillips screwdriver and the screws you removed in Step 2. Fit the hinge cover back into place by snapping it in from left to right. Power on your laptop and verify that the Dell Latitude D420 Keyboard is working. If it is not working, turn off the computer and recheck the two connections to make sure they were installed properly.


Many thanks for your assistance -

Tumbo

#14 Eyesee

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 05:08 PM

Glad to hear that you got it fixed!
Good job! :thumbsup:
In the beginning there was the command line.

#15 Queen-Evie

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:09 PM

Thank you for letting us know the results.

There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment you get when you do it yourself. And the thought that you saved a little money because you didn't have to pay someone else to do it.




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