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SHIFT key failure

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Richard Bowers, May 5, 2004.

  1. Both SHIFT keys on my Gateway Solo 9100 have pretty much stopped working.
    Plug in an external keyboard and the SHIFT keys on the external keyboard
    work fine. Once in a blue moon I will get a capital letter out of the
    laptop keyboard. The problem started a couple of weeks ago, but it used to
    go away very quickly. Now it is almost permanent. Gateway tech support
    said to update the drivers. I did, and there was no change. Now they are
    going to send me two new SHIFT keys! What for? All the other keys are
    fine. Caps lock works, but if I shift while it is on, no lowercase letters
    appear. My OS is Windows 98. No new software, etc., to blame it on.

    Any ideas?


    Richard Bowers, May 5, 2004
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  2. Interesting. Does the Caps Lock key work? (Put things into ALL CAPS?) If
    not then it might be the drivers/OS. I would try booting to DOS and see if
    the shift keys start working. (If you have an old DOS disk around or a
    Win98 boot disk). If it is not the OS then it would seem to be the keyboard
    itself and its firmware. I still have no idea why they would send you shift
    keys. (I assume your keys are present and depress.) It sounds like you
    need a new keyboard installed.
    Richard Johnson, May 5, 2004
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  3. Richard Bowers

    Quaoar Guest

    The 9100 keyboard tends to accumulate dust, crumbs, pizza crusts, etc,
    which can interfere with the keys. Close the screen, turn it over, tap
    it several times. With the case inverted, open the screen and see if a
    bunch of detritus is on the screen. Get a can of computer dust cleaner
    and further clean out the keyboard. This has corrected keyboard
    malfunctions on my 9100xl.

    You can remove the keyboard easily and determine if the keyboard cable
    is firmly attached. There is a small hole on the strip above the
    keyboard on the right side. (remove battery and AC adapter here!) Insert
    a paperclip, push down while pressing the strip to the left and the
    strip will detach. There are I think three or four screws that hold the
    keyboard in place. Remove these. Lift the keyboard towards you VERY
    GENTLY and you will see the VERY FRAGILE ribbon cable and where it
    inserts into the mainboard. The cable is held in with a friction wedge.
    Pull up on the very small tabs on either side of the plug, The wedge
    lifts up and the cable can be removed, or you can gently push the cable
    back in and then push the restraining wedge back down on each side to
    tighten it.

    Quaoar, May 5, 2004
  4. Assuming that the problem is narrowed down to a hardware failure, what is
    the cost estimate on a new keyboard? I would like some idea before I take
    it somewhere.

    Thanks in advance.

    Richard Bowers, May 5, 2004
  5. Richard Bowers

    Quaoar Guest

    Try eBay. The 9100 series was one of Gateway's bigger laptop sellers
    and some parts are readily available. www.mundocorp.com also - $69 for
    a kb.

    Quaoar, May 5, 2004
  6. Both SHIFT keys on my Gateway Solo 9100 have pretty much stopped
    .... but since it's (only?) the shift keys, it's more likely that the
    membrane is dirty or damaged. Completely disassembling the keyboard
    subassy and checking for dirt in the separator layer, and cleaning the
    contact layers, might help.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards, May 5, 2004
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