HP Laptop Keyboard Problems

Written by mike arneson
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HP Laptop Keyboard Problems
Laptop computer keyboard (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Declan Jewell)

The keyboard is the most important input device attached to your computer. When a problem crops up, you may be rendered helpless until it can be resolved. HP laptop computers are no more or less likely to experience keyboard problems, but they share the most common issues with many other computer brands.

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Key Loss

There are no laptop keyboards with permanently attached keys. Rough handling, careless cleaning and impacts can all knock keys off the keyboard. If the key can be found, it may be possible to reattach it. Laptop keyboards generally snap into small tabs on the surface of the keyboard. If the key cannot be found, it is up to the computer's owner to consider purchasing a replacement key or keys, which may prove to be expensive. To prevent key loss, keep your computer's lid closed when it is not in use. If your keyboard seems to be dirty, avoid vacuuming it; compressed air is a much safer method of removing dust and debris.

Key Failure

Single keys may fail due to repeated use or abuse. The expected life of an HP laptop's keyboard is comparable to the life of the computer. This period can be as long as the user needs it to be; as long as the computer is well-maintained and treated with a reasonable degree of gentleness, all of its components should last for a long time.

Regular cleaning of the keyboard should keep the keys working correctly. If a key or keys stop working and cleaning fails to make it work, the keyboard will probably require replacement.

Driver Failure

A "driver" is a piece of software that controls how your computer's hardware works, software being a program, and hardware being a physical component of the computer. The computer's keyboard requires a driver to operate. If that driver is removed, or was not installed properly, the keyboard can stop working properly. Check the status of your computer's keyboard driver by accessing the computer's Device Manager. The driver status should be indicated under the Keyboards heading of the hardware list.

Connection Failure

If there is no apparent problem with the keyboard driver, there is a possibility that the cable that connects your keyboard to the motherboard has somehow become disconnected. This is rare, and it could be a result of damage to the keyboard or the motherboard. It's certainly possible for the connector mounted on the motherboard to have become damaged if the computer has a history of overheating.

If the cable has become disconnected, a technician may have to examine the computer. The keyboard connections in laptop computers are delicate and can be damaged easily if the user does not know how to work on them.

Expert Insight

Keys can be difficult to snap back onto the keyboard, even for technicians. If you are having difficulties reattaching a lost key, do not attempt to force it.

Drivers are fairly simple to download and install. A link to the HP Driver Download website is in the Resource section. At the site, you will be required to provide your computer's model number in order to find the correct software.

Connection failure is not a task to be undertaken by a novice. As with the previous tips, if you feel uncomfortable performing these steps, or are unsure of your skills, contact a professional computer repair technician.

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