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I was given a EEE PC belonging to a friend of a friend to fix. The keyboard did not appear to work at all. I spent a while testing out various things, blowing the keyboard out, checking for damage, and so on. Nothing appeared to be physically wrong.

At first I noticed that the keyboard appeared to work just fine for 10 seconds (on average, sometimes more sometimes less) after being powered on. It had been restored to the factory default xandros installation with no user set up, so I couldn't get in to mess with things since I couldn't type to make a user. I made an ubuntu live USB to boot it from, and managed to get the boot order changed to boot from USB in the ~10 seconds of working keyboard I had (I don't think I've ever had to rush around BIOS menus that quickly).

After I got Ubuntu up on it, I played around a bit more and determined that apparently the ctrl key is stuck down (not literally, but it's on all the time). If I open gedit, pressing the "o" key brings the open dialog, "s" opens the save dialog, and all other behaviour you would expect to see if you were holding down the control key.

The only exception that I noticed is the "9" and "0" keys. They function normally. Figuring that out I made a xandros user with a name/password consisting of 9's and 0's. I couldn't find any options in Xandros that could potentially be helpful.

I'm not familiar with EEE PCs. Is it safe to assume that the keyboard is simply dead or could there be another problem? I don't want to purchase another keyboard for him if that isn't going to fix the problem. The netbook doesn't show any obvious signs of damage but the owner is a biker and very often has it with him on the road so it's been subjected to a good bit of vibration.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Things I would try:

  • Reseating the keyboard connector
  • Trying an external keyboard
  • Disconnecting internal keyboard and trying external keyboard

These should give you a better idea of where the problem is, whether it's in the keyboard itself or in the keyboard controller.

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I did the mentioned steps and come up with the following results: - USB keyboard does not work with laptop keyboard in place - Reseating laptop keyboard doesn't change anything - Removing laptop keyboard and plugging in USB keyboard works fine Given that information I assume a new laptop keyboard will fix the problem? – DWilliams Apr 28 '10 at 20:29
Yep, sounds like just the keyboard itself is misbehaving. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 28 '10 at 20:51
Ordered a new keyboard and installed it. Problem appears to be corrected! – DWilliams May 5 '10 at 17:59

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