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I have a problem where the 'd' key on my laptop does not work consistently. I used my laptop to play World of Warcraft for a couple of years and apparently, I turned to the right a lot when playing. Now when I type, the 'd' key doesn't work until I stop and hit it two or three times. I'd like to fix the problem. Any ideas where to start?

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9 Answers

A similar thing happened to me with my 'v' key. The fix was to pry off the key cap and replace it with one from another identical notebook computer. The failing key cap had little plastic tabs broken off.

Here is a bunch of HowTo's for different notebook models: http://www.machinaelectronics.com/store/library/index.cfm

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If it does respond every once in a while chances are there is some dirt underneath it. Try spraying under it with compressed air & turn the laptop upside down with the lid open. If your adventurous you could take the keyboard apart entirely.

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Be very careful taking keys out though, I learned that the hard way –  Ciaran Aug 18 '09 at 18:03
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Well, you have a couple options availible to you here.

First you could try (carefully!) prying your d key off of the keyboard. Scissor switch style keys are held in place with simple plastic clips. With a careful use of force, you should be able to pop it off and get a look underneath and see if anything is askew. Putting it back in place shouldn't be too difficult either once you see how they are held in place.

Secondly, you could call up your laptop manufacturer and get a quote on a new keyboard + labor cost to replace it. When I worked at a big box computer retailer 4 years back most laptop keyboards could be replaced for 40-60 dollars CDN. Also note that if you send it away for a keyboard replacement, they will probably format your harddrive. (HP's policy last time I delt with them).

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I suggest not pulling the keys out as laptop keys are a little different from regular keyboards. Laptop keys don't come off nearly as easily as do regular keyboards and they also tend to be much more fragile. –  Faken Aug 18 '09 at 21:40
    
Why, for heaven's sake, do they feel the need to format the HD when replacing the keyboard? There's no need to even boot from the HD to do this - just replace the keyboard, and boot from a rescue CD to test. –  sleske Apr 18 '11 at 17:37
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Did you eat pizza when playing WoW? Sometimes a can of air will dislodge pizza flotsam. If you can't get the air to where it's needed, the keycaps on high quality laptops can be removed by carefully prying them off with a green stick.

Or you may have just worn it out. :(

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It wasn't the pizza. The culprit is the soda ;) –  Isxek Aug 18 '09 at 19:33
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Try cleaning it first as detailed above...

If you determine that the keyboard needs replacing, it is not very hard. You can search online for a tare-down video or guide for your laptop model. Online stores like eBay are a good place to find a replacement keyboard.

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When I bought my current tablet convertible, I had problems with one of the keys falling off, or being pressed but not actually registering. Even though I knew it was going to be tricky to get put the key together correctly once again, it's definately something you should try first. This site was very helpful to me on taking out and placing the key again. Yes you have to be careful and have a lot of patience, but that key hasn't given me any problems since.

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The best things you can try are:

  1. Don't press the keys too hard.
  2. Take the key out and then clean it. With the help of an ear bud try to make the interior portion move to & fro.
  3. Replace the key and then make a covering of lamination over it.
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I think you best look for a replacement for the keyboard. I would start with ebay.

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Try searching for a dis-assembly guide and taking it apart if just spraying compressed air doesn't work. You may be able to get it taken apart and remove some dirt or debris that canned air won't take care of.

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