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I have a EliteBook 8540w and my F5 Key has come loose and now has come off (not sure how it came off). Anyone know how to put it back on?

It is not as simple as a keyboard from a desktop.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

One method I've found works well on many laptop keyboards is to place they key where it's supposed to go (make sure its centered almost perfectly) and press down very hard. Sometimes the key will snap back in.

Alternatively, if there are small metal lever-looking objects in the key-hole, try to lift them up and see if they fit into latches, loops, or clasps on the bottom side of the key. This is hard and very fiddly; you may need something strong and thin (like a bent paperclip or other wire) to help. (Check the bottom of the key first: these clasps/latches/loops are the same plastic as the key but very thin. It could have been these breaking that caused the key to fall off in the first place. In that case, this won't work.)

As a last resort, you could glue the key back on. BEWARE: you have to glue the key to the part of the keyboard that makes the keypress contact (otherwise it won't work as a key). Sometimes this is a bump and you can glue the key to the bump. Sometimes this is level or even recessed: in these cases, you will probably need a tiny shim. You'll also need to use a strong glue that will glue plastic together; be careful with that. Finally, glued-on keys are often wiggly, unstable, and not at all pleasant to type on. (However, they do work, so this may still be an improvement.)

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Pushing done does not seem to work. There is like this latch attached to the key that I think i Have to get into some hooks but I can't do it. – chobo2 Mar 29 '11 at 17:51
@chobo2 It can be very difficult if it's possible at all. You may have to resort to glue or buying an entire replacement keyboard. – CajunLuke Mar 29 '11 at 19:17
Ya no kidding spent like 30 or more minutes trying and could not get it on. I ended up contacting support and found my laptop is under warranty still so they are sending me a new keyboard. Hopefully the new ones does not break after less than 3 months of using it....I wonder how it feel off never had something like that happen. – chobo2 Mar 29 '11 at 20:17
@chobo2 I've had keys fall off laptops at various times, as well as knowing people who gave up on reattaching them and just dealt with typing into a hole instead of on a key. – CajunLuke Mar 29 '11 at 21:19

I had to put my left arrow key back on just now. I found your post trying to find the answer. I got mine back on by taking a paper clip to stick underneath and lift up the scissor structure that the the key mounts to. Mine is white. If you look at the back of the key there are 2 slots and 2 snaps. The slots are at the bottom of the key and the snaps are at the top. After you gently raise the scissor structure the bottom of the key slides over the 2 pegs. Then remove the paper clip and push down to snap the ey into place.

These keys tend to twist off. Thats how they usually fall off. Not a very good design in my mind, especially on teh arrow keys where there aren't any keys to support them from twisting. Keyboard seems ok but I could see they same happening up there.

Best bet will be to use the built in keyboard as little as possible and only when traveling. Other wise use a regular keyboard that is easily replaceable.

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btw my laptop is an elitebook 8740w – david Apr 19 '11 at 0:51

I work at a public K-12 school district, and we have a lot of HP laptops which the students use in mobile labs as well as those issued to teachers. We see a lot of keys that have broken off or popped off keyboards. We have several rules of thumb:

  1. If the plastic hinge/cage mechanism that goes below the key stays on the keyboard and only they key portion itself has come off, you can almost always get the key back on. Simply line it up and snap it back into place. This will only not work if the key is broken.
  2. If the hinge/cage mechanism has come off and stuck on the back of the key, you have a small chance of getting the key back on. It will take roughly 20 minutes to fix. If you haven't gotten it back on in that time, give up. It will not go back together.
  3. If the hinge/cage has come off and the two pieces have come apart, don't even bother trying to fix it. You are just wasting your time.

If your system is under warranty, contact HP and tell them you've had a key pop off and it will not snap back on. They will send you a replacement. If it's not under warranty, you can easily find replacement keyboards for $25-$35 online new. You can usually save a few bucks and get a refurb. Go to the HP Part Surfer website and enter either the p/n or s/n of your laptop. Look for the part number of the replacement keyboard, and then Google search for that. Alternately, sites like Blue Raven specialize in laptop replacement parts.

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It is possible to reattach the keys even if the whole mechanism fell apart and as long as the pieces are not broken or damaged. It took me 10 min to fix 2 keys back in place. On an HP EliteBook 8440p begin by placing the plastic hinges back on the base - observe closely the mechanism vs the key plate itself - there is only one obviously correct way to put it back. This is the most crucial step so better take your time with it and make sure you understand how the thing works, only when you are sure you know what goes where begin putting it back.

Use tools, not your fingers alone for the parts are too small. I personally used a flattened straw and a pen :)

Once you have the hinges back into place they should lie flat against the base. The key plate should be slid into one hinge and pressed onto the other. If it doesn't happen with a slight pressure don't force it but start over.

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As described above, if the hinge mechanism is still stuck on the board, you just snap on the key. But if the hinge mechanism is stuck on the key itself, instead of trying to snap the key with the hinge in the open position, all you have to do is gently pry the hinge mechanism away from the key itself. You could do that with a paper clip. Once the hinge came off and you don't see broken pieces of plastic or anything bent, just fold the hinge flat and snap the hinge onto the board, with the wide section on top. After it snaps on, you just snap the key on top of that.

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