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I bought an Acer Aspire 5742Z recently and after about two weeks a few of the keys on the keyboard just stopped responding - I've plugged in an external keyboard and all keys work fine which would appear to rule out a software issue

I've removed the caps of the keys and cleaned around the rubber cup but even pushing the rubber cups directly doesn't work

I read a few of the answers to similar questions on here and searched Google countless times but most people suggest the keys just burned out with age or whatever but it happened two weeks from new.

Anybody have any idea what's going on? And/or how I can fix it?

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Well, kinda obvious, but: Bring it back to where you bought it from and get a replacement. –  slhck Nov 21 '11 at 20:47

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As the laptop is only 2 weeks old you should get the keyboard replaced under warranty. You've already ruled the chance of it being a software issue, and you've cleaned. This leaves a switch or connection issue, both of which would require the keyboard be replaced. As this is a new laptop, I'd definitely get warranty service, or service from the store you purchased it from to resolve the issue.

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I called them and they said because I took the key off it was classed as tampering and voided the warranty lol :\ –  Andy Nov 21 '11 at 20:52
    
...and that's why you never tell them you took a key off. Did you try calling the store? Or did you buy it directly from ACER? –  music2myear Nov 21 '11 at 21:00
    
I'll try calling the place I bought it from and won't mention that this time. thanks for your help –  Andy Nov 21 '11 at 21:13
    
I've worked in retail support, including warranty claims, and so long as they can observe that the steps you took didn't obviously damage (or exacerbate existing damage) the equipment you should be just fine. Over the phone the company has to take a hard line because people will use any excuse to get a unit replaced. But in person warranty service can generally be more lenient and precise. –  music2myear Nov 21 '11 at 21:54

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