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My 3, E, D and C keys stopped working on my laptop. What could I do to try and fix this?

Edit: I have taken the keys off and cleaned under them and used a can of air on them. I am using Windows Vista. The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427

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please provide some more info: make and model of your laptop? operating system? and are you sure it's not just a case of Fn Lock or Num Lock? –  Molly7244 Dec 8 '09 at 4:14
    
This also just started happening with my Dell Inspiron 1720. But it seems intermittent... sometimes they work sometimes they don't. Weird. –  Charlino Mar 26 '10 at 1:57

4 Answers 4

First I'd try cleaning it in case dirt got underneath the keyboard. If you have a compressed air can, spray it underneath the keys while holding the laptop so the keyboard faces downward. If you don't have a compressed air can, blow on it!

You can use SharpKeys to ensure they are correctly mapped.

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Sounds hardwareish- being in a line like that. Clean the keyboard with a can of compressed air, see if there's anything stick under those keys. Be careful, you might shift whatever it is to somewhere worse or tricky to get to. If you want to, you might be able to remove the keyboard for better access. If it's a fairly popular laptop, a google of "laptop name remove keyboard" should find a tutorial or video.

By the way, how did you write the "E D C" in the question?!

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I have a few computers :) –  Greg Dec 8 '09 at 4:20
    
Definitely 'hardwareish' –  pavium Dec 8 '09 at 4:41

I just had this problem (why I found this thread) and I was able to fix it by pushing the c, e, and d button at the same time and hold them down for a few seconds. I have no idea what caused it why this fixed but might be worth a shot.

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Keyboards are constructed as a grid of rows and columns. Pressing a key connects a row to a column, which is how the key is identified. When a whole row or column stops working (3,e,d,c is a column), and only a single row or column, it is usually not the individual keys. It is more likely to be the internal wiring of the keyboard.

The row and column circuit traces often connect to ribbon cables that go to a separate little circuit board. Those ribbon cables can develop a bad connection, the circuit trace for the column or row can get damaged or have a bad solder joint, or there can be a failure on that little circuit board. If you have some technical skills, you might be able to identify the problem and repair it.

If the problem involves multiple keys that are not entire rows or columns (e.g., a whole column plus some other keys), the problem is often that something spilled on the keyboard. There are many sources on how to try to repair that.

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