I have an HP L2310CU notebook. I've run every diagnostic I could. The entire PC DR suite, memtest86, et cetera. Everything came back just peachy. I physically removed the notebook keyboard. I've used USB keyboards (three different models). I've uninstalled windows, then installed XP, followed by Vista, followed by Ubuntu. No matter what I do, whenever possible the computer just prints a continuous flow of equal signs, as if a key is stuck. Even when no keyboard is present at all.

What is most likely the problem? How can I fix this?

  • Are you sure you removed the entire keyboard attachment to the motherboard? Some have little controller chips which then go to the motherboard. – Breakthrough Sep 4 '09 at 18:57
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    How did you fix it? – Arjan Sep 17 '09 at 19:05
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    And how was the accepted answer useful? – itsadok Sep 17 '09 at 20:28

I would try using the Windows On-Screen keyboard utility or the Ubuntu Live CD to see if this is a hardware or software issue. On Windows XP, you can find this tool under All Programs - Accessories - Accessibility - On-Screen Keyboard.

Try typing with the on-screen keyboard, not your keyboard. If all characters are coming out correctly, then I would think you have a hardware issue with the machine.

If the characters still come out with the '=' character, I would try formatting and reinstalling Windows again, perhaps it wasn't done correctly before (maybe an Upgrade was chosen instead of a clean install?)

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    I won't downvote, but can you explain how a software problem could exists in both windows an linux? And he has already formatted and reinstalled windows twice. – Davy Landman Sep 4 '09 at 19:44
  • I don't know why you would downvote my suggestion Davy? You haven't provided any steps in your response to isolate if this is a hardware or software problem. You're just assuming it's hardware issue based on what you've been told by somebody who thinks they've "uninstalled Windows" (which you can't even do). When I troubleshoot, I verify the problem, isolate it and then resolve it. You seem to be skipping the verifying and isolating steps. But I won't downvote your assumptions either, afterall we're all here trying to help. – Dave Sep 4 '09 at 20:21
  • I did not downvote your suggestion. Somebody else just agreed with me I guess? – Davy Landman Sep 4 '09 at 20:35
  • Let's go with your assumption that some-one who knows to try ubuntu doesn't know how to remove/uninstall windows by formatting (which is really simple, and supported when using a "boot-install")... How can the software problem still represent itself in a ubuntu live disk? In my opinion Joseph has tried to isolate a good part of the problem. Assuming that he can't remove (however you want to call it) Windows is a demeaning thing to assume. – Davy Landman Sep 4 '09 at 20:47
  • What didn't make sense to me is how the poster is able to install all these operating systems if the "=" key is repeatedly being pressed. It sounded like it was only an issue once he was using the OS, which is why I wanted him to confirm whether it happened using the on-screen keyboard. Installing operating systems would require the use of a keyboard (for computer name, user account or product keys). A broken keyboard that repeatedly issues the "=" character would make it difficult, if not impossible to install the operating systems. – Dave Sep 5 '09 at 3:49

Dismantle notebook - get a little soft brush and brush every single nook and cranny. Sometimes a mini piece of conductive dirt gets into the keyboard connector and causes these kind of situations.

If that also fails, take out the notebook BIOS battery (and the normal battery), let the CMOS drain dry, and try again.

If it still doesn't work, you might want to get a young priest, and an old priest... or the HP tech support.


I don't know if your laptop would boot, but can you disconnect your built-in keyboard and try it with an external keyboard.

Also if possible, check the difference between a ps2 and usb keyboard.

My guess would be either the built-in keyboard has a problem or it is the motherboard..

  • Theres no ps2 port on the laptop. Also, the problem persists even when the built-in keyboard is unplugged from the laptop. – Joseph Sep 5 '09 at 6:47

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