Alright, here's the problem

A girl on my floor came to me for computer help and i've tried everything i know to try. She has a Dell laptop and her keys were acting up. At first it seemed like it was the "Fn" keys, but then i realized it wasn't just those keys..and not all of them. So we finally got her logged back into XP and i downloaded and ran Spybot which fixed 8 of the 11 non-working keys. However, spacebar, backspace, and i think it's the "\" key still don't work. Spacebar makes a b...backspace some jibberish. Previously the other "Broken" keys had been doing the same thing just creating jiberrish (which made it hard to type her pasword...although when i did CTRL-ALT-DEL at the start-up screen and it brought up the different login box, it let the typing of those key work so we could log in) I don't know what else to try. I've honestly never seen anythign like this...and why spybot appeared to fix some keys but not all......I'm lost at what else to try.

I also ran adaware and i got her McAfee and she's running that....


-- Apparantly ';', '?', and stuff also aren't working...and something about sometimes p makes p' ...I just don't understand

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Normally this issue is caused when they have the function key locked in place, however that wouldn't describe how running spybot fixed some of the issues but here are some things to check:

1. Hold down Fn and the key that has the blue lock on it

2. Check to make sure her keyboard layout is still set to english.

What comes up when you press any of these keys? is it doing alternate characters or just no text at all?

Plug in an external keyboard of both ps/2 and usb type and see how those are responding.

I've tried the "fn" key....and all other combinations with that key.

I have not checked to make sure it is in English, i'll do that and make sure.

It's just doing alternative just jibberish a few random characters.

I could not find a way to plug a ps/2 keyboard in. And i couldn't find anyone on the floor with a USB keyboard....

Thanks! I might just send her to tech support today. With exams coming up, I don't have much more time to spend with it :) Thanks for the ideas, i will check the language settings and try again to find a usb keyboard.

Do new laptops really not have a way to plug in a ps/2 keyboard?

A lot of (if not all of?) the new Dell laptops are lacking legacy ports such as serial, parallel, and ps/2. I beleive that you can get a ps/2->USB adapter, otherwise you would need a usb keyboard.

ohhh ok, thanks

Hi, I'm having a similar problem but my keys just aren't working at all. The keyboard is set to english and the function key is not locked down. I was wondering if there is anyway to fix it or if I just have to replace the keyboard?

As suggested above, try using a different keyboard and see if the problem remains, or changes in any way. Sometimes the pins break-off in the PS/2 port, sometimes it's cable fatigue, sometimes the internals simply fail. If using a different keyboard suddenly works, trash the non-functional one. Be sure to be careful when trying another device, in case a pin might have broken off for whatever obscure reason.

If the problem persists, and your motherboard is clean, you might have a more serious problem. Usually if your keyboard is not detected as "present" upon boot-up, the system speaker will complain at you following a prompt of the lack of a keyboard. Double-check that the caps-lock/numlock/scroll-lock keys respond by the indicator on the keyboard. If not, the machine crashed or does not see the keyboard properly.

I use an IBM model KB-8923 (the clone of it is the NEC model KB-6923) keyboard, and I have not had any failures or compatibility issues for longer than I can remember, at least 7 years across 4 widely varied machines....Maybe you should get one of these bomb-proof classics?

Try using a standard 101-key keyboard as a test. You can likely find them dirt-cheap at a thrift shop that takes donations, or even when someone tosses a computer in the trash.

As a rule, I always have a backup monitor, keyboard, mouse, floppy and hard drive handy should I suffer a failure. This will get me back up and running should I lose such critical devices.

I wish you luck....

im also having a prob but its not a lap top,it just wont type anything i usually have to unplug the back the tower,then plug back in,sometimes works,help

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