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  1. #1
    ccj
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    keyboard - hot key problems

    I have a Compaq computer that has suddenly changed what the keyboard does.
    Now when I type an e up pops a dialog box for exploring my computer. I type f and I get a box to find a file. This does not happen in any particular program. I log on and it starts. Anyone know how I can fix this? Thanks

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    I think you must have a key (probably Alt or Ctrl) that is stuck - not enough to catch it on boot, but evidently afterwards.

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    i'd have to agree.. if you're brave, you can take it apart, otherwise, slam it around a bit, or replace it.

    Drk.
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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Before you "slam it around a little" (which does work, I've reverted to that) try using a CLEAN, or better still NEW, paint brush. My preferred weapon is the 2-inch model. Hold it so the narrow side is pointing along the long axis of the keyboard and drag it up and between the rows of keys.

    BTW turn the PC off before you start.
    Granville

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Sounds like the 'Windows' key is the culprit. If you have access to another keyboard, I would try that to isolate the problem.

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    I still prefer the slamming method.. [img]/S/sarcasm.gif[/img] Nothing like taking your frustrations out on your keyboard... [img]/S/grin.gif[/img]
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  7. #7
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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    <big><center><font color=red>Wash it!!</big></font color=red></center>
    Unplug first (natch!) and run it under a warm tap : ie. faucet. Or put in the dishwasher (without the tablet). Then hang it up to dry for at least 24hrs. Works a treat if you've spilled coffee/tea/wine/Ovaltine/Marmite/scotch on the rocks/// all over it, and for intermittent sticky keys such as yours.

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Wow..

    I have to advise against immersing your equipment in water, especially the keyboard variety, my reasons are as follows:

    Dishwasher? [img]/S/nope.gif[/img] High pressure water in combination with the Heat-Dry mechansim can't be good for electronic parts.

    Immersion? [img]/S/nope.gif[/img] Your keyboard has many, many, plastic parts, each with small 'clearances' inside. 24hrs wouldn't be enough time for these clearances to evaporate the water they'd most likely contain after immersion.

    If you really want to wash it, you can remove all the keys, (most are detachable) put those in a knit bag and toss them in the dishwasher, (no heat) and use a blow-dryer to dry them off.
    Next, take apart the remaining keyboard apparatus, and wash the plastic contact sheet inside. You'll also want to focus on the cylinders into which the keys slide as they are depressed. If you find your problem key, just do that one, or do them all, but your best bet is to invest some time, or scrap it for a new one.

    [img]/S/2cents.gif[/img]

    Drk.
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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Well, given the sheer enjoyment I get out of disassembling things, I rather make some q-tips and rubbing alchohol my buddy for 3 hours and maticulously clean each surface individually... but, that's just me... [img]/S/grin.gif[/img]

    Drk.
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  10. #10
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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    There aren't any 'electronic' components in a normal keyboard that would be damaged by warm water - at least not the sort we can get here in England. (I wouldn't immerse my detachable, though, and do not extend the method to motherboards and the like).
    As long as you allow thorough drainage and gentle drying in a warm place, 24hrs is more than enough to evaporate the thin film of water that would collect on the copper contacts - and anywhere else.
    I know it sounds crazy, but I've done it several times (not in the dishwasher, but I know people who have and I believe there's no reason why you shouldn't).

    btw I have been teaching high-school science for 30 years and I would not put forward advice that is either dangerous or useless. However, to you and any other reader, if you'd rather throw away a keyboard with a sticky key, go ahead. They're not expensive items.

    Is there anybody besides me who has washed a keyboard in this way?

    Keeping a clean machine...

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    ..that's what I do when the key tops get grubby. It's the spilled liquids/penetrative crumbs that need a firmer hand.
    The thought of levering off the tops of 102 keys (and putting them back in the right places!!) does not fill me with the joys of spring. Your mileage, as they say, has obviously varied.
    Rgds

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Hmmm! This has raised some interesting points!

    I wouldn't use water and when I spoke to an engineer friend he nearly had a fit. However he uses compressed air, and I know for a fact that can blow the rails because of the electrical differential. (The rails normally carry, I think, 5 amps.)

    Some hard thinking and the gentle wash may work, assuming the user is extremely careful, but I still wouldn't do it.

    I keep coming back to the fact that a new keyboard is worth a small fraction of a motherboard, both in money and effort to replace. I'd say it's a case of you pays your money and takes your risk. (misquoted - GW)

    Just my thoughts.
    Granville

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    You've had alot of good advice on this; here's the solution that will due your stress level the most good. First buy a nice new keyboard. Put the old one in the driveway, and run back and forth over it till its just a pile of little plastic pebbles. Take a picture. Post it for us!

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Hi Granville
    Apart from 'I wouldn't do it', I'm not sure what you're saying here. It sounds to me as though you think I'd immerse a keyboard whilst it was still in situ. What exactly do you, or your friend, think would happen if you washed (an ordinary, unplugged) keyboard and then dried it, so that no trace of water were left? From my experience I can tell you : nothing that's harmful, anyway.
    Not wishing to put you on the spot, but it would help to clarify what your point is, if could you explain
    <hr>and I know for a fact that {use of compressed air} can blow the rails because of the electrical differential. (The rails normally carry, I think, 5 amps.)<hr>
    and say how you think this works in the context of a computer keyboard.

    Let's keep this discussion going, because it's not only something I know works, but also because I can't see why it shouldn't.

    Cheers

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    Re: keyboard - hot key problems

    Hi Mel,

    Haven't been ignoring your post, just got a bit busy.

    Ok, so first an apology, I had noted your earlier post where you stated "unplug first (natch!)", and was taking that as said.

    So, why not wash the keyboard...

    The big one, especially if the PC is under warranty, is the exclusions in the legal stuff. My "Compaq Service" literature states, among other stuff, that it does not apply to the following items (sic):

    "d) Compaq Equipment that has been damaged or rendered defective resulting from operation outside the usage parameters stated in the applicable accompanying Compaq Equipment documentation." I couldn't find the doco, but would bet immersion doesn't rate.

    "j) Service which in Compaq's opinion are required due to improper treatment or use of the equipment or software." The bolding is my embelishment, but the cruncher here is that phrase.

    For equipment out of warranty, well that's the owner's call.

    I keep coming back to one fact, of it all going pear-shaped and something in the keyboard shorts out and takes out the motherboard. Then you would be up for a replacement at between $160 and $500 plus a new keyboard at between $12 and $50. Those are AUD.

    I do note, in your bio, that you actually build PCs, so you would probably know more about the ampage of the rails then I do.

    However, I was using compressed air to clean out keyboards until one day one stopped altogether. One of our techs checked it out and found a blown rail. It was then he mentioned the electrical differential problem. He rofl at me when I told what I'd done.
    Granville

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