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Oops!

Old Jul 22nd 2018, 11:46 pm
  #1  
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Default Oops!

I have a Toshiba laptop that I've owned since 2007. It's done me well the past 11 years and I don't want to replace it if I don't have to. However , on Friday I accidentally spilled coffee on the keyboard and now most of the keys don't work. I dried it as best I could with a towel and blow dryer but it is still not working 3 days later.

Is there something I can do to make it work or is it screwed now and I'll have to buy a new one?
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Old Jul 23rd 2018, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Keyboards are not especially expensive so that's worth exploring first.
I have replaced my beloved Gateway's keyboard about three times - due to problems with space bar and letters wearing off. Cost about $18.

My stepdaughter spilled pepsi on hers and a new keyboard did the trick for the same sort of cost.

Try a really cheap USB keyboard - $13 from Staples - and that should at least tell you if the laptop still works. You can actually buy nice slim ones and you might even be happy to have one sit on top your laptop keyboard.

That's what I did originally but the use of certain keys pushed on the main keyboard. But that was when it worked except for the space bar so if your keyboard is dead that shouldn't be a problem.

Official keyboards were around $60 but there are plenty compatible for much less, they just tend to take 3 weeks or more to arrive - and that's where the USB one came in handy. Youtube videos will show you how to replace.

I got to the point that at the first sign of wear on my keyboard, I'd order a replacement so I had it for when needed.

I should add, how you go about it will depend on the keyboard. Some can simply be prised out (you should be able tell by looking) and there's a sort of ribbon connection, while others need more disassembly.

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Old Jul 23rd 2018, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Too bad you aren't in Regina or Oliver, I have a box full of standard keyboards and some nice mini ones.
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Old Jul 23rd 2018, 5:11 pm
  #5  
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
I have a box full of standard keyboards and some nice mini ones.
Many years ago when I was looking for cheap RAM for my old Dell Desktop, I used to come across ads for people asking for computers in any condition and a few selling laptops for not many $$ but missing some things of varying importance like battery, screen not working and not even a drive sometimes.

I wondered what that was all about and the best I could come up with was just for tinkering about, maybe practice at taking apart.

But over the last couple of years of minimal tinkering - fitting extra RAM, replacing Hard drives with SSDs, trying Linux, finding a way (still) to upgrade W7 to W10 - I now see it could be a nice hobby.

Although when something doesn't go as planned, it's not such fun.
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Old Jul 23rd 2018, 9:31 pm
  #6  
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
Keyboards are not especially expensive so that's worth exploring first.
I have replaced my beloved Gateway's keyboard about three times - due to problems with space bar and letters wearing off. Cost about $18.

My stepdaughter spilled pepsi on hers and a new keyboard did the trick for the same sort of cost.

Try a really cheap USB keyboard - $13 from Staples - and that should at least tell you if the laptop still works. You can actually buy nice slim ones and you might even be happy to have one sit on top your laptop keyboard.

That's what I did originally but the use of certain keys pushed on the main keyboard. But that was when it worked except for the space bar so if your keyboard is dead that shouldn't be a problem.

Official keyboards were around $60 but there are plenty compatible for much less, they just tend to take 3 weeks or more to arrive - and that's where the USB one came in handy. Youtube videos will show you how to replace.

I got to the point that at the first sign of wear on my keyboard, I'd order a replacement so I had it for when needed.

I should add, how you go about it will depend on the keyboard. Some can simply be prised out (you should be able tell by looking) and there's a sort of ribbon connection, while others need more disassembly.

Thanks Bristol. I have a USB keyboard at work that I bought a while ago that I'll try. If not then I guess it's a new laptop .

It seems everything else works, so I guess I just fried something in the keyboard. On the plus side, every time I open it I get the aroma of coffee.
Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
Too bad you aren't in Regina or Oliver, I have a box full of standard keyboards and some nice mini ones.
We really liked Oliver so it is a bit of a shame we're not there. It's been about 38 years since I was in Regina so I don't really remember it well. But either way, thanks
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Old Jul 23rd 2018, 10:22 pm
  #7  
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by Dorothy View Post
Thanks Bristol. I have a USB keyboard at work that I bought a while ago that I'll try. If not then I guess it's a new laptop .

It seems everything else works, so I guess I just fried something in the keyboard.
Or it's just stickiness preventing the keys doing their job.
I'd google laptop keyboard and then Toshiba with the model number so you get an idea of cost/delivery.

It's funny how you can get attached to things. I loved my Gateway. Odd things were happening and I bought an Acer replacement. I cleared a lot of stuff from the Gateway intending to just keep it in reserve but also use it for downloading movies. Every time I went to it it behaved really well. I cleaned it up visually as well as content-wise and now it looks so nice I want to take it to bed.

Having replaced the HD with a cheapish SSD and now having a broken hinge on the Acer I can actually imagine the Gateway gaining a promotion to being my main one again.
On the plus side, every time I open it I get the aroma of coffee.

Maybe throw in some breadcrumbs and see if you get the smell of freshly baked bread as well.
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Old Oct 5th 2018, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Ok, I've recently had a Dorothy moment - not actually me, one of the cats put a glass of wine all over the laptop keyboard. It runs ok, the keys are sticky but it works.

But it won't shut down at all. Every time I try to silence it, it comes straight back, sticky keys and all. Stubborn little sod.

It's a backup to my backup, so not critical, but it's the smallest, hence travel-friendliest PC that I have.

Should I try and take it apart to clean it myself, or just pick some rip-off repair merchant to weave some costly magic?

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Old Oct 5th 2018, 8:22 pm
  #9  
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Default Re: Oops!

When I dumped coffee on my x-201 I took it to my friend right away and he took it apart and used a shop-vac to suck it all out.
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Old Oct 5th 2018, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
When I dumped coffee on my x-201 I took it to my friend right away and he took it apart and used a shop-vac to suck it all out.
Thanks, the cat incident was a few days back, so I imagine that the residual spillage is now well gooey thanks to the heat and won't respond to a vacuum cleaning. There again, that would depend on the vacuum being used...

The fact that it continues to work seems to mean that the motherboard has survived thus far, which is why I want to pursue.
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Old Oct 5th 2018, 9:35 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
...one of the cats put a glass of wine all over the laptop keyboard...
Well serves you right, giving wine to your cats. And in a glass too.

What the hell is wrong with a saucer of milk?
(apart from lactose)


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Old Oct 5th 2018, 10:06 pm
  #12  
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
Ok, I've recently had a Dorothy moment - not actually me, one of the cats put a glass of wine all over the laptop keyboard. It runs ok, the keys are sticky but it works.

But it won't shut down at all. Every time I try to silence it, it comes straight back, sticky keys and all. Stubborn little sod.

It's a backup to my backup, so not critical, but it's the smallest, hence travel-friendliest PC that I have.

Should I try and take it apart to clean it myself, or just pick some rip-off repair merchant to weave some costly magic?

I'd advise you to remove the keyboard yourself, clean it up & refit. With most laptops it's pretty easy but somewhat scary the first attempt. Then one discovers how relatively easy it is, even for many Macs. Go to iFixit the free repair manual, type in your make & model, and study the procedure before diving in.
I frequently pick up cheap functioning laptops at thrift stores for a handful of dollars, strip 'em out completely just for the interest, and rebuild with the assistance of the aforementioned site. I know my limits though, which generally doesn't run to logic board repairs.
Give me a shout if any guidance required. I frequently share repair advise on an AppleMac forum, especially for any desktop or laptop computers that most repair specialist have never heard of or don't want to know about.
This is a relatively new hobby for me, and over the last 3 years I've refurbished most Mac laptops between 1991 and 2013, retain an example of most, and love 'em all. Having said that, the 12" 2003-2006 alluminium G4 PowerBook still unnerves me whenever I have one to disembowel and refurbish. Most definitely a "Don't try this at home" - unless one wants a real challenge!

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Oct 5th 2018 at 10:08 pm.
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Old Oct 6th 2018, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
I'd advise you to remove the keyboard yourself, clean it up & refit. With most laptops it's pretty easy but somewhat scary the first attempt. Then one discovers how relatively easy it is, even for many Macs. Go to iFixit the free repair manual, type in your make & model, and study the procedure before diving in.
I frequently pick up cheap functioning laptops at thrift stores for a handful of dollars, strip 'em out completely just for the interest, and rebuild with the assistance of the aforementioned site. I know my limits though, which generally doesn't run to logic board repairs.
Give me a shout if any guidance required. I frequently share repair advise on an AppleMac forum, especially for any desktop or laptop computers that most repair specialist have never heard of or don't want to know about.
This is a relatively new hobby for me, and over the last 3 years I've refurbished most Mac laptops between 1991 and 2013, retain an example of most, and love 'em all. Having said that, the 12" 2003-2006 alluminium G4 PowerBook still unnerves me whenever I have one to disembowel and refurbish. Most definitely a "Don't try this at home" - unless one wants a real challenge!
Many thanks for the pointer, I've found a guide for removing the case on a similar model to mine - HP Pavilion - I probably have the required screwdriver, but am slightly bothered about the plastic prying/opening tool. Improvisation will be required, I'll have a root around in the toolbox and report back.
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Old Oct 6th 2018, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
Many thanks for the pointer, I've found a guide for removing the case on a similar model to mine - HP Pavilion - I probably have the required screwdriver, but am slightly bothered about the plastic prying/opening tool. Improvisation will be required, I'll have a root around in the toolbox and report back.
You may need to get a spudging tool:
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Old Oct 6th 2018, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Oops!

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
You may need to get a spudging tool:
Right you are!

Just tried to order the spudging ++ kit from ifixit Europe, but it fails at the payment stage... Doubtless I have some old-tech biros somewhere.
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