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Keyboards are simple devices controlled by manipulating a
matrix of individual electrical switches, which can be entered one at a
time to input your desired commands. Although keyboards are simple devices
they do however can run into problems here and there.When you multiply this
number of moving parts times the 100+ keys on a typical keyboard, you are
faced with a substantial number of moving parts. A jam or failure in any
one of these many mechanical parts results in a keyboard problem. Most keyboard
failures are hardly catastrophic, but they can certainly be inconvenient.
Virtually all computer keyboards are open to the air. Over time, everyday dust, pet hair, air vapor, cigar/cigarette smoke, and debris from hands and ordinary use will settle into the keyboard. Eventually, accumulations of this foreign matter will cause keys to stick, or will prevent keys from making proper contact (i.e., a key does not work every time it is pressed). In either case, keyboard problems will develop. Fortunately, correcting a finicky keyboard is a relatively straightforward process. Start by removing the key caps of the offending keys. Be sure to note where each key is placed before starting your disassembly—especially if the keyboard is a DVORAK-type or unusual ergonomic design. To remove a key cap, bend an ordinary paper clip into the shape of a narrow “U”, and bend-in small tabs at the tip of the “U” shape. Slip the small tabs under the key cap and pull up gently. Do not struggle with the key cap. If a cap will not come off, remove one or more adjacent caps. If there is a substantial accumulation of foreign matter in the keyboard, you should consider removing all of the key caps for a thorough cleaning, but this requires more time.
Avoid removing the
Flip the keyboard upside down and rap gently on the case. This will loosen and dislodge any larger, heavier foreign matter, and allow it to fall out of the keyboard. A soft-bristled brush will help loosen the debris. Return the keyboard to an upright position. Use a can of compressed air (available from almost any electronics or photography store) to blow out the remainder of foreign matter. Because this tends to blow dust and debris in all directions, you might wish to use the compressed air outside or in an area away from your workbench. A medium- or firm-bristled brush will help loosen any stubborn debris. Now that the keyboard is cleaned out, squirt a small amount of good-quality electronics-grade contact cleaner (also available from almost any electronics store) into each key contact, and work the key to distribute the cleaner evenly. Allow a few minutes for the contact cleaner to dry completely and test the keyboard again before reinstalling the key caps. If the problems persist, the keyboard might be damaged or the individual key(s) might simply be worn out beyond recovery. In such an event, replace the keyboard outright.
Keyboard Q & A
—this will clear all of the keyboard’s programming. The
key sequence used for your keyboard might be different, so be sure to
check the procedure for your own keyboard. If problems persist, replace
Why does my wireless keyboard types random characters?
You’ll need to reset both ends of the wireless system. First, take a look at the DIP switch settings that control the RF channel for the wireless transmitter and receiver (usually under the battery cover at the keyboard). Be sure that the transmitter and receiver are both set for the same channel. Find the “Reset” button on both the transmitter and receiver. Press the RF receiver reset button first, then press the RF transmitter button immediately after (usually within 15 seconds of one another). If the problem persists, reboot the system and try the reset process again.
Why is it that my wireless keyboard beeps while typing?
In virtually all cases, the batteries in the wireless keyboard are running low. Replace the batteries and try the wireless keyboard again—the beeping should stop.
Why when I type characters do not appear, but the cursor moves?
This issue is a result of the color scheme being used. Check the color scheme selected by right clicking on the desktop. Click on Properties, then the Appearance tab. Set the scheme to Windows standard. Click on OK to return to the desktop. The text should now appear normal. This solution can generally be attempted with any application.
Why is it that some function keys and Windows keys don't work as they are supposed too?
For example, this is a known problem with Toshiba 8500 desktop systems and the Microsoft Natural Keyboard. In virtually all cases (including the Toshiba 8500), the PC keyboard controller BIOS recognizes the keyboard during the Power-On Self Test (POST), but it does not recognize some of the keys—including certain function keys and Windows-specific keys. You’ll need to try a generic keyboard or upgrade the system’s keyboard controller BIOS.
Why is it that one or more Windows-specific keys don’t work?
This is almost always a limitation of the keyboard-controller BIOS. For example, a Jetkey keyboard controller BIOS (v.3.0) will not recognize the right Windows key on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard. You’ll need to try a generic keyboard or upgrade the system’s keyboard- controller BIOS.
Why is it that the NumLock feature might not activate when the NumLock key is pressed?
This can happen with some programmable keyboards when pen software is installed on the system. You should be able to correct the problem by disabling the pen device:
1 Click Start, select Settings, then click Control panel.
2 Doubleclick the System icon and select the Device manager tab.
3 Doubleclick the Ports entry to expand it.
4 Doubleclick the port to which the pen (or touch-screen) device is connected.
5 In the Device usage area on the General tab, click the Original configuration (current) check box to clear it (if you’re using OSR2, click the Disable in this hardware profile check box to select it).
6 Click OK, then restart the system when prompted.
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