Question Three keys on my laptop stopped working: diagnosis & repair advice?

kenmore3973

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Apr 27, 2020
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I've got an ASUS VivoBook 15 (core i7 processor, 1.80GHz, 16.0 GB) which has done a fine job for me in the two years I've had it, until three months ago.

Basically, In April, three keys stopped working for no apparent reason. Those keys are the "p", "0", and "-" (hyphen) keys. As you can see, the three keys are adjacent to each other.

Bizarrely, two weeks ago all three keys started working again, for no apparent reason. But just this morning, they stopped working.

I called computer stores and tech repair shops in an effort to sound out what might be the technical problem. Over the phone, they said it might mean I need a new keyboard, or that my circuit board is defective. Either way, they said I'd have to pay an expensive diagnostic fee, and if it turns out that the only problem is the keyboard, I'd have to pay $150 for a new one plus another $130 for labor to install it. I was also informed that if the problem is my circuit board, the repair fee is vastly higher.

Given that I bought this machine new for $900, I'm not going to pay these rip-off artists a cent unless I have to. That's why I'm hoping people here can help me diagnose the problem on my own.

Anyway, I ran the Windows troubleshooter on my keyboard, and it found no problem or defect. I don't know what to try next.

Any advice?
 

kenmore3973

Commendable
Apr 27, 2020
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Since you are also considering a purchase to replace the entire system, have you given any thought to purchasing a keyboard and installing yourself?

What is the specific model of your Asus?

For example: https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Keyboard-Vivobook-F512DA-Backlit/dp/B09QPHX4R7/
Well, I don't even know if the keyboard is the problem. The damage may go deeper. I won't know the answer unless I pay a tech shop a large diagnostic fee. Given that my laptop is cheap, I'm not willing to pay big diagnosis and repair fees.

This laptop cost $900 new several years ago. It's just not worth it for me to pay $300 or more to repair it, given that it's book value is now quite low.

My machine is an ASUS VivoBook 15. Core i7 10th gen.
 

kenmore3973

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Apr 27, 2020
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As for the origin of this keyboard problem, I have a theory.

A few months ago I started using a powerful topical steroid ointment to treat a skin condition. After applying it, I always washed my hands and fingers thoroughly. But now I'm wondering if tiny particles of this chemical may have remained on my fingertips and contaminated my keyboard keys.

Just a guess.
 

Etrius vanRandr

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May 11, 2022
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I won't know the answer unless I pay a tech shop a large diagnostic fee.
Avoid that shop; any places that charge diagnostic fees are after your money and not honest about helping.

A few months ago I started using a powerful topical steroid ointment to treat a skin condition. After applying it, I always washed my hands and fingers thoroughly. But now I'm wondering if tiny particles of this chemical may have remained on my fingertips and contaminated my keyboard keys.
Doubt it. Best guess is that the keyboard connection to the motherboard is loose. Most reputable repair shops would likely reseat the KBC for free or a very low cost as it's not a very involved repair.
 

kenmore3973

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Apr 27, 2020
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The feedback from you guys is much appreciated. I'll call around town and see if I can find an ethical repair shop. I'll pitch the KBC theory and see how they respond.
 

kenmore3973

Commendable
Apr 27, 2020
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Avoid that shop; any places that charge diagnostic fees are after your money and not honest about helping.



Doubt it. Best guess is that the keyboard connection to the motherboard is loose. Most reputable repair shops would likely reseat the KBC for free or a very low cost as it's not a very involved repair.
Can you tell me a little more about resetting the KBC? I looked that term up online. Based on what I read, it sounds like resetting the KBC has the same effect as simply doing a complete system restore (to factory default condition).

Am I correct?

To be honest, when this problem first began, I executed a full system restore (return to factory default). And it didn't fix those two malfunctioning keys (the "p" and "0").
 
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