General Question

momster's avatar

Can you help me fix my laptop keyboard issue?

Asked by momster (303points) July 8th, 2013

I have a Samsung notebook model NP-SF511-AO2US. Yesterday the keyboard just stopped working. My husband was trying to do something so I can’t describe what the exact issue was but he said the keys weren’t working right.

He restarted the laptop but was unable to type in the password to launch Windows. The letter r wouldn’t work and the letter u seemed to turn on the Caps Lock. We turned the laptop off again but now when we turn it on, it first gives us a screen where we can press F2 or F4 for recovery, but pushing either of those keys does nothing.

Next we get a screen saying Windows wasn’t shut down successfully and to use arrow keys to select Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, or Start Windows Normally. However the arrow keys don’t work and hitting Enter to start Windows doesn’t work either.

All of the possible fixes I can find online involved using the Start menu which I can’t even get to because we can’t get past that Error Recovery screen.

Is there a way to fix this myself without taking the laptop in for service? I need it for work so the sooner I can get it running the better.

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13 Answers

Pachy's avatar

First thing I’d do connect an external USB keyboard to it and reboot. If it starts normally and you can type in a password, you can detrrmone whether the build-in keyboard problem was a anomoly or is a hardware or software problem that needs to be professionally repaired.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m going to second the USB keyboard. They are 15 bucks and you can buy them anywhere.

Pachy's avatar

@momster, since you’re able to message Fluther, may I correctly assume you have a desktop computer at home as well? If so, disconnect the keyboard from it and try it on the laptop. It will (or should) work, as all USB PC keyboards are standard

Katniss's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room She’s probably using her phone.

@momster If using an external keyboard doesn’t work, Staples will take a look at it for free.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The reason why your keys are not working could be purely physical. If you do not have the single piece “Chicklet” style keyboard but the keyboard that actually has spaces between the keys. Turn the laptop upside down, and pat the back. Do it over a light surface to see if dust and crumbs fall out. If so, continue to do so until you see none or very little come out. If you have a keyboard vac, use it between the keys. If that is not available, blast it as well as you can with DustOff.

momster's avatar

Thanks for the suggestion of using another keyboard. I tried that and was able to get to the screen where I type in my password but the external keyboard is having the same issues. The caps lock light is not only on but flashing rapidly. Under the field where I’d type the password it says “Caps Lock is on.”

Some of the keys seem to do something, like the arrow keys and delete button, but because whatever is typed in the password field doesn’t show up I can’t tell what it is doing. I still can’t put my password in and get to the main screen.

Is there some magical combination of buttons that can set things right? The mouse pad part doesn’t seem to be working at all either.

momster's avatar

By the way, I know the external keyboard works just fine because I am using it now on my daughter’s desktop.

Pachy's avatar

Time to take it to the shop. Sounds like a hardware problem.

momster's avatar

I took it to Staples and the keyboard is fried. $400 to fix but I guess is better than a new laptop. I appreciate the time taken to try to help.

Pachy's avatar

@momster, sorry you had to go to the expense but glad it was fixable.

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dabbler's avatar

I wonder if you can just disconnect the built-in keyboard and use an external one ?
That’s certainly not as handy as a working built-in but it can do the job.

Response moderated (Spam)

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