Monday, December 04, 2006

Fixing laptop keyboards

It's not really widely applicable but I got to the end of a busy weekend with only one computer left to fix! (last weekend was a four-PC weekend - at some point I'm going to have to start charging people!). My sister's laptop is a Compaq EVO150 and the fault was that one of the control keys is sticky - it's unusable because trying to type in Word when every keypress is CTRL-keypress is frustrating (to say the least). Anyhow - a replacement keyboard module is the best part of a hundred quid and a couple of weeks away - not ideal. The keyboard (like most laptop units) is a sealed unit and so flimsy that the thought of taking it apart was out of the question.

KeyTweak came to the rescue. It allows you to re-map scan codes and so isn't as useful as Microsoft's keyboard utility if you're using an unusual keyboard layout (for example). But, if you need to disable a key or make an unused key (like on those stupid multi-media keyboards) do something KeyTweak is the business. I just disables the right-hand control key and all was good. I had to detach the faulty module and use a USB keyboard while doing it, but it works like a charm - and who uses the right-hand control key?

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