Laptop keyboard not working?

I had this old dell laptop for longer than 8 years, never faced a single problem, used it since middle school and now in university, it's in really good condition considering it's age, but suddenly some keys stopped working, and what's confusing it's like they seem like it's not keys in random spots but rather specific places like from "z to the ?" And the enter button and the space button, so it got me thinking that it is a software setting problem, but i tried for hours every single solution online and it didn't help, any out of the box suggestions? Note: using windows 7 

List of things i tried: 

Removing keys and cleaning them.

Uninstall and reinstall the keyboard driver

Update keyboard driver

Enter safe mode 


Removing battery 

Change location and language

Fix the easy to use settings 

Adjust keyboard settings

Fn lock

Change keyboard layout

2 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Laptop keyboards, even on the older models, are very thin.  They have flexible layers of plastic that sandwich the electrical traces.  Only when a key top is pressed down does one trace touch another. A single trace goes from one key position to many others.  Touching a key or even two at a time may or may not send a valid signal to the decoder chip on the keyboard.  If a trace is damaged, that might take out several keys in a pattern like a row or diagonal column.  Sometimes the flat cable to the motherboard has tarnished conductors where they plug into a socket.  Try polishing them with a pencil eraser, but do it gently.

    You may use a USB keyboard.  Next best is to order and install a replacement keyboard.  Many sources for popular older laptops are available for not much.  You can search Internet with Google, use the correct model number of that Dell.  You should look for a YouTube video for how to swap one out for a new one.

    Source(s): I have replaced a laptop keyboard before. Electronics manufacturing engineer, repairing PC boxes and some laptops for several decades.
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  • 4 weeks ago

    Given all you've tried, it would be simpler to just replace the keyboard.  Looks like it's simply showing signs of its age. Or you could use an ordinary usb keyboard plugged in.

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