[at-l] Sort of related... cleaning laptop keyboards

Tom McGinnis sloetoe at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 7 16:01:08 CST 2012

Replacing a keyboard is a lot easier than making a soda-can stove.

I purchased a corporate Dell D610 laptop this winter (pretty common model, no big design flaws (which really reveal themselves in a crowded, hot, laptop)), for $50, and supped it up with a faster CPU and faster-and-more memory, for all of $18 and $12, delivered to my door, care of eBay. 

All was marvey with this thing as my back-up, OMG, Emergency Machine, AND as my travel-buddy, since February. Last weekend, with no particular excuse, it lost the "o" and "p" keys. Hit Youtube for how-to videos, pried the buggers apart, and figured out that a standard "key replacement" kit would not fill the bill. Hence the reason that the first pc shop I called said, "We don't repair keys -- we just replace the keyboard." The keys might cost $8 delivered, but you can find keyboards for ~$20-$40, some new. And for that matter, remember what I paid for the whole computer?? $50??

So, basically, I'm now looking for another Dell D610 that I can put aside for parts, OR for a keyboard on the $20 end of things.

But time-wise? The first time I took the laptop apart to get the CPU and RAM layouts, it took me maybe an hour, top to bottom. When the stuff came in, it was maybe 40 minutes, start to finish. But there was a mistake with one of the RAM chipsets, so it needed a third cracking when the corrected RAM set came in -- that one took maybe 10 minutes, start to finish.

Yeah, hard drives, keyboards, CPU and RAM -- it's all made to be accessible in the very-crowded laptop. Just take your time, have a smallish Phillips and straight-head handy, and some heat paste for your CPU, and, ehhhhhhh, maybe a magnifying glass. (Not that I'm admitting to anything.)

OH! And the whole cleaning thing?!? I was hugely impressed with the basic laptop keyboard design -- and they're apparently all pretty similar. A good b-j (go there, if you need to) and a shaking is about all that you can do. And it's good to go.


--- On Wed, 11/7/12, JPL <jplynch at crosslink.net> wrote:

You can replace a laptop keyboard?  Is that a do-it-yourself job?

From: Chuck Covington 
Keyboards are cheap.  Use, abuse, replace.  You also try a vacuum but I wouldn't waste money on cleaning supplies.

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 12:52 PM, JPL <jplynch at crosslink.net> wrote:

  I use and abuse my laptop and while I haven’t had any troubles yet, I’m 
  wondering if there is a proper way to clean a laptop’s keyboard.  I will 
  occasionally hold it upside down and shake it to try to dislodge leaves, dust, dirt, crumbs, etc. Anyone have any cleaning suggestions or practices that have been found successful? thnx.

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