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Notebook Keyboard Troubleshooting (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq notebook computers with Windows 7.
Use this information to troubleshoot common keyboard problems on notebook computers.
Pressing keys does nothing (notebook keyboard is not working)
If your keyboard is not working:
  1. Shut down the computer and restart.
  2. Press the Esc key repeatedly to see if the Startup Menu screen displays.
     note:
    If the Startup Menu screen does not open, the integrated keyboard hardware is not working. The integrated keyboard in the Notebook should be serviced or replaced. To continue using the notebook PC, connect a USB wired keyboard to a USB port and restart the computer. Contact HP for further assistance.
  3. If the Startup Menu screen opens, press the F10 key to open the BIOS settings. Press F5 to load the default settings, then press F10 to accept the changes.
  4. Restart the computer.
    If the keyboard works in Windows, you are done.
    If the keyboard is not working in Windows, continue with these steps to uninstall and reinstall the keyboard software in Device Manager.
  5. Click Start , then click Control Panel.
    Control Panel opens.
  6. Click Hardware and Sound.
    Figure : Control Panel
    Image of Control Panel
  7. Click Device Manager under Devices and Printers.
    Figure : Hardware and Sound
    Image of the Hardware and Sound page in Control Panel
    Device Manager opens.
  8. Click View, and select Show Hidden Devices.
    Figure : Show hidden devices
    Show hidden devices
  9. Double-click Keyboards, right-click the keyboard name, and then click the Uninstall button to remove the device from Windows.
    Figure : Uninstall button
    Uninstall keyboard button
  10. Restart the computer.
  11. The keyboard should now work correctly.
  12. Your computer comes with several software programs that can test the keyboard for key or hardware failures. For more information, see the HP Support document Testing for Hardware Failures.
Notebook key presses are slow to respond
If there is a short delay from the time a key is pressed to the time the character displays on the screen, the Filter Keys function might be activated. The Filter Keys function provides a greater range of key press options to fine-tune key delays and prevent inadvertent key presses. To disable Filter Keys and return to the default keyboard behavior, use the following steps:
  1. Click Start , and type keyboard in the Search box. Then select Change how your keyboard works under Control Panel.
    Figure : Opening the Ease of Access Center
    Ease of Access Center Change how your keyboard works
  2. Remove the selection from Turn on Filter Keys. Then click Set up Filter Keys.
    Figure : Make the keyboard easier to use
    Image of the Keyboard settings in Ease of Access Center
  3. Remove the check next to Turn on Filter Keys when SHIFT is pressed for eight seconds.
    Figure : Set up Filter Keys
    Image of Filter Keys settings page
  4. Click Apply, click OK, and then close the Ease of Access Center.
    The keys should be more responsive.
Pressing a notebook key once types several characters
If two or more characters appear when pressing a key, use the following steps to adjust the key repeat delay:
  1. Click Start , and type keyboard in the Search box. Then click Keyboard under Control Panel.
    Figure : Opening the keyboard properties
    Opening the keyboard properties
    The Keyboard Properties page opens.
  2. Set the Repeat delay slider to Long. Click Apply, and then click OK.
    Figure : Keyboard Properties
    Image of the Keyboard Properties window
Notebook beeps while typing
If the computer sometimes beeps while you are typing, Toggle Keys or Sticky Keys is active. Toggle Keys causes the computer to emit a beep when the Lock keys are pressed. Sticky Keys causes the computer to emit a beep when the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, or Lock key is pressed. Use the following steps to disable Sticky Keys and Toggle Keys:
  1. Click Start , and type keyboard in the Search box. Then click Change how your keyboard works under Control Panel.
    Figure : Opening the Ease of Access Center
    Opening the Ease of Access Center
  2. If selected, remove the check next to Turn on Sticky Keys. Then click Set up Sticky keys.
    Figure : Make the keyboard easier to use
    Setting up the sticky keys
    The Set up Sticky Keys page opens.
  3. Remove the check next to Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times.
    Figure : Set up Sticky Keys
    Image of Sticky Keys settings
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK to return to the Make the keyboard easier to use page.
  5. Remove the check next to Turn on Toggle Keys.
    If selected, remove the selection from Turn on Toggle Keys by holding down the NUM LOCK key for five seconds.
    Figure : Changing the Toggle Keys settings
    Changing the Toggle Keys settings
  6. Click Apply, click OK, and then close the Ease of Access Center.
    The beeps no longer sound.
Wrong characters appear when typing, changing keyboard language, or Dvorak
If the wrong characters appear when you are typing, or you are trying to use a different keyboard, use the following steps to synchronize Windows to the type of keyboard you are using:
  1. Click Start , and type region into the Search field. Click Region and Language from the search results.
    Figure : Searching for region
    Image of search results for region
  2. Click the Keyboards and Languages tab, and then click Change Keyboards.
    Figure : Keyboards and Languages
    Image of the Keyboards and Languages tab
    The Text Services and Input Languages page opens.
  3. Click Add.
    Figure : Text Services and Input Languages
    Image of the Text Services and Input Languages window
  4. Select the keyboard you want to use, and click OK.
    Figure : Add Input Language
    Image of the Add Input Language window
  5. From the Text Services and Input Languages page, select the new keyboard in the list and click Move up until it is first in the list. This makes it the default keyboard.
    Figure : Text Services and Input Languages
    Image of the Text Services and Input Languages window
  6. Click OK. You can now use the new keyboard.
    If you find that the new keyboard service works correctly and you do not want to use the other keyboard, repeat these steps and Remove the keyboard service that you do not need.
Notebook key is stuck
If a key is physically stuck in the down position, you might not have to replace your notebook PC. Many keyboards have keys that can be removed by inserting a butter knife under one edge of the key and gently prying up on the top and bottom edge. After the key has been removed, using a swab with alcohol, clean the underside of the key and the key's slot in the keyboard. Replace the key by snapping it back into place.
 caution:
If the notebook is still under warranty and a key is stuck, you should contact HP to see if the notebook can be serviced before removing a key.
 caution:
To avoid damaging the pad under the key, insert the butter knife only 1/8 inch under the edge of the key.
Figure : Butter knife gently prying up on key, cotton swab cleaning key
Image of removing a key and cleaning under it.
Other tips to think about when encountering a stuck key:
  • Turn off the notebook and unplug the AC adapter before working on the keyboard.
  • If your notebook has a removable battery, remove the battery before removing the key.
  • If the key is stuck due to liquid or other substance getting into the keyboard, cleaning might be the only option.
  • Longer keys, such as Space and Enter, probably have a small metal rod for support. This rod must be inserted into the key and keyboard before replacing the key into the keyboard.
    Figure : Metal Rod connection point for the space bar
    Image of the small metal rod under the longer keys.
If a key cannot be unstuck, or the keyboard does not have keys that can be removed, service the computer.

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