written by: Austin•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 8/10/2011
If you have a Sony Vaio laptop and your keyboard dies, you may need to pick up some new keyboard drivers. Thankfully, you can get these totally free from Sony.
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What is a Driver?
If you want to use a boat, you need someone who knows how to drive a boat, right? It's the same with an airplane or a car. Each type of vehicle in real life requires a different kind of driver, but this doesn't just apply to the world of vehicular motion. In computers, we use software called "Drivers" to drive our hardware (such as keyboards, mice, and other external devices) and ensure that things are working properly. Also like the world of vehicular motion, you have to make sure the driver you get knows how to pilot the hardware you own. You can't make a boat driver pilot and airplane, and you can't make a keyboard driver pilot a mouse.
So what happens when your keyboards or mice stop working? Well, if you have a Sony Vaio and your keyboard stops working, your drivers may be out of date and will need to be updated to "re-learn" how to drive your hardware. In the case of laptops, this is relatively rare, because keyboard drivers don't general get updated, but occasionally they could be damaged or unintentionally removed, which means you have to go fix them.
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Identify and Download
The neat thing about drivers is that, no matter whether you need a keyboard driver, a mouse driver, or a webcam driver (or any other kind), generally speaking the manufacturer of your laptop will have them ready and available for free right on their website. Because of this, the first thing you'll need to do is head over to Sony's website.
Once you get to the main page, move your mouse over the "Service and Support" section, click on "Electronics", and then select "Drivers and Software". This will bring you to a brand new page where you will see the "eSupport" label on top of the whole page. If you don't see this, you may have done something wrong, so try again.
Next, you'll need to input your device type (in most cases, you're probably using a "Personal Computer: Laptop," or the similar option) in order to get to the drivers page, but once you do this the website should identify your specific Vaio model without any input needed from you. Once this finishes, you'll be on the page with your list of drivers and things, so all you have to do is click the "Keyboards" section and download/run the client. After it finishes, restart your laptop and you're done.
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Keyboard Not Found
A lot of the time, people won't be able to locate keyboard drivers for their device because, unfortunately, there aren't any. If your keyboard goes out of commission and you're one of the people without keyboard drivers available, chances are your problem is beyond something that can be fixed with a simple download. Perhaps you need to buy a new keyboard, or maybe you just need to clean it.
One thing you can try is downloading the driver labeled "Notebook Control and Utilities." Sometimes reinstalling this general hardware controller can boot things back into working, but it's not guaranteed.
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It Still Does Not Work
The unfortunate truth when it comes to this sort of problem is that downloading drivers will not always solve your problems, and many times you'll be forced to do some maintenance or replacement in order to finally fix your keyboard issue. If you don't have any experience taking things apart yourself, I'd recommend going to a professional, but removing the keyboard on a Vaio isn't particular difficult, so ultimately - even if you've only built a bird house or two in your life - you probably have the know-how and skills to get it done quickly and cheaply.
No matter what route you go in fixing your keyboard, you will need to take better care of it next time you have it. Here are some tips for when you get everything back in working order:
Do not eat or drink anything while at the computer, no matter how hungry you are or how badly you need some water. Even if you don't see it, eating at the computer will get crumbs under your keys, and drinking something in close proximity is a disaster waiting to happen for obvious reasons.
If you have pets, don't let them near the computer. Fur and dandruff is just as bad as crumbs and liquids!
Finally, if you're skilled with your hands, take apart and clean your keyboard every few months with a reverse-vacuum cleaner. This will keep it fresh, usable, and make sure it doesn't stop breaking any time soon.
At the very least, get a can of compressed air and use it to blow the junk out from beneath the keys.