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How to Fix Dell Inspiron Keyboard Problems

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 3/28/2011

If you are experiencing problems with your Dell Inspiron keyboard, you will be happy to know that the problem can often be resolved with little or no expense to you. We show you to accomplish this in the article below.

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    Dell Keyboard Replacement

    It is quite common for laptop keyboards to become defective after they have been in use for some time. These issues may manifest themselves in the form of broken key mechanisms, broken keyboard cables or collapsed keys. In either case, the problem may be resolved by replacing specific keys, replacing the entire keyboard or by cleaning the keyboard.

    There are indeed a number of ways to fix the issues if your Dell Inspiron notebook keyboard does not work. If the keyboard cable is broken or somewhat defective, or if there is another major defect, it may be best to replace the entire keyboard. If, however, there are just a few keyboard keys that aren’t working, replacement keys can be easily ordered and installed. First, you must ensure that a software issue isn’t causing the problem.

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    Resolving Software Issues and Other Anomalies

    • If the keyboard is not responsive, or works intermittently, unplug all connected peripheral devices including: printers, scanners, external mouse, external keyboards, Speakers, monitors and USB devices. Now check to see if the problem persists. If it does, turn the computer off and on again to see if a restart will resolve the issue.
    • If the problem goes away after you remove the peripheral devices, reattach each device, one at a time, to determine which is causing a problem.
    • If keyboard problems occur only when a specific program is being used you may need to troubleshoot that program.
    • Uninstall or disable any software that may change the way the keyboard operates including KVM software or switches, keyboard macros and external drivers.
    • Clean the keyboard. Ensure that there is nothing stuck under the keyboard and that dirty keys aren’t causing the keyboard to malfunction.
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    Replacing a Defective Key

    If you find that just one or a few keys aren’t working you can consider replacing those keys and the mechanism that make them work (rubber cap and hinges). You can find replacement keys, for as little as $4.99 per key, at as well as instructions to properly install the keys.

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    Replacing the Keyboard

    If none of the above steps work, you may be left with no option but to replace the keyboard. With respect to sourcing replacement parts (keyboard keys or the complete keyboard), these can also be found on eBay or you can find a more specialized keyboard supplies and repair service at You may need the following items to repair the keyboard.

    • A replacement keyboard
    • An antistatic wristband (optional)
    • A plastic scribe or flathead Phillips screwdriver
    • #1 Phillips screwdriver

    Step-by-step Guide to Replacing the Keyboard

    1. Use the flathead head screw driver to remove the power button cover (fig1)
    2. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the two keyboard screws at the top (highlighted in yellow fig2)
    3. Gently lift the keyboard to reveal the keyboard ribbon. Now pull the clips up to release the keyboard ribbon
    4. After the old keyboard is removed, reverse the process to reattach the keyboard ribbon, secure the keyboard with the two screws and replace the power button cover.

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    Fig1 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard - Power buttoFig2 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard Repair - RemoFig3 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard Repair - Remo
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    “Mouse, Keyboard or Touchpad Not Working Correctly,”

    “Replace a keyboard key,”

    Image Credits:

    “Fig1 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard - Power button removal,” Author

    “Fig2 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard Repair - Remove screws,” Author

    “Fig3 - Remove Dell Inspiron Keyboard Repair - Remove keyboard cable,” Author