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Topic # 198283 3-Jul-2016 10:08
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I am constantly shooting myself in the foot. As a result, I constantly learn new things. Unfortunately, most of the things I learn I should have known anyway, but my common sense usually goes walkabout when I am busy shooting myself in the foot.


Having just gone through the same thing yet again, it occurs to me that it might be useful to have a thread that can benefit others by allowing them to learn from our (needless) mistakes. I will go first.


I bought an Asus laptop on Trade Me. It was sold as damaged, with a faulty keyboard and no drive and I got a good deal. When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised. It looked brand-new and booted to the BIOS without problem. I installed a hard drive and played with it for a few days. Other than the non-functioning keys and a lack of RAM, it worked perfectly. It seemed worth fixing the keyboard, though I didn’t really need that for my purposes.


I did some research, discovered that dirty contacts in the ribbon cable were a common cause, cleaned the contacts, no improvement. So I bought a replacement keyboard.


It arrived a day or so ago. It looks identical to the old one. I thought it would be compatible. But after I removed the old one, with a great deal of difficulty (when did manufacturers start plastic-welding keyboards into place?), I soon discovered that the new one was nowhere near compatible. The cable was wrong and when I connected it anyway the keyboard just produced garble.

After some thought I decided I might as well put the old one back. That was no easy task and I had to improvise some things to compensate for the lack of new plastic welds, which I wasn’t about to embark on. The result is I am back to where I started, except I used up another whole day of my life going to a fair bit of trouble to achieve nothing and the laptop will never again be as well-made as it was, since I had to break and bend some bits to do what I did. Very annoying.


After all that I decided to check the laptop repair sites once more to see if there was anything I had missed. There wasn’t, but a comment I saw made me look at the ribbon cable again. The comment was that this sort of problem is almost always caused by a bad cable connection.

This time I put the cable under a magnifying glass and carefully scraped the contacts clean with a Stanley knife. A fair bit of microscopic gunk came off. I put everything back and fired up the laptop. The keyboard now works perfectly. The lesson, of course, is that if I had just cleaned the contacts properly in the first place, I would have spared myself (and the laptop) a lot of misery. The other lesson is that this kind of problem is almost always caused by a bad cable connection, so if you are about to head down the same path, that is the place to look. And if anyone wants a brand-new Asus keyboard, you can find it on the market thread.


This is my story. I invite others to tell theirs so we can all learn from them and maybe even be amused.



I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage

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  Reply # 1585018 3-Jul-2016 10:08
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Hmmmm. Here we go.

I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.

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