Friday, 16 November 2007

Repair a Thinkpad's missing key

Oh dear, a missing key!
Yesterday evening, the letter 'D' just flew off of my Thinkpad keyboard.

"Oh, bother!" I thought, "What an inconvenience!" (or words to that effect).

It was actually rather late and I thought for a few minutes if it were possible to finish what I was typing without using that letter any more in any sentences. It seems to go quite a long way through a paragraph without using that letter very much. Almost unnecessary especially if one uses 'autocorrect' if it is missing (=see - whole paragraph without a single use).

So I then initially set about fixing it. Quite difficult. Other people had spent two hours and then ordered replacement keyboards. Including the key, there's four tiny pieces of fiddly plastic that need to fit together in sort of trapezoid / pantograph shape. I tried for about ten minutes and then rummaged around to find a spare keyboard to plug into the side of the laptop until the next day.

And so today:
My letter D exploded
How to replace a key on a Thinkpad

1) Don't panic
2) Have plenty of light
3) Ensure all of the pieces have been retrieved. There's four. The key, a black strip, a Small oblong piece and a slightly larger U shaped piece.
they looked like this
4)Assemble the pieces of the trapezoid first, on a sheet of white paper so things don't get lost too easily.
5) The black strip fits onto the large U shaped piece at one end. The two pieces should stay attached.
6) Then the oblong clips into the middle of the U shaped piece.
7) If the assembly is laid in the piece of paper it will look flat with no bumps, if assembled in the correct order.
8) If you lift either end, it will open out something like a miniature deck-chair (pantograph).
9) There are two little pins sticking out from this structure. They engage with the top metal hooks on the keybaord (at the top of where the missing key fits).
then into the keyboard
10) Clip them in carefully, and the little structure will open over the key's 'piston' and the black oblong piece willl remain flat.
11) Now is the time to push the key top back on. Nerves of steel required.
12) Align the key top with the others in the row, so that it lays on the black oblong.
13) Press down very firmly. There will be a tiny click when the key top engages with the other part.
14) Then normal typing can resume.

I wrote the above because I searched for articles about this on google unsuccessfully, although there were lots of people making the same enquiry.


...And my novel includes a computer fixing hint amongst the storyline. It could make an ideal gift and it's here.

repaired !


sunlitegodis said...

THANKS SO MUCH!!! Your pictures and instructions helped me when my dog (in a jealose swipe) popped out the '\' backslash button off my FRIEND's laptop. After trying to fix and freaking out for several minutes....I came across this in a Google search. In less than two minutes, I took apart the pieces and popped everything back in place. The end result is a slightly crooked, but very nicely fixed key.

Debbie Robbins said...

After trying to figure it out on my own after 3 minutes I gave up and googled an answer and found your post. Your tutorial is awesome! Got it fixed perfectly in no time at all! Thanks!

rashbre said...

A pleasure to help.