Sunday, May 8, 2011

Broken Key

Notice: If you actually have a broken key on your laptop, go to

Yesterday I was cleaning the keyboard by tilting the keys and removing the dust. When I was cleaning the 'm', I placed too much force onto the key and it half-fell out, meaning that the cap was still attached to the keyboard but that it was permanently tilted toward one direction. This was nothing new, as I often cleaned my keyboard and I have encountered this a lot of times:
Snap key cap

At first, I just pushed the key cap very hard, trying to get it in place. However, I never heard the "click" sound that I was supposed to hear, and saw that my usual method did not work.

I then examined the key more carefully, and saw the problem: the two parts of the retainer were not put together properly! I have encountered this several times as well, and during the previous occurrences all I did was tilting the key caps toward the opposite directions that they were leaning toward until I heard a "click" sound. This time I tried to do the same. However, the 'm' key was unusually fragile, and even the retainer fell out!

I knew I was in trouble then. The last time that I had this problem, I was almost unable to get the key back in place. And in fact, even though I managed to assemble it properly, the membrane was detached from the keyboard and today it still feels strange whenever I type that key.

Apply super glue
This is the membrane

I was determined to fix the 'm' key though, for the obvious reason, and I began examining the parts of the retainer. And I saw this scary thing:

This meant that unless I bought a new retainer, it was impossible for me to fix the key properly. So I quickly assembled the key in a way that it would still be attached to the keyboard, but that it would be permanently leaning toward one direction.

Now I can still type the 'm', and in fact it feels quite normal when I type it! However, since there are some broken parts, the key can fall apart at any time and I don't want to type the key too much. 

I hope that my parents will never discover this broken key. If they do, I would be in a even bigger trouble...