How to Troubleshoot Your Computer's Keyboard
By Stephen Bucaro
A computer's keyboard is a mechanical device, and a cheaply constructed mechanical
device at that. The problem with mechanical devices is that they wear out and/or
get dirty and stop working properly. In this article, I'll provide some information
about how to troubleshoot a keyboard that's not working properly, or not working at all.
The Keyboard don't work correctly
If your keyboard's keys don't work properly it may be one of the following causes:
1. The keyboard is dirty. You should periodically blow the dirt and dust out of your
keyboard with compressed air. If you don't have compressed air, turn the keyboard
upside down and tap it lightly a few times to allow any debris such as food particles
to fall out. If you or someone else spilled a drink on the keyboard and didn't turn
it upside down immediately to drain the liquid out, you probably need a new keyboard.
2. The keyboard is not configured properly.
An incorrect setting in the Control Panel - Keyboard Properties dialog
box may cause the Keyboard's keys to not work correctly. In the Keyboard Properties
dialog box you can set the Repeat rate, which is how quickly a character is
repeated when you hold a key down, and the Repeat delay, which is how long
you have to hold a key down before it starts repeating.
3. The keyboard is worn out.
As stated earlier, a computer's keyboard is a cheaply constructed mechanical device.
If your keyboard's keys don't work properly, it may be that it's simply warn out,
or that it wasn't manufactured properly in China. If you have another computer, try
the keyboard on the other computer.
The keyboard doesn't work at all
If your keyboard doesn't work at all, first check the obvious. Check the keyboard's
connection to make sure that the plug is pushed securely into the connector on the
computer. If your keyboard doesn't work at all, it may be one of the following causes:
1. The keyboard itself is defective.
If you have another computer, try the keyboard on the other computer.
2. The port that the keyboard is plugged into is defective.
Older keyboards use a PS/2 port, newer keyboards use a USB port. If you have a newer
USB keyboard that doesn't work, you can try changing the port connection. To change
the port connection:
1. Shut down your computer, and remove the keyboard.
2. Restart your computer. Windows should detect that the port is no longer used.
3. Plug the keyboard into a different USB port.
4. Restart your computer. Windows should detect the keyboard on the new port.