A week ago the ‘Q’ key on my Dell E4310 laptop started to get sticky and hard to push.
Some crumbs or lint had gotten under the key and was stopping it from depressing properly.
In a rush to prise the key up so I could remove the offending bit of crud under the key, I broke the clasps that held the key to the board.
The Dell E4310 is getting a bit old these days, but I recently upgraded the hard drive to an SSD unit. I run Linux Mint and mainly use it for coding and it covers my computing needs. So I wasn’t keen on parting with the cash to buy a new laptop.
I wanted to see if a replacement keyboard could be sourced first. A quick trip to ebay and a new keyboard was found for $25 AUD. So here I am going to document the installation process of a replacement keyboard, just in case some one else finds themselves in the same predicament.
- Very small Phillips head screwdriver
- A fine flat head screwdriver
- A replacement keyboard, Part Number PK130AW2A00 or Part Number PK130AW2B00 ( the PK130AW2B00 has a back light )
First up flip the laptop onto its lid. Slide the battery release latch to remove the battery.
Remove the two screws beside the docking port connector.
Turn the laptop back over and open the screen. Then use your small flat head screwdriver to lift up the two small plastic covers located on the top sides of the keyboard i.e. above the escape key on the left side and the delete key on the right.
Beneath each plastic panel you will find a small Phillips head screw. These need to come out before you can remove the keyboard.
Remove both of the screws on each side, grab the top of the keyboard near the screen. Pull the keyboard up and back toward the screen to unlatch the keyboard at the front. The keyboard will then just slide out.
Once the old keyboard has been removed, if you have a can of compressed air, spray it into the keyboard connector. This will help to dislodge any dust.
The installation of the new keyboard is simply the same as the removal but in reverse.
Pro Tip: Before screwing the new keyboard down, plug the laptop power supply in. Boot the machine to test all the keys are working properly. If everything is functional, shut the machine down, unplug and screw every thing back in.
I had trouble getting a good electrical connection to the new keyboard and my E, D ,C , O and L keys were not working. Just had to re-seat the keyboard a few times until I was able to get them all working correctly.