The Death of the Laptop Keyboard

The last week of August, I was working on my author’s guide for the Dreams & Reality novels.  When I saved, something weird happened.  There was a glitch, my screen fuzzed for just a second, there was an odd noise from the computer and I immediately grabbed a thumb drive.  However, my USB port didn’t work.  Everything else went back to normal.

Glitches do happen from time to time.  I thought nothing of this, until I realized that the author’s guide was gone.  Just completely gone from my hard drive.  Annoying, but not the end of the world.  A few other files that I had worked on in the hour before the glitch were also gone.  Extremely weird, but there wasn’t much I could do about it… start backing up to some sort of online storage system, which I did.

Last Thursday night, my SO and I went to the drive-in and watched the movie Grease.  I prefer the sequel (I know, I’m the only person on the planet, but long live Michelle Pfeiffer… I love her), but at the drive-in, the first one was great.  When we got home, I booted my laptop and there was the sound of a small animal being cruelly slaughtered, possibly by aliens.

Holy shit!  My laptop is about to go belly up.  Out of instinct, I grab my thumb drive and the it works!  I immediately begin backing up everything that might possibly have even the tiniest amount of importance.  This is not an easy task.  I have a ton of stuff on my computer (although, my life’s work can be stored in two gigabytes of data, which is sort of depressing).  It continued into the next day.  That afternoon, I realized that my laptop felt hot.

It’s the fan!  I can take a look at that.  I can work my way around the inside of a computer with little trouble (thanks Beth!).  My first thought was it had burned up.  It would need to be replaced, but I was going to look anyway.  So, I get ready to take off the laptop keyboard and it comes off really easy.  Now, I’ve opened laptops before, removed the keyboards, it’s always a struggle unclipping the wires that control the mouse, keyboard and power button… but not this time.  I think little of it and set the keyboard off to the side.  I also notice something else really weird.  There’s tape and pieces of folded paper inside the computer.

Now, I haven’t a clue what that’s about.  I remove all the tape and paper (I bought it used, maybe the person who owned it before me was odd, even by my standards).  Get the cover off and see a piece of plastic in the fan.  I remove it.  Hopefully, this willful interloper hasn’t destroyed the fan.  I begin putting it back together.

It doesn’t plug in… The keyboard, the mouse, and the power button control wires don’t have clips on them!  Instead, these things had been rigged up using tape, folded paper, and plastic.  WTF?!?  Guess who can’t rig it back together?  Me!

Friday, I go buy a wireless mouse and keyboard.  With some skillful maneuvering, I manage to get it turned on.  I hold the wire in place for the keyboard as I enter my Windows password.  Once I’m logged in, I get the wireless keyboard and mouse installed.

But there’s an issue.  That stupid little power wire doesn’t like to stay in place.  I put the keyboard back in place and it won’t boot because that wire doesn’t connect.  I have to hold it in place to boot the computer.

Alas, it is going to be repaired soon.  The fan wasn’t shot, just the control wires.  However, it’s not going until I finish Butchered Dreams.  I’m soooo close to being ready to send it to the editor I can taste it.  I have another computer, but it doesn’t have WriteWay and it doesn’t have Office 2013.  Writing requires comfort, I find those two things comfortable, therefore, necessary.  What I had forgotten after years of working on a laptop, the keyboard is a little different and using a mouse is a lot different.  So, I’m having to relearn that part of computer usage.

And that was how my keyboard and mouse died.  As I look at the innards of my laptop for hours on end, writing my little, pudgy fingers off, I cannot for the life of me figure out how they managed to work as long as they did… rigged into place with tape, pieces of plastic, and folded paper.

Leave a comment


  1. Maria D.

     /  September 23, 2014

    Baffles the mind! I had an issue with my keyboard on my laptop – I was careless and spilled a little something sticky on the keyboard, I cleaned it all up but a small amount went under one of the keys – thought I would be smart and just lift off the key, clean the area and put it back – only when I got the key off…could not get it back. Apparently my laptop keyboard is way different than the one I used at work so I ended up having to take it to the shop to have it fixed. Complete pain in the neck! But…I’m so used to this laptop that even though I have a new one…I find myself using this one instead….sigh


    • Strange how we get used to ond thing and then when it isn’t available, it becomes a life altering event. My other laptop keyboard sucks, so on I don’t use it…



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