Question about Dell Inspiron 1501 Notebook

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Dell Inspiron 1501 key stuck but not.

Hi everyone, I just recently started to clean up my Dell Inspiron laptop, freshly formatted and the likes and replace the WLAN card due to the prior not functioning, I went with the model up from the first one as my friend has the same system as myself with the newer card.

After I had formatted the system, reinstalled my software (from Firefox to Visual Basic) I started to notice the computer was sending keystrokes for no reason. I thought the button was stuck, yet there is absolutely no dirt under the key being sent, the F4 key. My system has been ripped apart numerous times, and I know it inside and out.

I have determined it was the F4 key due to Visual Basic automatically being pushed to the Properties Window. Also, no key-loggers are detecting this keypress. I've tried taking the new WLAN card out, but to no success. I even spent 30 minutes last night popping the F4 key off the keyboard to check it, but still nothing. Please help! =)


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  • 4 more comments 
  • kylemc1985
    kylemc1985 Jan 19, 2009

    The cable has been removed and replaced 3 times. The cable has to outward extending notches that holds the cable in place, and its securely in. Also, I made sure there was no cracks or damage to the cable.

  • kylemc1985
    kylemc1985 Jan 19, 2009

    I'm wondering, would it be a possible keyboard failure, I don't want to buy a new keyboard for my laptop and end up it being the OS. It seems to only happen in Windows, due to the fact that usually if a key is stuck while in the BIOS the system usually makes a large amount of beeping and give a keyboard error.

  • kylemc1985
    kylemc1985 Jan 19, 2009

    Hi solutions4u. Would you recommend disconnecting the internal keyboard and try using a standard USB one for now, if for some reason it still happens, try formatting, if not happening buy a new keyboard? The system is out of warranty, its 2 years old (plus I'd probably had voided it long ago =P).

  • kylemc1985
    kylemc1985 Jan 19, 2009

    I know that if I hook up a standard keyboard the onboard one still works (I got one of those $9.99 roll-up keyboards). The software that is installed on it now is what I've had on it before (VB6, Firefox, MS Office XP, Micrografx Draw 6), just the basics.

  • kylemc1985
    kylemc1985 Jan 20, 2009

    Hi there! I got it working again! Thank you for all of your help. After formatting, reinstalling my software, it didn't quite work, however, I popped my CMOS battery out and cleared the setup, then rebooted, and way to go, its working perfectly.

  • Jay
    Jay May 11, 2010

    Well if your laptop has been ripped apart numerous times, and you know it inside and out and have determined it was the F4 key due to Visual Basic automatically being pushed to the Properties Window. Have you checked the ribbon connection on the back of your keyboard. maybe it's not set-in well.



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The most valuable test you can perform now is to buy or borrow a usb keyboard. If the problem persists with the external keyboard then it is reasonable to conclude that the problem is software based. If the problem disappears then, if the unit is still under warranty send it in ASAP.
I have experienced 2 notebook keyboard hardware failures over the past 5 years.If you are outside of warranty, you may choose to use a usb keyboard as more more cost effective solution.
If the problem is software based, have you attempted to reinstall your software in a stepwise manner checking for the problems recreatability?

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • solutions4u Jan 19, 2009

    I do not believe that you will need to disconnect the internal keyboard. The external board, when recognized will, on many systems, disrupt any onboard keyboard from transmission. If on your system this is not the case, ie with the external connected that you still have onboard key response, then a full cable disconnect would be a necessary step.
    If the problem persists, then I recommend a stepwise approach to reinstalling the OS and programs. I have experienced software induced problems such as described. Only by installing the software individually and then testing the system have I isolated the source software. It is laborious but I have had repeated success with this approach.

  • solutions4u Jan 19, 2009

    Based on your comment, it would be wise to disconnect the onboard keyboard and establish if the problem is resolved.
    While the software appears minimal and as you stated, it worked fine beforehand, there are recorded occurences of software caused failures. These arise from MS update bugs, and other HW and SW updates.While it may seem unnecessary and tedious; experience is an excellent teacher. My previous notes reflect some 20 years of experience.
    Good luck.

  • solutions4u Jan 20, 2009

    You are welcome for the feedback. I am pleased to learn that you had the perserverance to proceed. You're successful resolution is the icing on the cake. Great computing ahead.



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