I don’t cut computers or their components or their software much slack. They either work well or are soon gone…first stop is usually to a remote storage shed ‘n eventually to the garbage dump.

As noted the other day on the *Karmi’s Daily Blog Log* page, my Acer Aspire 3 AMD laptop’s keyboard had stopped working, and it irritated me because I rarely use it except to make sure it stays updated. No excuse for a laptop’s keyboard to stop working when it is barely used! Here’s what I wrote:

3/13/2021: Android tablet has already been moved to remote storage shed…don’t know anyone who would want it. My Acer Aspire 3 AMD laptop (‘Ace the Laptop‘) never gets used, but the keyboard didn’t work yesterday. Spent a couple hours yesterday at tempting to fix it by following some of the online suggestions…unplugged the battery, after removing 5,000 super tiny screws ‘n still didn’t work. After putting the 5,000 super tiny screws back in another suggestion was to check the keyboard cable for loose connection!?! That would require removing 5,000 super tiny screws again!!! Another suggestion is to update it…have never liked Acer ‘n like it even less now. This update is taking forever ‘n I doubt it fixes the keyboard…when it finishes (if ever!?) I will note what is coming next if it doesn’t work…Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…yeah, I removed the back cover & ‘Ace the Laptop‘ is going to be a test area for me to learn a little about laptops. Should take a sledge-hammer to it…probably will soon. Will remove it from My Computers list.

Also, on 03/13/2021, I decided to remove ‘Ace the Laptop’ from my list of computers…moved it below the now retired ‘Antec Sr.’s remains.  ‘Antec Sr.’ got an Honorable Computer’s Death, but ‘Ace the Laptop’ was on an opposite ending path…fact is, that previously mentioned “first stop” to a remote storage shed was out, i.e. ‘Ace the Laptop’ was never going to see that shed. ‘Ace the Laptop’ was getting verrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy – VERY close to meeting ‘Baby Sledge’:

Baby Sledge’ ain’t a 16-pounder, but its 3+ pounds probably feel like 1,000 pounds when it gets ‘dropped-on-something’ purposely.

Also, apparently I am not the first person to ever experience laptop keyboard problems, and nor am I the first to ever think about smashing their laptop computer:

Came across those pics whilst searching for a solution to my keyboard not working.  😉  Keyboard problems with a laptop are also apparently not uncommon, and from what I saw inside that fact comes as no surprise (more on that later).

Buying that laptop had a few planned motives involved…could be a post, could be to see how cheap I could get a new one for (at the right time!), and it could also be used in case of emergencies.

It wasn’t like I had Linux on it and needed a keyboard to do anything with it…you know, like type in a password for all those annoying “Authenticate” popups that are prompting you to type in a password. Heck, if you were a ‘Password Dependent’ Desktop OS user you would’ve never gotten past the Welcome Screen Login Window. I couldn’t get to BIOS at bootup…I couldn’t use the F12 Boot Menu key to start Puppy Linux for an attempted rescue…the keyboard just didn’t work except that the power button worked. I could plug a wireless USB keyboard into it ‘n that keyboard would work, but what’s the point of having a laptop if you need to use a wireless USB keyboard with it?!?

However, before introducing ‘Ace the Laptop’ to ‘Baby Sledge’ I first wanted to check out the hardware, i.e. the insides of this laptop. Maybe see if I could build something with what still works…naaaahh. After many failed attempts at repairing, I decided to just leave the back plate off…just too much trouble putting it on and the 5,000 super tiny screws back in. Besides, it wouldn’t need those on ‘n in when I brought ‘Baby Sledge’ in on this problem.  😉

Yesterday, I decided to give it one more try, and started by seeing if I could find a replacement keyboard for the Acer Aspire 3 – Model Name: A315-21. Surprisingly, for me anyway, I found replacements being offered all over…e.g. Amazon ‘n eBay.

Before ordering a new one I wanted to make sure I could remove the old one, and that would require removing the motherboard ‘n everything connected to it!?!

Seems to me, that removing the keyboard should be done on the front…where the keyboard is…maybe just pop something off and unplug it there. But nooooooooooooooooooooooooo, there was no way into the front except apparently thru the back.

They use a clear yellow tape to hold some stuff in and together…looks like an expensive duct tape job using clear yellow duct tape. 😉

Tiny wires ‘n tiny connectors all over the MoBo. Some connections you pull apart with the fingernails. Others you flip a teeny tiny flipper like ‘tHiNgIe’ and then lift the ribbon out. Two small wires that I removed I am not sure how they were connected!?! Thought I had broke both connections at first, but they sorta clicked back in later…something about 1/16th inch wide with a tiny hole on one side clicked back onto something that was too small for me to see what it actually was.

Laptops give a new meaning to the term ‘Dinky’, IMHO.

Not sure, but believe I removed the keyboard ribbon last…keyboard ribbon pics I have seen looked like that. Hard to believe that anyone would install a ‘Connection’ like that for something like a keyboard!?!

At that point, I was sure that ‘Baby Sledge’ would be needed before I was done! How could anyone hook a keyboard to a MoBo like that!?! Reminded me of duct tape and tin foil posing as a high tech connector…

OK…still some more super teeny tiny screws to remove…said to myself – ‘you’ll never get all this back together.’

OK…there, the MoBo is out! ‘Whars the keyboard!?! Maybe you could pry something somewhere…I popped a teeny tiny rivet which wasn’t supposed to be popped, so prying wouldn’t work in that area.

That’s it…I ain’t going to go any deeper without some kind of instructions ‘n some kind of lighted magnifying viewer. Found a video that was close to my Acer model – How to Change Laptop Keyboard of Acer Aspire 3 A315-33 Series:

 

Scrapping something off and later going thru a rag to put it back on…too complicated for me!? I see that it could probably be done by removing more wires and connections – especially to the display, I think?! May try something like that in the future, but not ready for such attempts now.  😉

For some reason I decided to put it back together instead of throwing it all in a garbage bag. Maybe I wanted to put it back together so I could introduce it to ‘Baby Sledge’…I dunno.

After screwing the MoBo back into place I started with the keyboard ribbon connection first. Impossible to describe what that is like, other than saying it reminded me of duct tape and tin foil being the ‘connector’ that you put the keyboard ribbon ‘into’. However, something looked different about how it was connected now…the ribbon looked deeper ‘into’ the tinfoil than it was before.

Finally got all the connections back together…even those two tiny wires – a black ‘n a white one. I had marked what color went where, but may have marked it wrong, so I switched them at the last moment. OOOPS!!  😉 Put the cover back on ‘n just 3 of the super tiny screws in…heck, if it didn’t work I wouldn’t have to mess with those other 4,997 super tiny screws again! *(NOTE: found that above VIDEO this morning ‘n I made the right move by switching the wires, i.e. I had marked it wrong.)*

Pushed power button…started poking the F2 key, for BIOS, poke poke poke … blink … poke – did I just see a blink?! Yep ‘n ‘thars the BIOS so the keyboard is working!!! HOOORAAAAYYYYY!!! Sorry, ‘Baby Sledge’, not now, but maybe later.

03/15/2021: Finalizing this for a post…that loose keyboard ribbon was probably the problem, but am too inexperienced with laptops too be sure. Had a laptop in the mid-90’s that was a ‘Workhorse’ that lasted thru fulltime ‘Desktop Duty’ plus hours of testing software plus quite a bit of travel and never had a problem with it until it finally just stopped working. Believe it was a “HyperDate” but am not sure. Good laptop tho…

Tested it again this morning ‘n no problems at all. Hopefully I won’t have to go into that ‘Thang again, it’s just too small for me to work with. If I depended on a laptop then I would learn more about it, since I see that they can be worked on by even inexperienced people like me.  😉

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!