Refit Laptop Key

Have one or more of the keys on your laptop's keyboard fallen off? Do you have gaps which look something like this?

Here is a description of how I replaced a key which had fallen off a Dell Inspiron E1505/6400 laptop.

1. Firstly, identify all the parts you have and check that there are no signs of damage.

 

A: Mounting Plate Support 1

B: Mounting Plate Support 2

C: Mounting Plate

D: Cushion

E: Key Cover

One thing you can do is deliberately remove the Key Cover (part E) from another key to see what parts you should have. I removed the cover of the lesser used right Alt key to do this. The cover simply un-snaps from the Mounting Plate (part C). Use a small screwdriver under a corner to prise the cover off. This is what I saw beneath.

The Key Mounting Plate (part C) is supported by two diagonal, criss-crossing supports (parts A and B). These parts are secured at their lower ends by being snapped into locators in the U-shaped frame secured to the circuit board by 4 metal lugs (3 are arrowed). Part D is a cushion which keeps the key pushed up and which presses against the circuit board when depressed which registers the key press.

2. Start by assembling together parts B and C. Part C has a hole cut-out. This is offset slightly towards the front so be sure to get it the right way around. In the picture above, the hole is slightly nearer the front. The front lip of Part C should just slip under the end of part B so that it can lay down completely flat (as when the key is pressed).

3. Next add part A to the assembly. The horizontal bar of part A should locate and pivot around a point approximately half way down the sides of part B. Again, the whole assembly should lay down completely flat when assembled correctly (see photos below). Note that part A is only secured to part B. It does not attach securely to part C. Rather, the lip at the back end of part C simply pushes up against the horizontal bar of part A.

Your assembly should now look something like the following. The first photo shows the assembly upright, with the front of the key in the foreground. The second photo shows the assembly upside down.

 

4. Before this assembly can be attached to the keyboard, the cushion (part D) needs to be positioned. The circuit board will have a circular indication where it should go (see first photo at top of page). Simply stand the cushion in the correct position.

5. The key mounting assembly now needs to be snapped into position on the U-frame fixed to the circuit board. With the assembly rotated backwards slightly and slightly extended, first locate the 2 black legs of part B under the two lugs towards the rear of the U-frame. These lugs are open ended so slide the 2 legs in from the rear.

Allow the assembly to be extended by the cushion. This will help keep the whole assembly together. Whilst holding the assembly in place, make sure the cushion is in the correct position and has not moved. If it has, re-position it.

Next lower the front of the assembly and position the 2 legs of part A over the two little gaps on U-frame. Press down the ends of the legs with a small screwdriver or tweezers until they snap into position.

Check that the key mounting plate is roughly horizontal and that the cushion is positioned correctly.

6. Finally, locate the key cover (E) squarely over the mounting plate (C) and press down firmly to snap into position. That should be it!

Please let me know how you found these directions.

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