The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to replace a zareason laptop keyboard

New laptop keyboard

Joy and rapture!  My laptop has returned!

Huckleberry helps

After my aborted attempt to replace my laptop keyboard last weekend, I did more research online, which turns out to have been a bad idea.  Somehow I got the idea that (since my laptop doesn't have a piece of trim between the top of the keyboard and the screen like most others do) I was going to have to take off the whole piece of trim that runs all the way around the keyboard.  I took a bunch of screws out of the back and got that plastic partway pried up, but I felt like I was going to break something if I tried to lift it further.  Huckleberry was no help, so I gave up.

Lifting out a laptop keyboard

Next, I begged my sweet brother to come put me out of my misery.  "You do realize the keyboard lifts up out of the trim, right?" he asked.  "This is going to be simple."

We took out the battery, unplugged the power cord, and, a few minutes later, we'd pried the keyboard away from the clips that line the top edge.  It turns out Joey was right --- the keyboard lifted right up with nothing else holding it in place.

Plugging in a laptop keyboard

Joey gently detached the old keyboard ribbon, attached the new one, and briefly powered up to the computer to make sure everything was working as planned.  Then we shut the laptop down and pushed the keyboard into place.

Success!  Hopefully this keyboard will last me at least another million words, and now I have the old keyboard to pirate key by key if necessary.  Thanks for your help, Joey (and Tony at zareason)!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Look at that shiny new keyboard!

If your laptop is several years old, there are some other things that you should get checked out;

  • Clean the fan and heat sinks/radiators. I had my laptop die once bacause the radiator was so caked up with dust it couldn't keep the graphics chip cool enough. Now I check it every year.
  • Check that you have smartmontools installed and run on a daily basis. This might warn you about impending disk failure.

What you should do anyway:

  • Make backups of at least your /home directory to an external disk, like every other week or so. If you use e.g. rsync it is easy to make a script for this. Ideally, you should have two backup disks, one of which is stored outside your house (in case of a fire).
Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jul 13 15:51:15 2014

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