Dropped my laptop...now I can't type anything into it...any chance of saving it?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Dropped my laptop...now I can't type anything into it...any chance of saving it?

Or do I just need to accept the need to buy a new one?

(I'm typing this at the library, in case you were wondering).

Justin_Thyme

All may not be lost. What was the damage? Does the screen still come on? Does it boot up? Do you have an external USB keyboard? Does the laptop have bluetooth?

Justin_Thyme

If it boots, and the screen works, all laptops running Windows will automatically recognize a USB keyboard inserted into the USB on the computer.

 

mark_alfred

Perhaps something got knocked loose.  Maybe searching the internet for the manual for your laptop will give a clue.  Is the battery loose?  Check that.  Has something with the keyboard been knocked loose?  Take it apart and put it back together (or not, I dunno).  Is it a software thing?  See if it works running it off a USB-Linux stick:  http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows  Or try J_T's USB keyboard idea.  Anyway, goodluck.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Is it a Windows laptop?  If so, try booting in "safe mode" -- you'll need to be able to hit the F8 key for this, so if you can't then it's almost certainly a physical thing, not a software thing (since you'd need to do this well before Windows, or any device drivers, load).

If that's the case, and you're determined (and have a set of jeweller's screwdrivers) then Google "replace harddrive [my make and model of laptop]" and you'll have a good chance of finding a walkthrough, or a YouTube video, for replacing the HD.  You don't need to do anything to the HD, of course, but the walkthrough will involve lifting the keyboard, which will get you to where you can check the keyboard connector strap to see if it jarred loose.  More importantly, the walkthrough will show you where all the screws are.  :)

And FWIW, you should be able to get a set of jeweller's screwdrivers at any decent dollar store for $1-2.

If it turns out that the connector from the keyboard to the motherboard is fine, then begin the grieving process.  Could be a cracked trace on the motherboard, could be some other connector, could be something else altogether, but you probably won't know, and there's no point in paying a technician $100 to tell you it's borked.

abnormal

If all else fails and you have to buy a new computer you can always buy an external docking station for the hard drive in your existing machine and use it as an external drive - that way you won't lose any data files you have on the old machine.

If you go that route be sure that you get the right type of docking station - new machines are all pretty standard but older drives are not the same as new ones.

Unionist

Calling Ken Burch!

Question #1: Does it work perfectly other than what you said (can't type)? E.g., with the mouse and/or touchpad and/or touch-screen?

Will await that reply before offering other solutions.

General tip: All your files should already be backed up - to an external medium, or the cloud - preferably both.

 

oldgoat

General tip.  Don't drop your laptop.  Thus exhausts the total extent of my technical expertise

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

[relativity]To be fair, his laptop may have held perfectly still while the rest of the universe body-slammed it from below.[/relativity]

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

[relativity]To be fair, his laptop may have held perfectly still while the rest of the universe body-slammed it from below.[/relativity]

Agreed! so we should fix the universe. At last we're talking the same language.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The universe can be a real dick sometimes, but if you complain then the form letter says "very well, please feel free to go live in another".  FML.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist:  the other functions besides typing mainly work(I went ahead and bought another laptop, if anyone was wondering how I was typing this).

My plan now is to copy my Word files and some pictures I saved onto a zip drive and then transfer them to the new laptop.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

oldgoat

Gravity always wins my friend.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

As any survivor of a failed skydiver will tell you.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

There is no such thing as gravity, the earth just sucks!

Maysie Maysie's picture

Maysie Maysie's picture

And for oldgoat. Because. 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Glad you solved the laptop problem, Ken Burch.

oldgoat

Thankyou Maysie.

Sean in Ottawa

Ken Burch wrote:

Unionist:  the other functions besides typing mainly work(I went ahead and bought another laptop, if anyone was wondering how I was typing this).

My plan now is to copy my Word files and some pictures I saved onto a zip drive and then transfer them to the new laptop.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

In a situation like this (I am the tech advice line for a number of people), I would always recommend pulling the hard drive and connecting it via USB to a working machine and recoveving the data rather than continuing to try to work with the drive in the machine. More damage can be done to the data that way. Then I would test it and see if the drive was why the machine did not boot. If it got the all clear then I would look to the rest of the machine.

Many cannot replace a machine like that so my advice to them would be that you can get manuals online and parts off the internet. I have done this with a few machines. Obviously it the case itself is cracked then you need another foundation to rebuild on.

Computer repair is meccano for adults.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Then I would test it and see if the drive was why the machine did not boot.

Who said the machine didn't boot?

 

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Then I would test it and see if the drive was why the machine did not boot.

Who said the machine didn't boot?

 

If just the keyboard you can replace that.-- I have done that before a couple times for people.

You download a service manual or find a youtube video and buy the replacement keyboard online -- I have bought them as low as $15.

The job takes some time as taking apart a laptop is complicated.

Otherwise if you source the part and a person willing to do the work it may cost less than bringing the laptp and letting them buy the parts. Obviously the case has to be in reasonable enough shape.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Then I would test it and see if the drive was why the machine did not boot.

Who said the machine didn't boot?

If just the keyboard you can replace that.-- I have done that before a couple times for people.

You download a service manual or find a youtube video and buy the replacement keyboard online -- I have bought them as low as $15.

The job takes some time as taking apart a laptop is complicated.

Otherwise if you source the part and a person willing to do the work it may cost less than bringing the laptp and letting them buy the parts. Obviously the case has to be in reasonable enough shape.

Or get a cheap wireless keyboard - no installation required (as long as you have a functioning USB port). I've seen them in the $20 range when you search for sales. This is the one I use myself.