About 6 months ago, my dell inspiron 15r 5521 stopped working in a devastating way; my keyboard stopped working. At first, I thought that the keyboard was just broken, which was an obvious answer, as some keys didn't work. I eventually phoned dell to ask them to get myself a new keyboard. I had to wait about a month, but I eventually got the keyboard. When I replaced the keyboard, I noticed something unusual -- the same keys didn't work. There's no way it is a coincidence, as it must be something that has to do with the motherboard. I believe that it is part of the connector that isn't working, but that would not make sense; how would some of the pins not work? Does anyone have any idea on what else it could be, and whether I could get it fixed or not?
By the way, I updated all my drivers, uninstalled and reinstalled my drivers, rollbacked my drivers, and even went to ubuntu after my absolutely *** hard drive failed (but I managed to fix that with some commands as the problem was a logical error). To sum it up, it's not software that's the issue. Thanks for the support!
If you have or can borrow a USB wired or wireless keyboard, try it out. If everything is OK you may have a problem with keyboard connection. It may be possible to check the connections to see if something obvious is bad. You can still use the laptop as a desktop with an external keyboard If it still doesn't work, you are due for a system board replacement or a new laptop.
Thanks for the quick reply! I am using a wireless external keyboard currently. Despite that I am using it, I shouldn't have to use an external keyboard for a laptop that is meant to be portable. I may get a system board replacement if that's what it takes. I have 2 questions though. First, what do you mean when you say I should check the connection; what connection? Also, how much is a system board replacement? Thanks!
You would need to get to the system board and probably remove it so you can check for any visible damage to the board and connections in the area of the keyboard socket. Normally this doesn't happen except in the area of the DC power jack, where poor handling (tripping over the DC power cable) can actually break solder connections. However, even if you find some damage, you would have to have a service shop fix it. It is not easy to re-solder connections on these complicated, multi-layered PC boards.
At one time, Dell was replacing out of warranty laptop system boards for about $300. I have seen companies (search the web) offering to repair system boards with bad DC sockets for a little over $100, with no charge if they couldn't fix it, a very fair deal. They may be able to do the same for the keyboard issue, although the it would not be as easy to determine what's broken. Find a couple and ask them.
You can find system boards for sale on line for much less than Dell charges for the replacement. However, you would need to be able to do the replacement yourself or find a repair shop to do it. Problem here is that many of these boards have been removed from broken laptops and may or may not work. You can find new boards also.
Thanks once again! I actually have some experience in repairing laptops and fixing bugs, but this time, I was really stumped on what the problem actually was. I will look more into what you are saying so I can learn more about the things that you said. I will also possibly look into system boards as well. Although I'm planning on doing that, I would much rather just buy a netbook or cheap laptop that I can take with me. I honestly am not a big fan of dell, and I am actually quite disappointed in the durability of dell products, and just the fact that dell laptops are cheap quality laptops, whereas asus or lenovo is much more trusting and reliable than dell. I will most likely invest in a new laptop, but I wanted to see what other people would say about this problem, and what I could do about it.
For casual use, getting an inexpensive laptop is really the way to go. Then you don't need to worry about care and handling. My personal laptops have lasted a long time because of mild usage conditions. They don't leave home much and are always tucked into their bags. My only warranty issue was the big graphics chip problem with the XPS M1330 and M1530 (same problem with most all suppliers). Fortunately I had an extended warranty just because of this problem. I really shouldn't have purchased such as expensive a laptop (($1500) and stuck with a cheaper model. If you have to replace a $300 machine every two years, you are money ahead.
Many folk don't or can't baby theirs, and this is fully understandable. If you have a more severe operating agenda, might be best to get a business laptop which will stand more abuse. Now I will agree that laptop quality (for the whole industry) has declined a bunch. I used to lug several laptops all over the globe in the 1990s and never had problems except for battery life.
Actually, I'm quite an experienced user at this laptop, and any other device. I'm currently dual booting ubuntu, android_x86, and windows 10, by specifically manipulating the bios and changing uefi to legacy, right after my hard drive failed and, for some reason, "erased" windows 8. I also develop on my phone, contributing to the android world, with the plan to develop apps that I can (hopefully) get ad revenue off of. I will admit that this laptop isn't devastatingly bad, but there are flaws, and I'm quite happy that this laptop is not out of production. Getting a business laptop is an option, but I'm not doing any rigorous exercises with it (and the bulkiness really doesn't appeal to me on a minor notice). I will hopefully get a new laptop, perhaps a netbook, chromebook, or any other inexpensive laptop that I can work with. Thank you for the support, as your comments made me reconsider what the problem is, and had motivated me into thinking, "perhaps I should look into fixing this laptop, or at least diagnosing the problem." Good luck on your laptop(s) as well, and hopefully you don't have to experience the same problem that I encountered.