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Fry's GQ Notebook keyboard spill problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AspirinJunky, Nov 27, 2006.

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  1. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    hi folks,

    I've got a GQ ZX-5361A notebook model#536S from fry's. It's been a pretty good machine, and my current problem is entirely self-inflicted.

    What happened:
    Here's a cliche, I accidentally spilled coffee on my keyboard, and the following keys became non-functional: 1,2,3,q,w,e,a,d,z,x,c (the spill was on the left hand side of the machine). everything else seems okay.

    What I've done:
    * I waited for things to dry, but that didn't help
    * I tried to rinse the affected keys with a hard stream of water from a spray bottle (with the machine inverted to prevent it from getting inside), toweled it off fast and let it dry, but (ofcourse) that made the problem worse. Now all of the keys seem to be dead. Fingerpad still seems okay (that's how I was able to shutdown the machine).

    What I think I still need to try:
    * I was going to try to use a USB keyboard to make sure that the problem is local to the keyboard itself
    * I am trying to open the machine to see if I can get a closer look at the keyboard, but after unscrewing what seemed like the millionth screw, I started to worry that there might be some that I shouldn't.

    What I need:
    * is there anything I should try before continuing the surgery (popping keycaps off to try to clean exposed contacts -- if there are any), etc?
    * is there a set of disassembly instructions available for the machine?
    * is there anything that I should definitely consider offlimits for the screwdriver?
    * if I do need to replace something (like the keyboard) is there a convenient supplier for this series of machines?
    * any other advice?

    What I've learned:
    * stay the h... away from the machine when I'm drinking coffee
    * you'll only need the extended warranty when you decline it!



    thanks,

    d...
     
  2. bonk

    bonk Banned

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    The keyboard should come out quite easy.....mine there is a plastic plate that pops off revealing screws to be-able to remove the keyboard.It's at the top part of the keyboard on mine...try carefully levering it up and see if it will pop off.

    Can you tell us some more about the notebook as I can't seem to find a picture of it.

    Of course you really should have taken the keyboard out immediately before the coffee dried......do you also take sugar in your coffee?
     
  3. schusterjo

    schusterjo

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  4. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    whew, thanks for the lightning quick responses, folks! I don't remember seeing anything in the instructions regarding keycap removal, but I'll take another look.

    here are some links to photos of what I'm dealing with:

    rear view: http://tinyurl.com/swjaf
    front view: http://tinyurl.com/y7ftos

    I don't see anything on the front that looks like it is covering screws, unless you're talking about the speaker grill. Other than that, I don't see any obvious way to remove this sucker easily. I tried prying on the grill, but it seems pretty solid.

    The rear view shows the machine with the battery and HD removed. should I be going at this from the top instead? Like I said, I started getting concerned after removing the first "dozen" or so screws.

    regarding the type of coffee: strong and black. Have a feeling that this is going to be the most expensive cup I've ever had. I wish I had taken the keyboard out earlier, but between not knowing how, and being in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere at the time...
     
  5. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    If it's not too late... remove the battery!
     
  6. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    done! what's the specific concern, shorting out energized circuits, or liquid corroding battery seals and reacting with the Li?
     
  7. bonk

    bonk Banned

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    Took a look at the pics and your right can't see anything obvious on the top.

    Only over way would I guess be from the bottom.
     
  8. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    ALSO, if either is the case, how long should I wait? like I mentioned earlier, everything else seems to work okay (boots to the login screen, but can't actually logon because I can't enter a password. can shutdown by using the finger pad).

    d...
     
  9. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    liquid corroding energized circuits.
     
  10. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    okay, finally figured out how to pull the keyboard. had top pop the top by working the snaps on the backs of the two hinges to pull off the speaker grill. one screw held the keyboard in place.

    * a visual check didn't show any signs of wetting. no puddles of coffee, nor anything that looks like dry residue. Infact. even the metal back grill of they keyboard looks pretty good. It simply doesn't work.

    * should I replace the keyboard, or is there anything I can try with it out of the machine (dunking, soaking and drying, etc). there dosn't appear to be any electronics on the keyboard module itself, and since the coffee/water combo killed it, I'm assuming that it uses some sort of non-sealed mechanical contact system. Is it likely to be some sort of spongy elastomeric contact (which seems like it would be difficult to clean) or some sort of metal contacts (that seem they would respond well to washing).

    * before spending money, are there any tests or inspection points I should consider to be sure that the problem is local they keyboard, as opposed to something more systemic? I'd hate to pay the money for a new board, only to have the problem persist.

    * if I do need a replacement, does anyone have any recommendations? The part# is 99.n5382.121, Model# NSK-E3121. I found a couple of sites that offer these things ($40 seemed a bit high, is that about right), but I'd rather use a place withwhich others have had luck.

    * thanks, again, for all the advice and encouragement. Though I won't say I'm having fun, this isn't as nightmarish as I had feared.

    d...
     
  11. bonk

    bonk Banned

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    I knew there must be a hidden panel on the top
     
  12. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Warranties rarely cover accidental damage which is what spilling coffee is. They only cover manufacturer defects. So I doubt an extended warranty would have helped. You'd need an accidental damage warranty which, if they're even offered, are not cheap.
     
  13. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    hi folks,

    I'm having significant problems trying to find a source for the keyboard. (pn 99.n5382.121). Multiple google, ask and yahoo searches have provided tantalizing clues, but they've all been dead-ends (seems like the part numbers are available as search terms, but many of the sites don't actually carry the part!).

    Direct inquiries to many companies have been equally fruitless (can't match the numbers, never heard of the brand, etc).

    I can't be the only person on the planet with a one of a kind machine, so is there anything else I can do, or are there any other referrals I should try besides my current shotgun approach?

    Also, I'm thinking that the GQ branded laptop (from Fry's) must have been rebranded by them. Is there any way to cross reference the part so I can expand the search to include the actual brand of the machine? Fry's has been less than helpful. They're tech line just wants me to send in the machine, and the guys at the store (surprise!) have no idea.

    thanks,

    d...
     
  14. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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  15. AspirinJunky

    AspirinJunky Thread Starter

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    thanks! I'll give them a shot right now.
     
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