Dell Inspiron 3800 keyboard issues

When it came out in the early 2000s, I bought an Inspiron 3800. To put it mildly, it had many hardware issues. One of them was that after it warmed up, the I,J, and 8 keys didn't work. (Maybe it was the K key, not the J.) Before my girlfriend and I could see about repairing it, she left, taking the computer (and money, etc.) After the theft, I saw online that other people were having the exact same problem. I seem to recall Dell offering a free repair for the problem, but maybe I'm imagining that.

Anyway, *eventually* I got the computer back. I tried using it last night. It's got a new keyboard problem. One character--but not always the same one--will sometimes decide to repeat itself over and over, as if the key were held down or sticking. I tried plugging another keyboard in, figuring that would disable the built-in keyboard and make the problem go away, but no, they both worked at the same time.

I don't expect too much from the machine at this point--I really only want to use it with an old GPS setup I have--and I don't mind using a second keyboard. But with the key repeating thing it's unusable. So...

(1) Is there any way I can get Dell to fix this lemony keyboard on this lemony computer for free at this late date? (Stop laughing, please.)

(2) Is there any way to disable the built-in keyboard (but still use the pointing device)? I couldn't see any such option in the BIOS setup.

(3) Any other ideas about how I could fix this on my own?

Thanks
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More about dell inspiron 3800 keyboard issues
  1. Have you checked Dell for BIOS/Driver updates. I just in stalled a program from Dell that disables the onboard mouse but not sure if there is one for the keyboard and my wife's laptop is only about 18 months old but would be worth a look
  2. My name is John, and I work at Dell headquarters.

    The good news is that keyboards are very inexpensive and can be replaced with only a small screwdriver in a matter of minutes. You can find the part for your system and order it here:

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/DellPartsFamily.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&redirect=1

    I wouldn't expect the part to be much more than 30 dollars.

    To my knowledge, there is no program to replace these keyboards free of charge. If that's all that is wrong with it, it is probably with the money to just get a new keyboard, though.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    John
    Dell Customer Advocate
  3. Interesting to see a Dell rep here. Probably not a bad thing though, so on that note, welcome to the forums!
  4. edit: wrong thread. I'm on fire today!
  5. With my Toshiba laptop there are just simply drivers for the touchpad and keyboard that completly disable them. I found this out by accident with the touchpad and had to reinstall the drivers from the website.
  6. lostandwandering said:
    Interesting to see a Dell rep here. Probably not a bad thing though, so on that note, welcome to the forums!


    Thanks for the welcome! You'll probably see me or one of my team members in here from time to time.

    John
    Dell Customer Advocate
  7. Well nice to meet you John, I also work for dell as a XPS Agent, in Technical support. Its always nice to know that there are other people that work for dell on these forums. Be seeing you all later.
  8. unscrew the screws marked k on the bottom of the laptop and gently lift up the keyboard from the top and gently unplug the large flat ribbon cable (gently pull up on the ribbon) put the keyboard back and screw it in and boot up with a ps2 or usb keyboard and your good to go
    i am using the dell right now to type this reply. you can find replacement key boards on ebay for 10 bucks if you have to have a built in .
    from imhotep the inventer
    imhotepslab.com
  9. DellCA said:
    My name is John, and I work at Dell headquarters.

    The good news is that keyboards are very inexpensive and can be replaced with only a small screwdriver in a matter of minutes. You can find the part for your system and order it here:

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/DellPartsFamily.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&redirect=1

    I wouldn't expect the part to be much more than 30 dollars.

    To my knowledge, there is no program to replace these keyboards free of charge. If that's all that is wrong with it, it is probably with the money to just get a new keyboard, though.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    John
    Dell Customer Advocate
  10. I think you should ask some computer experts about it, they might help you out. I bought my keyboard from this company: http://www.laptopkeyboard.com/ they helped me choosing the right keyboard, you can call them as well.
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