Removing and replacing keyboard

posted in: Keyboard | 95

These instructions will help you to remove and replace keyboards on various laptops. I will not be able to cover all models but you’ll get the idea. Steps for removing and replacing the keyboard are similar for most laptops.

If your keyboard is missing a key, it’s not necessary to replace the whole keyboard. You can fix it using this guide: how to fix keys on a laptop keyboard.

– if your laptop is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, do not open the case or you can loose the warranty.
– always remove the battery and unplug the AC adapter before you open the laptop case.
– if you damage the keyboard connector on the motherboard you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard.
– proceed on your own risk.

Sony laptop

I took these pictures from a Sony Vaio PCG-K33 (model PCG-9S1L) notebook. Should be similar for some other Sony notebooks too.

Remove keyboard bezel

Insert a small flathead screwdriver under the keyboard bezel and carefully lift it up. Continue releasing plastic latches and removing the keyboard bezel with your fingers.

Bezel connected to motherboard

Be careful, on some models the bezel might be connected to the motherboard as it shown on the picture above. If you accidentally pulled the cable, connect it back. It is not necessary to disconnect the keyboard bezel from the motherboard in order to remove and replace the keyboard, just put it aside so you can access the keyboard screws.

Removing keyboard

Remove three (or more) screws from the top of the keyboard. Carefully lift up the keyboard from the laptop case.

Disconnecting keyboard

The keyboard connects to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable. Before you pull the cable from the connector, you’ll have to unlock the connector.

Keyboard connector

The image above illustrates how to unlock the keyboard connector. Carefully move the connector lock 2-3 millimeters up and after that pull the keyboard cable. To install the keyboard, follow the above mentioned steps in the reverse order.

Toshiba laptop

The following pictures were taken from a Toshiba Satellite A135 laptop. The keyboard removal instructions will be almost the same for most modern Toshiba laptops.

Keyboard bezel removal

The keyboard bezel removal procedure is similar to the above mentioned Sony Vaio laptop. Lift it up with a small screwdriver and remove using fingers. On most Toshiba laptops the keyboard bezel doesn’t have any circuit board underneath, it’s just a piece of plastic and you don’t have to worry about cables.

Removing keyboard

After the bezel is removed you get an access to the keyboard screws. Remove two (or more) screws. Release the plastic latch pointed with the red arrow and lift up the keyboard. Carefully put the keyboard aside so you can access the connector underneath the keyboard. Do not forget that the keyboard is still connected to the motherboard.

Disconnecting keyboard

Before you remove the keyboard, you’ll have to open the connector and release the flat ribbon cable.

Keyboard connector closeup

Here’s a closeup picture of the keyboard connector on the motherboard. Be careful, this type of connector is fragile. On the left image the connector is closed. On the right image the connector is opened. Unlock the connector by moving the lock up as it shown on the right image and after that release the ribbon cable. Remove and replace the keyboard. For assembly instructions follow all the steps in the reverse order.

UPDATE. What can you do if the keyboard connector was damaged?

If you are looking for laptop disassembly instructions, check out laptop service manuals.

95 Responses

  1. Hi LM !

    I was looking for the PCG-K33 ‘shutdown’ problem QA thread.
    Refering to a similar forum, a solution has been posted proposing change Decoupling Caps around the Proc which allegedly ‘dry up’. I would like to ask some questions about the PS distribution around the board; if OK ? I don’t have a service manual, yet. The problem also seems to have a ‘thermal dissipation’ component ?

  2. Hi LM,

    I am facing the exact problem with Toshiba Portege 3500, the keyboard cable just wont engage. Can anyone post a higher resolution picture of the cable connector open and closed like the last picture above. That will be great help.


  3. LM,
    There is no trick. I just checked the service manual for your notebook and didn’t find any special instruction for reconnecting the keyboard cable.

  4. I have an HP Pavilion ze5185 and am trying to replace the keyboard. I got the old one out ok, but can’t seem to press the ribbon cable of the new one into the connector far enough for it to engage the pins. I tried reattaching the old keyboard, but can’t press that cable in far enough either. Is there a trick or a tool for doing this? Thanks!

  5. I sooooo appreciate your diligent posts. Best Buy declared my computer dead without even looking at it, but I think your instructions saved it! THANKS!

  6. I am having problems with my sony vaio pcg k33. I was wondering if I can send u a picture of the lcd when the problem occurs so that you can advice me to what I should do. Many thanks.

  7. tweetybird

    I have a eMachine(M5309 keyboard). I am trying to replace the keyboard myself and wondering if it would be the similar procedure as you shown here for both Sony and Toshiba.
    If you have an instruction for replacing keyboard for eMachine, can you please send me a copy ? Really appreciate your help !!!

  8. Your Toshiba is suffering from a faulty/Broken connection between the motherboard and the Power input socket which is a common fault on most Toshibas. your only solution is to strip down the unit and resolder the joint between the +pin and the mobo. The problem is that you have to Strip down all the parts to get at it. If you havent done it before allow about 4/5 hours. Nothing to do with charger or battery, just broken connection

  9. my toshiba L25s121 can not charge the battery. i gotta new battery and a new charger. when i connect to ac power the charging light lits but the icon at the bottom right corner shows battery is charging but is not actually. when i plug off the computer it shuts off due to lack of charge. i upgraded the BIOS but still no result

  10. R. Thompson

    Hey I just wanted to leave a note to say thanks for your instructions on this site. Had a problem with a laptop after cleaning and you solved it. thanks again

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