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. IT’s always challenging and scary to replace your first laptop keyboard, but once you have gone through the process of doing just that with more than a couple then its may just become a routine.

  2. cj2600

    I couldn’t find a replacement keyboard either even on eBay. Are you sure AD2000 is the correct model name?

  3. Hi, I’m trying to reformat my Asus AD2000 – but having trouble because my keyboard is apparently stuffed. Asus Service Centre Melbourne said it was only the keyboard, but now Asus Service Centre Sydney (moved recently) now say its the keyboard controller on the motherboard. But I am using a USB keyboard fine – so shouldn’t the keyboard controller on M/B still be fine? :(
    Anyways, all I want is to be able to reformat at least to lift the game of my tired old laptop – as I have scoured the globe (it feels like) but cannot find a replacement keyboard anywhere and Asus (gee they are helpful! not) say that they don’t or won’t stock the keyboard controller/motherboard – they advise just buy a new laptop. Can you offer any advice for someone in this situation? Cheers, Jana

  4. cj2600

    Check the connection between the keyboard cable and the motherboard. Make sure the cable is properly connected, reseat the cable.

  5. cj2600

    I guess it’s time to replace the keyboard. I doubt that you can fix this problem.

  6. playmax

    i`ve removed my keyboard and now after i plug it again it doesn`t work, the laptop works fine but i can`t press anything with my keyboard, i got an Acer Aspire 3694 can i get a little help with it pls?

  7. I managed to hurt a couple of keys on my Toshiba Satellite L25-S1216. Any tips/techniques for reattaching keytops?

  8. Alipari

    Sorry… just to clarify it’s only one key ie the letter N i have problem with

  9. Alipari

    Have a VAIO VGN-FE41Z. N key on keyboard has become unreliable and needs to be pressed hard to act. Have taken off the key and cleaned under it. Still no good, Even when u press directly on the round plastic thing under the key, it still needs to be pressed hard to type the letter n please advise. Your help on this site is wonderful!!

  10. cj2600


    It’s okey with usb one but nothing changes in safe mode.

    Apparently the laptop keyboard is defective and has to be replaced.
    It’s possible that there is nothing wrong with the keyboard itself and you have a problem with the keyboard controller on the motherboard. This kind of failure is not common but possible. The only way to find out what is wrong is testing the laptop with another keyboard.
    Just in case. Did you try reinstalling the operating system? You can boot the laptop from Knoppix CD (live Linux) and test the keyboard in there. Knoppix runs directly from the CD bypassing Windows.
    If you still experience the same problem even with Knoppix, this is not related to Windows OS. This is hardware related issue.
    If the problem is gone when you work in Knoppix, it’s possible that you problem is related to Windows. Try reinstalling Windows in this case.

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