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Thread: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue

  1. Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #1
    Bunzena
    Guest
    Hi - hope someone can help as I only have a few strands of hair left to pull out!

    In the past fortnight a problem has developed with the trackpad - and possibly my keyboard. Here are some of the symptoms

    1. The cursor on the screen will suddenly freeze. I can leave the laptop and it's working come back and it's not.

    2. If I type on the keyboard (can just touch the keys or I could be typing in a document) and the cursor may freeze again. During this event the small 'mouse/trackpad' on/off icon flashes briefly on the screen. If I hit another key (literally anywhere on the keyboard) a number of times (no pattern to the number) the icon may cycle and the cursor will move and then freeze again.

    It's as if every key on the keyboard is somehow performing the role of the FnF9 key.

    Unfortunately I did take the laptop on a business trip recently and this time when the laptop booted - the cursor was frozen and no amount of considered or random button pressing got it going. It was a battery out job . That scared me.

    If I connect a USB keyboard and mouse then pressing keys on that external keyboard does not cause the cursor to freeze. But it might do anyway - as described at 1. above.

    The F9 key will unfreeze the cursor (I guess turn the trackpad back on) - but it won't be long before it cycles back off again.

    I've not dropped the laptop. There's nothing physically wrong with it. The battery holds charge and it boots successfully. I've made no hardware changes in the past month.

    The only button on the keyboard that doesn't seem to work is the mouse/trackpad on/off button just above the space bar. This does feel slightly depressed - but I think this is how it's always been. Fiddling with it makes no difference to this bizarre and erratic behaviour. But maybe this is relevant.

    So what have I tried.

    Reinstalling the trackpad driver (Synaptics).

    Reinstalling the TVAP (added value package).

    I've even tried re-imaging the HDD back to one from recently - and one just after I bought the laptop back in 2012. That should have solved it if it was a software/driver issue - but it didn't.

    One thing I haven't done is venture into BIOS. Maybe there's something in their?

    Under Device manager all the hardware is listed - no warnings at all. There seem to be no IRQ conflicts either.

    Could this be a hardware problem? I seem to read that the keyboards on R830 are pretty prone to damage/stopping working. One popular auction site in the UK has sellers that claim to have sold in excess of 40! That's a lot of R830s that have had new keyboards.

    I also know that replacing one is a pain so I'm hoping it's not this.

    Has anyone got any suggestions? It is driving me bonkers.

    I have Googled extensively and can't come-up with anything. There's the usual raft of people who are trying to find how to turn the trackpad on or off - but none seem to be grappling with the Laptop doing it for them.

    Help!

  2. Re: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #2
    Hi

    According to your issue description it sounds like the touchpad would be disabled automatically.
    As you already mentioned, the touchpad could be enabled and disabled using the function key combination FN+F9

    Since you’ve got also some keyboard problems, my theory is that there is some keyboard problem which might be responsible for the touchpad ON/OFF issue.

    What do you think about this theory?

    I don’t think that there is a software problem because as you already reset the system to early time point (factory settings???). Therefore I think the software conflict cannot be the reason for that….

  3. Re: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #3
    Bunzena
    Guest
    I think there's at least a possibility that there is something wrong with the keyboard. As I mention in my post there are plenty of companies/people selling lots of R830 replacements online.

    If this laptop was a set of Christmas lights - then you'd say there was a dicky connection somewhere. Maybe in the keyboard or a damaged ribbon keyboard ribbon?

    I certainly haven't had the laptop apart - although it did go back to Toshiba in Germany in the first month to have a screen replaced and then to fix the fingerprint reader which they'd managed to disconnect when they fixed the screen.

    Perhaps then something happened then. I just feel that isn't likely. That was over two years ago.

    This may be crucial though. I'm sitting here pressing the 'Z' key very, very lightly. If I press it in quick succession then the mouse button on/off icon will cycle after three presses. If I press harder it takes more presses.

    And it's not just the 'Z' key. Any key. Bizarre. If it was a loose connection then surely the harder I hit a key - the more likely to happen??

  4. Re: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #4
    Yeah… probably the keyboard is the troublemaker… but it’s just an idea…

    I think even if we will continue this discussion I don’t think that we can make sure what part malfunctions exactly.
    I guess you will get a final result only checking the hardware parts…

  5. Re: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #5
    Bunzena
    Guest
    Just wanted to follow-up on this issue - *which is now solved.*

    It was a hardware issue - the keyboard had developed a fault. I have replaced the keyboard and it all works perfectly.

    For others who have the same problem - I just want to add a few notes on my experiences of replacing the keyboard - parts for which are readily available from a well-known auction site.

    I found some key tools/parts essential. Firstly, the keyboard is stuck down by quite a lot of strong double sided tape. You'll need some good quality, 4mm wide, high tack, double sided tape to replace what's there. The tape is very thin - not padded - just like a super-sticky version of the tape you can buy in a stationery store. Be extra careful about what you buy as there is some rubbish masquerading as top branded tape (from the company three-M) that is NOT sticky enough.

    I also bought a set of plastic pry bars and a set of mini hook & pick tools (by Draper) - all from the same auction site. These were indispensable. I treated myself to a new set of mini-screwdrivers (bought from a well-known DIY retailer, in the UK, beginning with 'W'). They are brilliant quality and kept all the screws looking pristine.

    There's a pretty good video on utube about how to replace the keyboard - but there are three things I'd do differently.

    Firstly, heat the keyboard all over with a hairdryer to 'loosen' the glue on the tape.

    Secondly, the keyboard is held on by tape around the edges AND across it's centre - in strips. This makes it a pig to get off. If you have several pry bars, you can gently ease it up and keep it up by gradually jamming them in as you go. This significantly reduces strain on the chassis. It will come off - but be patient.

    Finally, remove the entire back of the laptop. This is really vital - in my view. There are lots of screws - but it is definitely worth the effort. (The short ones are marked F4 on the case - so it's easy not to get them muddled-up with the other longer ones). On the utube video, he doesn't and has to have the dexterity of an Octopus to fiddle the cable through a small gap via the HDD access plate. Take the entire back off - and it's easy. Again there are good sites online showing the entire 'disassembly' of the R830.

    From start to finish it took about 40 minutes. Although I replaced the keyboard on my R830 - I suspect the procedure is pretty much identical on many recent Toshiba Portege. It's not a difficult job.

  6. Re: Portege R830 - Trackpad/keyboard issue
    #6
    Solved issue is always a good news!
    Thanks for sharing Bunzena

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