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Friday, June 7, 2019

Repairing My Laptop

     A few months ago my old Toshiba Satellite laptop’s hard drive stated to go bad, so I took it to Best Buy and $272 later had an SSD hard drive installed. 
     Much to my dismay the other day the keyboard ceased functioning. Naturally I was reluctant to replace the laptop having just replaced the HD. A call to Best Buy revealed that a keyboard is no longer available because the laptop is too old, but I was advised that I possibly could find one online. 
     Not wanting to go that route I found out it is possible to disable the keyboard via the control panel, but that’s only temporary. If you want to permanently disable the keyboard on your laptop it’s going to be a little more involved. You’ll have to turn off Window’s ability to automatically install the driver again; otherwise the keyboard will spring back into life every time you reboot your machine. I didn't want to risk messing up something so decided to just disconnect the keyboard cable.
     I found THIS article at PC World and there is a video on YouTube HERE that tells how to pull the laptop’s keyboard. That’s what I did and then disconnected it. 
     Next was a trip to Best Buy where I spent $30 for an Insignia Wireless Keyboad and Mouse which came complete with batteries. This keyboard even has audio buttons that allow you to control the volume. 
     A few people complained of sticking keys right out of the box and called it “trash.” Most of the 4-star reviews of it involved trival complaints. So, far mine is working perfectly and I’m happy that I managed to salvage the laptop for only $30. 

EDIT:  Only two days after beginning to use the Insignia Wireless Keyboard/ Mouse the keys started sticking making it almost impossible to type anything.  When I checked Amazon and Best Buy I discovered there were literally dozens of complaints about this unit having that problem. Clearly the manufacturer and Best Buy are aware of the the issue, but don't care.  In any case, I took it back to Best Buy and exchanged it for a $20 Logitech Wireless Keyboard and it seems to be working fine.  The only disadvantage is that it takes two receivers/transmitters, one for the wireless mouse and one for the keyboard whereas the Insignia only took one.  Bottom line:  Insignia is junk...don't buy.

     BTW, after I had the old hardrive replaced I snapped the old one in my IOCELL External Hard Drive Enclosure which I have had for several years. You can save files to it like a flash drive if you want, but I used it to recover files off the old drive and install them on the new drive. Best Buy offered to salvage my files for $100! 
     Also, if you ever buy a new computer don’t waste money on Microsoft Office! Download and use Libre Office. It does everything Microsoft Office does including saving documents in Office format and Libre Office is completely free.

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