[RESPONDED] 4 keys have mysteriously stopped working (2 days before an international trip)

When I woke up this morning my keyboard was functional, but I noticed that the r and t keys were behaving oddly and had to be pressed twice. A few minutes later, they stopped working altogether, and I noticed that the problem also applies to the 4 and 5 keys. No matter how hard or how many times I press any of them, there is no response (but all of the other keys seem to be working perfectly fine). It must be a hardware issue, not software; the problem applies when using my window manager and TTYs alike, and when I boot from a live USB the same problem is encountered. (When I turn on the keyboard lights, all keys including r t 4 5 are lit—not sure if that is relevant.)

These keys are situated above the fan, so I wonder if the keys were damaged during a period of intense fan activity last night. I opened up the Input Cover and did find some dust inside (not under those keys in particular), but wiping it off did not fix the problem. I disconnected and reconnected the Touchpad Cable (on both ends) and it seems to be installed firmly, and none of the pins looked bent or broken off. In the process I’ve restarted a few times, but these four keys consistently don’t work across sessions.

I’m now forced to use my large clunky USB keyboard even just to sign in to my laptop (my decryption password and my username require those broken keys). This was unfortunate timing for this issue to pop up because I’m taking a trip to India the day after tomorrow; this setup will be terribly inconvenient while traveling.

Is there anything I can try to do to fix this issue besides ordering a replacement Input Cover (which won’t ship to India anyway)?

Other information:

  • OS: Arch Linux (6.6.1-arch1-1) with i3wm
  • Firmware version: 3.7

Feels like the input cover cable may have been damaged.
Check if the keys correspond with a matrix r/c on DHowett’s website!

Sorry, I’m having trouble figuring out how to do that; I don’t have much experience with hardware and am quite out of my depth with all this. I’m guessing you mean one of these tools that I found on his Projects page, but I’m not sure what a matrix r/c is.

I think I’ll have to resign myself to ordering a new Input Cover and maybe getting a friend to send it to me while I’m traveling.

A worrying update: When I pressed the trackpad down a few minutes ago, the laptop suddenly shut down. I can’t replicate it now even if I press down very hard on the trackpad. I don’t know what caused that problem, but I hope it’s something that the Input Cover replacement will fix.

Knowing which motherboard this is would also help, but based on the BIOS I would have to guess the 11th gen one. There are a number of possibilities, but I would start with updating your firmware to the current one if that is the case.

Another point is this 6.6.1-arch1-1 is almost guaranteed to be the actual issue. Roll back to the lts kernel or the 6.5 series. The first 3-5 versions of any new kernel is almost always riddled with regressions and bugs.

As to a live usb which distro did you try?

Check out this repair guide that applies to earlier 11th gen models.



Yes, lscpu shows “11th Gen Intel(R) Core™ i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz” and dmidecode shows that my motherboard is FRANBMCP0B.

I tried both Arch Linux (6.6.1-arch1-1) from a live USB and Tails (5.9, using the kernel 6.1.55). The same keyboard issue occurred with both, including on the Tails boot screen. I also downgraded the laptop’s kernel and headers to 6.5.9-arch2-1 and the problem persisted after reboot. So I think it must be a hardware issue (also supported by the fact that the keys completely stopped working after a few minutes of using the laptop, rather than immediately after an update or a reboot).

I will look into updating the BIOS, though. I haven’t done that before.

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Unfortunately, following step 8 has resulted in the trackpad ceasing to work altogether, and I can’t get it to work now no matter what I do.

Meanwhile I’ve ordered a replacement Input Cover and will try to get a friend to ship it from my house to India. If that doesn’t fix the issues, I’ll just have to give up and buy some other laptop.

Since this is all so clearly hardware-related, I haven’t gone through the hassle of updating the BIOS. I’ll just try the new Input Cover (assuming I can arrange some way to get it to me while traveling) and see if that works.

Feels like an input cover issue. Try re-seating your input cover cable carefully. If this does not appear to resolve it, please open a support ticket.