My most recent mini-project involved replacing an Asus EeePC 1005HAB netbook keyboard for a friend. Her netbook was acting really strange, mainly with random search windows popping up like no tomorrow. One would initially think that this might be caused by malware but upon a closer look, I also noticed that even without touching the keyboard, opened windows and applications (Firefox, Word, Excel) would behave strangely as well such as dropdown boxes randomly dropping down and then quickly disappearing. To prove it wasn’t malware, I did a thorough test by scanning her entire netbook with different types of antivirus software. That didn’t produce any results so I created an image and proceeded to reformat the computer. That proved futile as well. Some may say I am wasting my time but I always make sure that the problem is not caused by software prior to purchasing any type of replacement hardware. Since I now know it’s not software related, I ordered an replacement keyboard from Asus and so I will show you how simple it is to replace the keyboard on an Asus 1005 model netbook.Credit goes out to this blog where I first learned how to change the actual keyboard on the Asus 1005. I’ve been searching around the web and on Youtube for a bit but I really couldn’t find much other than just this article. So, kudos to the author!
This tutorial should work for most, if not all, EeePC 1005 model netbooks from Asus. I personally did this on the 1005HAB model. The total cost for the replacement keyboard directly from Asus themselves came out to a little under $54 ($25 for shipping and $28 for the keyboard itself). You can look on eBay but from what I have seen, the cost isn’t much different but most of them are made and shipped from China so you should expect some time before receiving the actual product.
If purchasing a new netbook or keyboard is too much for you to handle at the moment, what you can do is follow this tutorial to remove the keyboard ribbon cable itself and attach a simple and cheap USB keyboard to the netbook. I’m not sure if this will work or not as I haven’t tried it. Also, doing so will severely limit the usefulness of the netbook if you travel with it a lot.
Alright, so first things first. This is what happened to the netbook. If this is also happening to you, then replacing the keyboard should fix the problem.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Asus 1005 netbook
Replacement keyboard (purchase from the Asus eStore)
Precision flathead screwdriver
Can of compressed air (optional)
OK, so proceed first by shutting down the netbook, closing the screen and then removing the battery. At this point, the netbook should be turned over on its back with the battery slot facing towards you. Look in the battery slot and you should see four metal bands/arms. Using your precision screwdriver (the smaller the size the better), you want to gently pry the arms open. It’s important you don’t overdo it because you’ll need to snap these arms back in place once you replace the broken keyboard. If you pry them open too much, it might be difficult later on to snap them back tightly again. As you can guess, these four arms are what is holding down the keyboard in place.
Once the arms have been pried open a bit, we can now easily rip the broken keyboard away from the netbook, sorta. Turn the netbook over and open the screen. Using your precision screwdriver once again, you’ll want to stick it in the top left corner of the keyboard (right by the ESC key) and gently pry it up. Once a part of the keyboard comes off, you can then proceed to gently rip the keyboard off.
WARNING! DO NOT USE FORCE TO RIP THE KEYBOARD AWAY. TOWARDS THE BOTTOM, THERE IS A RIBBON CABLE CONNECTING THE KEYBOARD TO THE MOTHERBOARD.
We need to open the connector on the motherboard so it can release the ribbon cable connecting to it. If you look closely at the connector, there will be a small black tab on both the right and left side. We need to slide each tab up to release the hold on the ribbon cable. You can either use your fingers or the precision screwdriver, which is much easier in my opinion. Once again, be gentle! You want to slide the tab up, meaning push it towards the keyboard area, not towards yourself. Once both tabs are up, simply pull the ribbon cable out and the broken keyboard should now be totally disconnected from the netbook chassis.
At this point, your keyboard area should be empty as seen in the picture below. If you have a can of compressed air, use it now to blow away all of the dust particles and hair (or who knows whatever else is in there) from it. It’s not everyday that you take apart your netbook so use this opportunity to clean it as much as possible.
Alright, so now we’ll install the keyboard back on the chassis by snapping it back on. Rather than pushing the entire keyboard back into place from top to bottom, I find it easier to first align it from the bottom side first (as seen in the picture below) and then proceed to snap the top part back on. Do not use too much pressure. The keyboard should snap perfectly back into place.
Once the new keyboard is in place, close the screen, flip it back over to its underside and simply push the four metal arms back into place. Turn your netbook back on for testing and hopefully, whatever problems you were having in the first place have disappeared! Also, remember to test every single key on your new keyboard to make sure it is functioning. If not, you’ll need to contact Asus for a replacement.