How-To Replace Asus EeePC 1005 Keyboard

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.

Popup

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Asus 1005 netbook
Replacement keyboard (purchase from the Asus eStore)
Precision flathead screwdriver
Can of compressed air
(optional)

Requirements

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.

Arms

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.

Corner

WARNING! DO NOT USE FORCE TO RIP THE KEYBOARD AWAY. TOWARDS THE BOTTOM, THERE IS A RIBBON CABLE CONNECTING THE KEYBOARD TO THE MOTHERBOARD.
Ribbon

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.

Tabs

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.

Opened

Once that has been taken care of, we are now ready to replace the broken keyboard with the new one. To do so, we just work in reverse. Take the new keyboard out of its wrapping and slide the ribbon cable back inside to the motherboard connector. Once it is in firmly, use your finger or precision screwdriver to push the black tabs back into place to lock it. You might not get it the first few tries but be patient and you’ll eventually get it. Once you have at least one of the black tabs locked in place, the other tab shouldn’t cause you any problems. Once both tabs are pushed down in the locked position, be sure to double-check them.

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.

Replace

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.

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Comments

  1. Claudia Stewart says:

    I replaced my keyboard in 2013. Now there seems to be a problem with the keyboard again. It jumps up to another line when I’m typing. It seems to be a problem with the space bar I think. So, now I need to replace the keyboard again.

  2. Nati from Puerto Rico says:

    I bought my keyboard from http://stores.ebay.com/laptopartsupplier. Offered as new for $21.49 + free shipping. It worked for me.

  3. smytheville says:

    For some reason three upper case letters stopped working. I was happy to find these instructions, pried up the keyboard and sprayed some compressed air. Unfortunately, that didn’t work, so now I know how easy it will be to order and replace the keyboard thanks to this terrific resource. I have since determined that it’s the combination of the shift key and the letter key that doesn’t work, just for those 3 letters. If I hit the Caps Lock key, they work. So now I need to decide if I can live with that workaround; I’ll probably try it for a whole and see if it drives me nuts. Very frustrating for this to happen on a netbook that gets very light use but is still beyond warranty. Judging by the number of comments here and other sites that pop up on google searches for replacing ASUS keyboards, lots of ASUS users are having problems with them. Looks like some planned obsolescence is designed into ASUS products. Something to remember before you buy again.

    • Unfortunately, stuff happens and you’re just the unlucky one! Back when the whole netbook craze was at its peak, I’ve known users who treat their netbooks like dirt and the amazing thing is that it is still working with no problems till this day. Then there are unfortunate people you like who either rarely use the product or treat it with care and the darn thing still malfunctions anyways. You really just have to call it bad luck and move on.

      At the Asus store, the keyboard replacement is still going on for a little under $27. My shipping rate was pretty horrible but it could be due to me living on a remote island. Check it out for yourself and see how much the total comes out to. It might not be that bad if the issue is driving you insane. eBay also sells cheap keyboard replacements but how trustworthy some of them are I do not know. Another cheap alternative is to plug in a USB keyboard (some can be bought for less than $10) if you have one lying around. Of course, this can be a hassle as well if you need mobility. Because netbooks have been phased out, you might take a chance and ask around in your friends circle to see if anyone has a Asus netbook lying around that they have no use for and take their keyboard. Good luck!

  4. Nati from Puerto Rico says:

    I fixed mine today, yuhooooo, and it works!!!!! Thanks a million!
    Happens that apparently inadvertently i pressed the number lock key, and my letters J and K (and a a few others) were giving me numbers 1 and 2 instead of letters. Once i pressed Fn + NumLK (i think it was) problem finished and now it’s like new.

    • Awesome! Glad everything worked out! On some netbooks or small form factor laptops, the keyboard is not that big but yet there are some users that still want to be able to use the numerical keyboard. Of course, the keyboard is too small to fit the numbered keys individually and so a user can press the Fn+Numlock combination to enable the alternate numerical keyboard. Because there is no separate number keyboard to the left, the numbers will instead take over the keys (J, K, L, etc) instead. This allows a user to still be able to input numbers very quickly on a small keyboard but of course you won’t be able to use the letters until you disable the numlock combination.

  5. The Power DC input jack in my 1005PE is broken.. I Want to open the cabinet so I can replace it.
    Can I release the 4 back bolts and “force” the opening? Or there are any secrets to do it??

    Thanks for your help.

    Carlos Henrique

    • Ouch…While changing the power jack is possible, it will be pretty labor intensive. The good news is that there should be instructions around the web showing you how to remove the motherboard from the laptop. Once you have it out, you can then desolder the broken jack and use solder to attach a new one. I have found one such video on Youtube where the person shows you how to completely remove the motherboard of the laptop. Check it out here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG4DKgPFAA8

      Good luck!

  6. Dale Anne says:

    Thank you for posting these easy to understand instructions. You saved me a bundle. I thought I was going to have to spring for a new laptop which I really don’t need. I have the netbook to use if my old desktop goes down.
    Thank you. Thank you.

  7. The 1005PE chiclet also fits the 1005HA with some very minor modifications. It’s looks and types quite a bit nicer than the stock 1005HA floating keyboard.

  8. Mary Beth Connolly says:

    These directions were great-thank you so much for posting them. It only took a few minutes each time to remove and replace the keyboard. It works great now-well worth the effort.

  9. Thank you!! Really helped.

  10. My Asus has been broke for over 3 months.  I tried one persons instructions on how to remove the keyboard and almost distroyed the net book so I gave up.  I found this one and followed the instructions and fixed it in 10 minutes.  Thanks

  11. Wingjbr says:

    Keyboard’s ‘G’ key slow to react.  We’ve had our ASUS netbook for 2 years as our only computer. perfect for day-to-day and travel.  2 days ago the ‘G’ key became slow to react when pushed.  A more deliberate push on the key is now required. Appreciate any thoughts on the cause but more importantly – the cure.  thanks, Bill

    • Hey Winjbr
      Unfortunately, keyboards can and do break overtime just like any other piece of equipment. My suggestion is to follow my tutorial above to remove the keyboard from the netbook. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust on both your netbook and keyboard. However, I would not advise you to remove the individual keyboard keys itself. You usually only do that for standard desktop keyboards and not on laptop keyboards. Obviously you can make sure the ‘G’ key is not stuck. When putting it back together, there is only one piece of cable that connects it to the netbook so make sure that goes in good. If key is still stuck, then it’s time to replace it. You can either look on Asus’s website or eBay for the replacement part and follow this tutorial again to install it. Here are some good advices on how to clean your keyboard| http://bit.ly/nRgEOs.

      It’s also imperative that you do a scan of your netbook for malware and other infections. Did you install anything on your netbook 2 days ago prior to when the key was slow to react?

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