Seemingly random keyboard keys not working

Some weeks ago, I discovered that certain keys on my laptop keyboard didn’t work.
This problem is consistent from unlocking LUKS volume, through to tty and desktop session.

Some keys only work some of the time, while others have stopped working altogether. They’re part of all kinds of key groups: Function keys, numpad, alphanumerics…

connecting a secondary, external keyboard, works as it should, so I’ve been barely getting by but it’s very inconvenient.

I run Fedora Kinoite 36, on a Clevo P950ER laptop.

Here’s inxi -Fxz:

System:
  Kernel: 5.18.13-200.fc36.x86_64 arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc
    v: 2.37-27.fc36 Desktop: KDE Plasma v: 5.25.3
    Distro: Fedora release 36 (Thirty Six)
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: Notebook product: P95xER v: N/A
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: Notebook model: P95xER serial: <superuser required>
    UEFI: American Megatrends v: 1.07.15 date: 11/16/2018
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 45.7 Wh (88.4%) condition: 51.7/53.2 Wh (97.1%)
    volts: 16.5 min: 15.2 model: Notebook BAT status: N/A
CPU:
  Info: 6-core model: Intel Core i7-8750H bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Coffee Lake rev: A cache: L1: 384 KiB L2: 1.5 MiB L3: 9 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 4059 high: 4101 min/max: 800/4100 cores: 1: 4081
    2: 4066 3: 4095 4: 4041 5: 3917 6: 4020 7: 4058 8: 4101 9: 4064 10: 4085
    11: 4100 12: 4090 bogomips: 52799
  Flags: avx avx2 ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel CoffeeLake-H GT2 [UHD Graphics 630] vendor: CLEVO/KAPOK
    driver: i915 v: kernel arch: Gen9.5 bus-ID: 00:02.0
  Device-2: NVIDIA GP104M [GeForce GTX 1070 Mobile] vendor: CLEVO/KAPOK
    driver: nouveau v: kernel arch: Pascal bus-ID: 01:00.0
  Device-3: Chicony USB 2.0 Camera type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus-ID: 1-8:3
  Display: wayland server: X.org v: 1.20.14 with: Xwayland v: 22.1.3
    compositor: kwin_wayland driver: X: loaded: modesetting
    unloaded: fbdev,vesa gpu: i915,nouveau resolution: 1920x1080
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel UHD Graphics 630 (CFL GT2)
    v: 4.6 Mesa 22.1.4 direct render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel Cannon Lake PCH cAVS vendor: CLEVO/KAPOK
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1f.3
  Device-2: NVIDIA GP104 High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel
    v: kernel bus-ID: 01:00.1
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.18.13-200.fc36.x86_64 running: yes
  Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: no
  Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.56 running: yes
Network:
  Device-1: Intel Wireless-AC 9260 vendor: Rivet Networks driver: iwlwifi
    v: kernel bus-ID: 03:00.0
  IF: wlp3s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
    vendor: CLEVO/KAPOK driver: r8169 v: kernel port: 3000 bus-ID: 04:00.0
  IF: enp4s0 state: down mac: <filter>
  IF-ID-1: sveitswg state: unknown speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A
  IF-ID-2: tailscale0 state: unknown speed: -1 duplex: full mac: N/A
Bluetooth:
  Device-1: Intel Wireless-AC 9260 Bluetooth Adapter type: USB driver: btusb
    v: 0.8 bus-ID: 1-14:5
  Report: rfkill ID: hci0 rfk-id: 7 state: down bt-service: enabled,running
    rfk-block: hardware: no software: yes address: see --recommends
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 2.07 TiB used: 805.93 GiB (37.9%)
  ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Samsung model: SSD 960 EVO 250GB
    size: 232.89 GiB temp: 41.9 C
  ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Seagate model: ST2000LX001-1RG174 size: 1.82 TiB
  ID-3: /dev/sdb type: USB vendor: SanDisk model: USB 3.2Gen1
    size: 28.65 GiB
Partition:
  ID-1: /boot size: 973.4 MiB used: 170.5 MiB (17.5%) fs: ext4
    dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2
  ID-2: /boot/efi size: 598.8 MiB used: 9.8 MiB (1.6%) fs: vfat
    dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1
Swap:
  ID-1: swap-1 type: zram size: 8 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) dev: /dev/zram0
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 60.0 C pch: 66.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nouveau
    temp: 48.0 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
Info:
  Processes: 370 Uptime: 1d 5h 26m Memory: 31.2 GiB used: 5.86 GiB (18.8%)
  Init: systemd target: graphical (5) Compilers: gcc: 12.1.1 Packages: 95
  note: see --pkg Shell: Zsh v: 5.8.1 inxi: 3.3.19

rpm-ostree status:

State: idle
AutomaticUpdates: stage; rpm-ostreed-automatic.timer: last run 1 day 3h ago
Deployments:
  fedora:fedora/36/x86_64/kinoite
                  Version: 36.20220805.0 (2022-08-05T00:51:37Z)
               BaseCommit: f7aea48085adf68fb4dd1077e6bd03839c61e9279764b5ae8d9f3a80e635c46e
             GPGSignature: Valid signature by 53DED2CB922D8B8D9E63FD18999F7CBF38AB71F4
            SecAdvisories: 1 unknown severity, 4 moderate, 1 important
                     Diff: 102 upgraded, 2 added
      RemovedBasePackages: firefox 103.0.1-1.fc36 okular 22.04.1-1.fc36
          LayeredPackages: alacritty android-tools bismuth btrbk corectrl distrobox
                           ffmpegthumbs gdb gnome-boxes golang inxi iotop
                           java-1.8.0-openjdk kdeconnectd kffmpegthumbnailer libreoffice
                           libva-utils libva-vdpau-driver lsd lshw lxc neofetch nmap
                           pmbootstrap powertop python3-GitPython python3-pip python3-tqdm
                           qemu qemu-user-static rpmfusion-free-release
                           rpmfusion-nonfree-release snapper tailscale vdpauinfo waydroid
                           zsh

● fedora:fedora/36/x86_64/kinoite
                  Version: 36.20220728.0 (2022-07-28T00:48:49Z)
               BaseCommit: 115c332550d9dbfac844ba6c090929ea3a64c660d96a2583105ce937cb4a8b6e
             GPGSignature: Valid signature by 53DED2CB922D8B8D9E63FD18999F7CBF38AB71F4
      RemovedBasePackages: firefox 102.0-1.fc36 okular 22.04.1-1.fc36
          LayeredPackages: alacritty android-tools bismuth btrbk corectrl distrobox
                           ffmpegthumbs gdb gnome-boxes golang inxi iotop
                           java-1.8.0-openjdk kdeconnectd kffmpegthumbnailer libreoffice
                           libva-utils libva-vdpau-driver lsd lshw lxc neofetch nmap
                           pmbootstrap powertop python3-GitPython python3-pip python3-tqdm
                           qemu qemu-user-static rpmfusion-free-release
                           rpmfusion-nonfree-release snapper tailscale vdpauinfo waydroid
                           zsh

  fedora:fedora/36/x86_64/kinoite
                  Version: 36.20220727.0 (2022-07-27T01:21:10Z)
               BaseCommit: 3217dbb7dc0b19fbc43d4ecfabd80c0c550886c0359e20b39709f88defbdf926
             GPGSignature: Valid signature by 53DED2CB922D8B8D9E63FD18999F7CBF38AB71F4
      RemovedBasePackages: firefox 102.0-1.fc36 okular 22.04.1-1.fc36
          LayeredPackages: alacritty android-tools bismuth btrbk corectrl distrobox
                           ffmpegthumbs gdb gnome-boxes golang inxi iotop
                           java-1.8.0-openjdk kdeconnectd kffmpegthumbnailer libreoffice
                           libva-utils libva-vdpau-driver lsd lshw lxc neofetch nmap
                           pmbootstrap powertop python3-GitPython python3-pip python3-tqdm
                           qemu qemu-user-static rpmfusion-free-release
                           rpmfusion-nonfree-release snapper tailscale vdpauinfo waydroid
                           zsh

Will add more info here after I’ve tried live-booting debian and seeing if the problem persists

dust, dirt, hair, etc can cause keys to malfunction. The fact that an external keyboard works implies that it may be a dirty keyboard.

Using canned air may blow out some of the debris, but it also may be necessary to disassemble the keyboard to properly clean it. I have had to do so with a couple of external keyboards and one laptop over the years. It is amazing what a difference can be made by cleaning things.

2 Likes

I’ll try cleaning it. I identified that the keys “Q, 4, 7, 5” don’t work in the live session of debian stable either, so it’s likely a hardware issue

1 Like

As an addition to @computersavvy 's comment I would also to mention humidity as a cause of corrosion of contacts. Keyboards have a flat-band connector with contacts who easily can get corrosion. If you have easy access to the keyboard connector disconnect the keyboard and clean the socket and the flat-band contacts with a contact spay.
When mounting back, check if the flat-band is nicely connected back in the socket.

1 Like

Thank you both, the issue is resolved now. I followed both your advices to fix it so not sure which to mark as solution :sweat_smile:

Glad it is resolved. Your choice on the solution. :wink:

1 Like