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Back in business – Review: CDS Micro

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Thanks to CDS Micro Systems in the Pittsburgh area, our favorite laptop (less the Windows running on it part) is back in business.  We ordered our keyboard for the Acer Aspire One for $16 (much less than others … and the order included shipping).  CDS received our order at 4:20pm on the 23rd of Feb, and had it in the mail first thing in the morning on the 24th of Feb … now that’s service.

We found them on Ebay, and for that kind of service, if you have an Acer or Gateway, it’s worth checking them out. The keyboard was exactly what we ordered and needed, fit perfectly (which can be an issue with netbook replacement parts(, and worked perfectly.  Actually the replacement keyboard was better quality than the original.

You can find CDS Micro listed in SWB Recommends.

Now for those experiencing this issue. If you get liquids like coffee in your netbook keyboard, it’s cheap enough to order a new one, but the old one can be cleaned with some patience.  This is an old technique taught to me by some old time TV / Radio guys and mainframe technicians.  It’s based on the fact that purified water is your best cleaner (if you ever use this technique for cleaning anything else electronic and it has batteries, capacitors, etc in it or on it, you must remove or completely discharge them. If not, you could get electrocuted or they parts could explode).  If this is a little technical for you, don’t do it.  Ask your local tech head to do it for you.

The netbook keyboards are so thin, any liquids that can leave a residue (no matter how minute) will cause the keyboard to malfunction for quite a while. You need to carefully clean the old keyboard to see if you can get it to work again.

The trick is using very good purified water … not electronic cleaners, not windex, etc.  Simple purified water will do the trick.

Here are the steps:

  1. Find a plastic pan (preferably one that has not been used) that is about the side of the netbook keyboard and fill it with your purified water to a level that will fully cover the keyboard.
  2. Place the keyboard in the water … if you need to use something to keep it submersed, make sure it does not depress any of the keys.
  3. After five minutes lift the keyboard out and let the water drain, removing the residue within the keyboard.
  4. Go back to step 2 twice, on the third time change the water and do the procedure two more times.  More if the keyboard was heavily soiled.
  5. Tap out as much water as possible (remember tap means tap, not smack)
  6. Leave the keyboard out for about a week in a very dry area, near light airflow if possible (yes I did say a week).
  7. After your keyboard has dried out, it should work fine.

Like I said, this is not guaranteed to work, but gets you a backup keyboard for your netbook instead of just wasting it to the garbage.


PS – Small netbooks are great for gremlins, and usually come with them if you are running Windows 🙂

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