My 'n' key is dying again

Replacing a single broken key on this HP laptop didn’t go so well.

It took awhile to find the right kind of key, and then it was never springy, but instead disappointingly mushy.

Now it’s broken again. These things are made of plastic. I have to really hit it to get it to put out an “n.”

I had trouble finding a full keyboard for this laptop. The Internet and HP are conspiring to get me to buy keyboards that do not fit the laptop case.

But I found a Chinese seller that had the keyboard I needed.

Since things were working well enough, I didn’t pull the laptop apart to swap in the new keyboard because it’s not a 5-minute procedure. All the screws on the bottom need to come out. The battery and optical drive need to come out. Then you have to either split the case open (I can’t remember if this is mandatory) and/or otherwise push the keyboard up through the top from the bottom of the motherboard, where there is a little hole just for this purpose.

Then you take the ribbon cable out, pop the new keyboard in, put it all together and hope it works.

Now that the “n” key is giving me trouble again, it’s time to bite the bullet and do it.

So how am I typing? I keep an old desktop keyboard in a drawer for times like this, which happen more often than they should. I also have a wonky space bar. I replaced a key on my old Lenovo laptop, and that went a lot better. This HP doesn’t take well to new keys on the old keyboard.

Update: I did the keyboard replacement. It was fairly smooth, and now every key is a new one. This new keyboard is a little “softer,” and less clicky than the one I bought that didn’t fit (both were super cheap), but the key feel is consistent, and all the keys work, so I’ve given my almost-4-year-old laptop a proverbial new lease on life. Now I need to think about replacing the hard drive.