A laptop keyboard can stop working at anytime and include symptoms such as the keys on the keyboard not working, the keyboard not working at all, or the laptop not even booting up. A keyboard fault can prevent a laptop from booting up. The reason why this happens is usually because the keyboard has an electronic circuit that converts the pressed key information into the binary code, which is then sent to the motherboard. If there is liquid damage to the keyboard and the circuits get damaged and stop working, this can also prevent a laptop from booting up or switching on altogether.
Usually, if there is liquid damage to the laptop, than the keyboard will be damaged as well. It is very important that after a keyboard endures liquid damage, it must undergo a full motherboard cleaning with white spirit, for example, which is used to clean the residue out. If a proper cleaning is not done after some time, then the motherboard will get rusty and will most likely fail.
Replacing the missing keys on your laptop should not be a big problem as they are widely and readily available. But, it does need to be mentioned that at times, the same two keyboards can have different key holding mechanisms.
As mentioned before, if the keyboard on a laptop has liquid damage, or has a short circuit somewhere, then it will not even switch on. This is especially true for laptops that have a power button connected to the keyboard. For example, on an Apple unibody, MacBooks have a power switch that is connected to the keyboard, and if the keyboard fails, the laptop will not switch on. This frequently happens when liquid has damaged the Mac keyboard.
The keyboard is then not repairable and must be replaced. To repair a Mac keyboard is not worth it in the economic sense.
Another thing that must be mentioned is that an incorrect working keyboard is not always is the actual issue or problem. An example of this is a repair that was done on a MacBook Pro which had a keyboard and touchpad button that was not working at all. As it turned out, the problem was a faulty hard drive. The touchpad button was repaired by simply replacing a small switch which is shown on the image below.
This was somewhat tricky, as the glue used to glue the button back was difficult to find. The glue that was used ended up being an impact glue from Evo Stick.
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