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Spacebar not Working When Pressed

December 7, 2020 at 13:17:39
Specs: Windows 10
Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3582)

The user was using one of those stress balls when it exploded. Some of that internal stuff got on a few keys and solidified. Took awhile but I was able to clean out and get x, c, v, f, d working again. However, SPACE is not. But, there is also nothing of the pink goo under it. I took the space key off and press the actual rubber button, but thing happens. An external keyboard works, so it is the laptops's SPACEBAR. I just can not see why.

The keyboard is pivoted into the frame of the laptop, and I can not access under it. I could remove the battery, RAM, drive, and most parts, but not the metal internal frame covering the most of the motherboard, where that too has the keyboard under it.

The only thing I can think of is some clear liquid somehow got into the circuitry and only affected the SPACEBAR.

Other than sending this into Dell and paying money, which I not have of course, for them to most likely replace the unit, and other than trying to tear off a pivoted metal frame inside to asses the bottom of the keyboard, does anyone have any possible thoughts as to why the actual rubber button for the SPACEBAR could not be working, or have I exhausted all options and it is a hardware issue that has to be replaced?

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December 7, 2020 at 13:53:17
"but not the metal internal frame covering the most of the motherboard"
Try these ways.
Inspiron 15 3582 keyboard removal

Inspiron 15 3582 spacebar not working

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December 7, 2020 at 14:25:22
I have seen all those before, but thanks.

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December 7, 2020 at 14:46:10

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Related Solutions

December 7, 2020 at 15:00:26
Do you have any idea of what the stress ball contained?

A very long shot... with the battery removed and RAM and drives too... and with the case as open to the elements as can be... wash the laptop with a warm, not hot, soap solution - preferably organic detergent. You might need to let it soak a while. Then rinse thoroughly with filtered water, and do so until there is no trace of detergent. Next leave to drain and then put in a warm dry environment - an airing cupboard would be ideal. Leave it for a day or so - wrapped in paper towel. Then, wrapped again in paper towel, place in a plastic bag, add silica gel (if you can get some) and seal it. Leave a day or so, remove silica gel and dry that out (place in a warm oven for while). Return silica gel and leave the laptop and gel again sealed in a plastic bag for another day. Repeat the whole silica gel drying out etc. and returning it to the laptop bag etc several times. Likely you’ll do this over a week or so. You might also play a warm air draft over and through the laptop as well - to accelerated the drying process; but nothing “hot”.

Then restore RAM, drives, and battery... power up and see if anything has improved?

The above routine has been successful in the past cleaning some computer related kit; although the drying process was mainly warm air and left to sit in a warm situation.

Even rinsing the washed item with alcohol often helps draw out moisture; isopropyl is likely easiest to get/use? But the drying routines as above are still required.

If you could determine what the ball contained, you might be able to use a suitable solvent to clean around the space bar area itself, and not need the washing routine as above?

Possibly you can modify the above to target only the space bar area, pivots etc. and what it actually triggers, presses on... It may be there’s a gummed up contact and you may be able clean it up?


If no silica gel you can use raw rice grains, wrapped in something like a facial tissue. At intervals remove the rice, dry out in a warm oven, or simply replace/renew it.

message edited by trvlr

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December 7, 2020 at 15:04:05

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December 7, 2020 at 17:13:11
John, thanks, but just as well, if I needed more generic videos online and articles, I would have already pulled them up or seen them. Unless there is something exactly for what I have that I actually miss finding, sending me links is not what I am looking for. More like personal experiences on what someone else has maybe done.

trv, unknown what was in it. Except it was pink and when exposed to air, it harden. Are you asking me to get the motherboard wet? I am unable to remove it from this system. Parts of it are exposed. The rest is covered by the medal plate that I can not remove.

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December 8, 2020 at 00:43:40
Why not just replace the keyboard?

Also available with backlight...

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December 8, 2020 at 00:53:28
Yes re’ getting the whole thing “wet”... More than one laptop has been washed thoroughly along the lines I outline, consequence of things like soup, tea, coffee, cola etc. being spilt into/onto it. Anything sugary is bad news, as it sets like toffee given the chances.

Have to say I’m not hopeful the washing routine would actually resolve it, as unless the pink stuff is actually water soluble I doubt washing will shift it.

But “sluc’s” advice is surely a better option?

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December 13, 2020 at 15:26:03
Not the same type of keyboard. That is for keyboards that can be lifted out of the frame/palm rest. This one is built into it.
It has to be something with the circuit for sure, if pushing the plastic button down is doing nothing. I just can not get access to that part of the motherboard.
Looking into taking it apart for the third time and will see if getting it wet in that area is an option.

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December 13, 2020 at 16:26:35
it's possible that the guck which solidified has done so across whatever the contacts are for when the space bar is depressed. If you can get a sample of the solidified guck perhaps you can test it with a few solvents to see what might dissolve it? I'm thinking water obviously; then detergent and water; then maybe alcohol - ethyl and ispropyl. Ethyl may be hard to get - but you can use Vodka as its more or less neat ethyl... Likewise Methylated sprits would be a test solvent...

I'd avoid things like white spirit and pain cleaners -as I've no idea how they may react with the circuit board or other components...

You may find a powerful hand lens useful too to see what may be "in there" and hard to see; including any micro clearances which aren't just now due to the guck?

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