How to change a Keyboard on an Acer Aspire 5738 Laptop

Some things you either do yourself, or pay someone to do for you.

Well, if anyone has read the post at Acer Laptop Service Repair Manual you will know that I had to have the keyboard on an Acer Aspire Laptop changed recently. This was for the Model 5638G.

OK, I had two options…  Pay the local computer dealer about $150 to $200, or buy the keyboard myself and fit it myself.  $38 for the keyboard was the convincer, and that was the delivered price. 🙂

Thumbs up to Broadway Computers, 218 Broadway, Reservoir, VIC 3073 Tel: 03 9462 1712.  I don’t mind giving them a free plug.  I ordered it on Tuesday, and it arrived on Thursday morning.

Nerves got the better of me, and I didn’t start to change it until today, Saturday.  I read pages 58-61 of the manual (see link above) and I then printed them out, to keep by my side as I worked on it.  I did remove the battery first though. (Page 54 of the manual).

The first thing was … using a plastic screwdriver…… oops…   I didn’t have one.

Read it again: Use a plastic screw driver to pry loose the side of the middle cover.  OK, so a metal one might damage the laptop casing, so I need something plastic.  Having done it all now, I have just realised that we have plastic knives for camping, and one of those would have been perfect.  But, I did find an old plastic membership card, and this was solid enough to pry the small panel off, and as the card was out of date, the fact that the card cracked is of no importance.  Better the card breaking than the laptop 🙂

So, I freed that small panel up.  That is the one just above the keyboard, and allows us to now see the 4 clips retaining to the top edge of the keyboard.

Now, gently, I tried to move the clips out of the way, but they kept clicking back as I moved to the next one.  Four pairs of hands would be useful here, but placing a small jewellers screwdriver in the openings as I undid one catch at a time, I did eventually manage it, and then pulling the keyboard upwards, towards the LCD screen, it came loose, with a little bending in the middle to free the sides up.  The keyboard is slightly pliable, so I wasn’t worried about bending it a little.

Next, was removing  the thin flat cable that attached the keyboard to the main board.  Make sure you know which way round it goes BEFORE you remove the old one.  Not sure what would happen if you put it back upside down 🙁

Well, it was easy enough to get out, but looking at it, to see how the new one went back in, scarily small !!  My eyesight isn’t what it was, and the slot looked tiny.  I tried with the old one again, to see how easy I could get it back in, but no luck.  Just no way was it going in.  So, looking at page 61 of the manual, I noticed two arrows, one pointing each way.  It appeared that the slot for this tiny cable lifted up. So, finger nail under the white plastic, and it lifted, and opened up 🙂  Whay hay… I thought, just lay the cable flat in place, and push the plastic bit back down.  It worked.

Slotted the keyboard back into place, that bit was easy.  Then the small top panel was pushed back down, and that too was pretty easy, not too much pressure and everything clicked back into place.

Battery put back, laptop turned on.  It came back on.  Big Smile, and sigh of relief  🙂

Opened the notepad application, and tried every key.  Yes, everything works 🙂

I reckon it would only take me 10 minutes next time, if that.

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