Toshiba M400 stuck key problem

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I have a new Toshiba Portege M400 TabletPC.

"New" means I ordered it for Christmas, it arrived before Christmas, I
did not try to start using it until January, and the machine has
barely been used for the reason soon to be explained.

---+ PROBLEM: stuck 5 key

PROBLEM: it seems that the overall problem is that the "5" key is
stuck.  This is occasionally evident when I go to type something in,
e.g. at a text box, and I see a string of 55555s printing.

It is actually quite amazing how much you can do on a TabletPC without
using the keyboard.  E.g. logging in with a fingerprint makes it
unnecessary to type a password. But occasionally you have to use the


POSSIBLY RELATED PROBLEM: nearly every time I boot - e.g. I shut down
the PC, and then power back on, or when I restart the PC because some
piece of software requires the reboot - I get a loud beeping.  I
conjecture that this is the result of the 5 key being stuck, since (a)
I can get a similar sound on other PCs if I press a key while booting,
and (b) occasionally the beeping persists right up to the "Login and
Enter Password" dialog box.  If Entering a password, I get the strings
of dots, but can't see what letter is being produced; but once in a
while I get to the point where what is being typed is not hidden, in
which case I can see the 55555s

---+ Intermittent

The problem does not occur all the time.  E.g. I am usually able,
eventually, to log in and, e.g. to type gmail.

However, even when I get to the point of typing at gmail, from time to
time the 5 key gets stuck.

I can fairly reliably reproduce the problem by shutting down and
powering up again.

I have Toshiba Warranty; indeed, I have on-site service, although that
turns out to be not-applicable.  I first reported the problem to
Toshiba in January. After thrashing around as to whether on-site
service could actually come on-site, I eventually drove across town to
the Toshiba designated technician. Northwest Computer Support.  They
told me that the replaced the keyboard.  I retrieved the TabletPC from
the repair shop on Wednesday Feb 13. On that day the problem did not
manifest itself to cursory testing. However, today (Feb 18), is the
first day that I have had time to extensively use the TabletPC, i.e.
the first time that I have had to install software, and, during said
software installations, the problem has manifest itself again,

Toshiba says that I should drop the tablet off at the repair shop
again.  No complaints there, apart from wishing this was fixed.

However, this gets tiresome.  I have had this TabletPC for almost 2
months now, and have not been able to use it for any extended period
of time.  Therefore I ask members of this forum and/or newsgroup is
similar "stuck key" problems have been seen.


This problem manifest itself as soon as I started using the computer.
I.e. it was not dropped, had not had food or drink spilled on it.

---++ Possibly Heat Related?

I am not 100% certain, but I suspect that the problem may be related
to overheating and/or ACPI power management:

a) this TabletPC seems to always have its fan running - it is the
loudest laptop I have every had.  I reported this as a second problem
to Toshiba, and the technicians replaced the fan and regreased (I
think they mean "reapplied thermally conductive grease") the PC.
However, the fan remains loud.

b) I have several times found the laptop to have experienced emergency
shutdown (hibernated) after getting to extremely low battery levels.
I am certain that the laptop was not left running in a bag: the laptop
was sitting on top of a desk, either in or next to, its docking
station.    The episodes of sticky keys always occurred after such
emergency shutdowns, but persist.  Or, rather, the only time in which
the key was not stuck was at the repair shop.

---++ How can I have Ever Used this TabletPC?

Although the TabletPC starts beeping almost incessantly during boot,
usually it does, in fact, cease.

I have, experimentally, left it untouched, and it keeps beeping for at
least 15 minutes.

Sometimes I try to type almost randomly at the keyboard, and
eventually it stops beeping and resumes normal boot. E.g. most
recently, it seemed to stop beeping after I typed either the Home or
End key... but there seems to be no pattern that I have yet observed.

I have tried booting into safe mode.

---+ Conclusion: HELP!!!

Re: Toshiba M400 stuck key problem

Glew wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

First, if you have any return rights left from the vendor, take it back
and start over again with a similar Toshiba, if you like it.

Second, about the keyboard: get a can of dust cleaner or electronics
cleaner from a computer store and clean out the keyboard, paying
particular attention to the spaces between the keys.

The beeping during boot is a very serious issue if it is not related to
the stuck 5 key.  You need to contact Toshiba support about this.
Alternatively, once booted into vista, go to device manager and see if
any devices have yellow or red 'bangs' against them.


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