Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Logitech G15 keyboard died


Yesterday I stayed at home because I was not well. I was watching the match between West Indies and Zimbabwe when the PC screen went into standby, which shouldn't have happened as the video was being viewed full-screen. Thinking that Chrome was acting funny, I wanted to go into power options to temporarily turn off the display going into standby when the PC was idle for sometime. When I pressed the Windows button + X to make the system menu show up (it’s a Windows 8 thing, fyi), it didn't. I thought I had disabled Windows button because the baby loves pressing it when he is having his meals, which causes the cartoons to disappear, driving my wife insane. But I hadn't disabled the Windows key.

The keyboard wasn't responding to any key presses!!!!

I unplugged the keyboard from the USB port and replugged it. This has happened a few times, but only when I had LGS running. LGS is a buggy pile of crap software. That didn't make any difference, as I didn’t have LGS running in the first place. It’s not only buggy, but adds input lag which is a nuisance when playing Crysis 3 online.

Option two: I switched the USB port they keyboard was plugged into. No change again.

Option three: I tried it on the Asus T100 tablet and the MacBook Air. Nothing!!!

I have to confess that the keyboard wasn’t totally dead. The 6 G-keys seemed to register something, as I heard the exclamation sound of Windows 8.1 faintly but I didn't have the Logitech Gaming Software installed so I couldn't check it they really were sending out a signal. So, not 100% dead. but dead enough to be hardly useful.

So what could have killed the keyboard?

Water spill.

There was water on the desk and near the LCD screen of the keyboard when I examined the exterior. The control circuit is underneath the LCD screen. It could probably have shorted the circuit.

And who spilled the water? No. Not my kid. My wife had spilt water, while feeding the baby solids. Cannot blame her though. Feeding the baby is exhausting work.

Just to be sure, I disassembled the keyboard to see if there indeed was water on the control circuitry.  There was a little bit of water inside the keyboard, but none of it could have caused a short circuit. Just to be sure, I held the hairdryer aimed at that region for few minutes and checked back again. Still it didn't make any difference. Probably it was already dead. Probably water had nothing to do with it in the first place. I had been using the keyboard for more than 5 years, and I got it second hand from Saman. So the keyboard was heavily used. It also had issues with certain key combinations.  Probably its time was up.

But you never know. Maybe it needed just a rest so I disconnected it from the PC and kept it aside to cool down. Today in the morning I checked if it had come back to life but it hadn't. (Well, my ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 board came back to life after letting it cool off for a day, couple of years ago!)

Just to leave no doubts behind, I installed Logitech Gaming Software to see if it could reset something inside the keyboard (these keyboards are so advanced that it could be a resident charge that is playing all these tricks!), if it wasn't a short circuit after all. Nope, no luck there either. Hey, the LCD was fully functional. Open-mouthed smile

If you are wondering if I didn't use the PC after all these events, no, I did use it. I had to use the On-Screen keyboard of Windows 8.1 to type in the text. Of course I didn't type a lot – definitely no blog posts. I was researching about keyboards, in the event that I had to buy a new one, which seems like the only option.

As of the time of writing this post (I wrote it mostly on my Nexus 5 using the Swype keyboard), I have already ordered a new keyboard and you'll be very surprised by what’s coming my way. I will write about it on a later date, using the new keyboard.

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