When I press e, i, o, q, r, u or w (all in the QWERTY row of the keyboard), the output includes ][ PgUp and another nearby character -- all from the QWERTY row. So I get this output for these characters:
e --> eq][PgUp
i --> io][PgUp
o --> our][PgUp
q --> qi][
r --> rw][PgUp
u --> ur][PgUp
w --> we][PgUp
I only know about the PgUp character from a Passmark keyboard test.
When I press Q, the machine also does a shutdown, and Passmark is not able to capture its output.
I no longer have the the original damaged keyboard to test if any of those keystrokes work right.
It is interesting that an external USB keyboard works flawlessly. I have some information that USB keyboards don't use the BIOS keyboard controller.
Someone may have better information, but I'm thinking that the problem is in the BIOS/keyboard controller. I'm hoping that simply reflashing the BIOS would straighten it out. But eMachines has never published a BIOS update for this laptop, and tech support has so far refused to email me a copy of the original BIOS. They want me to send it in for service instead of first supporting this simple potential cure.
The boot screen says AMIBIOS (C) 2003, BIOS Date: 10/02/03 17:04:48 Ver: 08.00.09
The BIOS setup screen shows American Megatrends, Inc. v02.36, BIOS/KBC ver. a6700f00/3107
But the newly downloaded AMI Motherboard Identification Utility v1.4 reports that this is not an AMI BIOS but a NEC BIOS!
The same utility reports that the motherboard is an Arima W720P4. If Arima provides BIOS support, they don't seem to do so for end-users. Notebook support on their web site at arima.com.tw requires an account login.
I was not able to find any BIOS support through NEC other than for NEC computers.
eSupport's utility offers this info:
BIOS Type: AMI
BIOS Date: October 2nd 2003
BIOS ID: 63-0100-000002-00101111-100203-MONTARA-a6700f00
BIOS OEM: BIOS Date: 10/02/03 17:04:48 Ver: 08.00.09 - NOTE BIOS Version /a6700f00
(I note that the 3rd string of the BIOS ID does not conform to the 6-digit format which Wim's BIOS says is used by an AMI BIOS.)
1) What do you think of my diagnosis -- that the keyboard problem is due to the BIOS?
2) What can I do next?