How to Fix a Dell Keyboard Number Pad That Doesn't Work
By Billy Kirk
When using a Dell keyboard, sometimes a problem may exist that knocks out the use of the number pad. This could be an error that results from old keyboard drivers, or perhaps a simple connection issue. In the case of a Dell laptop keyboard, additional factors may exist that require keyboard disassembly. Nonetheless, you can complete all of these fixes for the Dell keyboard and number pad even if you lack repair and disassembly expertise. All that is required is a Phillips head screwdriver and a plastic bag.
Check your external Dell keyboard connection, if you have one, to the computer tower itself. Make sure the keyboard cable has not become disconnected from the back of the computer. Also, make sure the cable is in the correct port and has not, for example, been accidentally placed into the port for the computer’s mouse. Ports on the back of the Dell for the keyboard and mouse should be color coded with the ends of the plugs on these peripherals, so use the colors as a reference when troubleshooting potential cable-to-port issues.
Consider downloading Dell drivers for your Dell keyboard from the Dell website (see “Resources” below). Double-click on this file once the download is complete to install the drivers. Remember to restart your computer before testing your unresponsive number pad again.
If you have a Dell laptop with an internal keyboard, consider partially removing the keyboard from the laptop’s base in order to potentially diagnose the number pad problem. Flip over the Dell and locate the keyboard-related screws on its bottom side, which depending on the exact Dell model should be marked by small keyboard icons. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove all these.
Place the screws in a small plastic bag for safekeeping, as you will need them when reassembling the keyboard later.
Flip the Dell laptop back over and remove the keyboard shield. The shield is located directly below the monitor and just above the actual keyboard. Remove it by using the end of a flathead screwdriver to pry under the end of the shield and push it up and out gently.
Pull the keyboard partially out to reveal the cable underneath. This keyboard cable runs from the base of the Dell laptop to the keyboard’s bottom. This cable may have come loose from the keyboard cable connector at the base of the computer. If so, plug it back in. Lock the keyboard cable connector in place by pushing it back down in the horizontal position, making it parallel with the base of the laptop and not vertical/perpendicular to the base.
Billy Kirk is an experienced professional writer and editor who has written and published articles of varying topics and varying types including news articles, special features and editorials. He has written extensively for regular online publications as well as blogs. Kirk holds a Bachelor of Arts in media production from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.