Broken Keyboard, Dead Mobo To Refurbished and now random restarts and freezing/crashing

Thread Starter

The Floating Brain

Joined Mar 7, 2018
I have been having trouble with my laptop ever since I did not disconnect the battery and tried to unplug a ribbon cable, and seemed to have caused a short (I saw a spark and magic smoke, but dont really know what happened). After this event the laptop seemed okay except a few keys and the trackpad were not working (though RGB effects that responded to key presses still worked on all keys, there seems to be a dedicated RGB chip inside the machine), however, a couple of months later, the laptop would start to fail to post, after a few restarts it would work, I did not diagnose the problem in time and eventually it stopped working at all. I chose to have the motherboard replaced by geeksquad (I have removed the motherboard before, and I think I could do this myself, but I got a significant discount) with a "refurbished" motherboard.

Since then it has been randomly restarting and freezing, Fedora Linux is less stable than Windows 11. I also noticed sometimes with an external keyboard on Fedora, the computer will start typing random characters. I am somewhat wondering if this problem is triggered by faulty key presses having something to do with the broken keyboard. Another possibility is that there is some issue with triggered by sleep functions, as I have left the computer running alone for a while and these problems sometimes happen (though it happens when I turn off suspend, I wonder if it could be triggered by some sort of hardware signal, even if it is just trying to dim the screen).

I wanted to ask a number of things, first:
- A: I reinserted my SSD's after the repair, could it be a software issue, if I reinstall my OS's do you think it might solve the problem? I have suboptimal backup solutions right now so I dont want to try this unless I have too.
NOTE: I did notice an oddity, the boot menu seems to have lost some options (I actually have 3 operating systems installed on this device, one is missing). When I tell it to boot windows, it goes to the grub2 prompt that installed with Fedora. I seem to only be able to launch Windows Boot Manager from there. Secure boot is enabled.
If not:
- B: How likely do you think that a: the mobo dying initially or b: the random restarts are caused by a problem with the broken keyboard/trackpad effecting the mobo?
If likely: Here are some pictures I found of the palm rest from ebay (credit to PartsEShop, product)

I have found some keyboards without the palm rest. I have noticed on my own that the keyboard seems to be locked in with a plat that is sealed with these sort of melted plastic nubs (maybe re-melt with a soldering iron?). There seem to be a few chips on here as well, and I would not want to mess up any grounding:
- C.0: do you think it may be practical to replace just the keyboard and track pad within the palm-rest?
- C.1: Do you think it would be practice to do any circuit level repair on this part at all?
- C.2: With regard to C.1, what tools might I need for this? Any tips/guidance?
If unlikely:
- D.0: The main reason I post here is I have been considering learning board-level repair for a while, I have a couple of machines I can practice on, would anyone here have some tips on what too look for?
- D.1: How much practice would you suggest I get before attempting this repair/diagnostic on my primary machine?
- D.2: What additional tools might I need to get started? I have a soldering iron, and solder remover, and a workshop with other tools, as well as some general circuit stuff (for projects with robotics, micro-controllers, etc). I also have a sort of overhead camera and "snake" usb camera. I was thinking flux, flux pad, maybe a rosin pen?

Lastley E: I am thinking I should try not to use it too much, risking further damage, do you think this is nessisary at this time?

Any other diagnostic tips would be useful.

Thank you
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