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Old 06-28-2007, 07:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bizarre MSFT Ergo 4000 Problems

So I just got back from a really long trip and decided to see if my awesome and older Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard still works (wired version) on my newfangled laptop. I'm running Vista w/ Pentium Dual Core mobile and 1 gig of RAM, and ample hard drive space (100+ gigs free easy). Its a Gateway laptop, if that helps (?)

Long story short, it doesn't. I first tried the regular CD that came with it - no luck. I installed the new supposedly vista-compatible Intellipoint software from (~v6), still no luck. I plug it in, Windows says its pluggied in and working fine, drivers are updated etc, but still no worky.

Now herer's the "bizarre" part: it was working more or less fine when I left. Three of the keys stopped functioning, but that was it. Everything else worked, IIRC. I haven't used it since then; its been packed away in its original box in a corner near a wall inside a closet somewhere. The FLOCK indicator light turns on when i plug it in, but nothing works, EXCEPT for the little scroll bar thingy in the middle. It launches Microsoft Outlook (?!?!??!) when I use it, but only if i push it downwards Upwards, no discernable effect.

No discernable effect for anything else, either (keys or special buttons etc). None of the indicator lights are modified by their relevant keys - CAPSLOCK, FLOCK, etc. Yes, even though FLOCK light does turn on once I plug it in.

Yep. So I really do love this thing. Best keyboard evar. I jsut wish it would work again.
Anyone help me?

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Old 06-28-2007, 07:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre MSFT Ergo 4000 Problems

Further investigation: The nomber keys along the top row randomly create a left parentheses ")" and sometimes fire Outlook up. Neither happens consistently. Sometimes one will happen, sometimes the other. Sometimes neither.

Edit: Yeah, the scrollbar-down stopped starting outlook consistently. Now, outlook is just firing up randomly when I hit some keys. Morefoten than not though, nothing happens.

Edit Edit: More further investigation: Yep, definitely a hardware issue. Similar thing on another computer in the house running XP. of course, IE launched instead of Outlook, but same deal. a few other keys randomly fired in as well - the letters j and l, for example

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Old 06-28-2007, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre MSFT Ergo 4000 Problems

More updates inthe saga:

I popped the case and had a peek inside... some brown rust-looking stains around on some parts of the layers of plastic circuit board..

I heard from a friend that rubbing alcohol/methanol works well for cealing some of that **** up, so i tried it - lo and behold, 90% of the keys started working again!

Of course some of the didnt >_< Looked around a bit more and found that part of the plastic circuitry were actually CORRODING... not from water though! As i started wiping more and more stuff up, the cotton q-tips started turning BLACK. There was even this patch in the upper left that was really ****ed up... i wiped it down and the whole patch of circuit disappeared onto the qtip! :freak: ANd of course it turned black. And what is the color of the shell? Black...

Im thinking theres some funky error in the manufacturing process of these things. I should not be wiping away some parts of a circuit (but not others) with nail polish remover!
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre MSFT Ergo 4000 Problems

I hope it doesn't happen to mine I love this keyboard.
Intel Q6600
GeForce 8800 GT
Gigabyte p35-ds3r
2 gig Crucial
500 gig hdd
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre MSFT Ergo 4000 Problems

same i hope that doesnt happen to mine

you might have a short in your wire somewhere that might be causing it
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