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Thread: Docking station keyboard stopped working unexpectedly

  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    Question Docking station keyboard stopped working unexpectedly

    Hello all,

    I have the following issue I need some assistance with:

    All of the sudden today the docking keyboard stopped working: No matter what key I press the keyboard is not responsive.

    I tried restarting the tablet with the docking station but to no avail -- However, a curious thing was that the first time I did that the screen was garbled ?!? However, that happened only the first couple of times I restarted it...

    Funny thing is that when I dock the tablet the icon in the status bar recognizes the dock being inserted. Also, when tablet is docked and I charge the docking station the icon in the status bar changes to reflect that.

    However, inserting an USB memory stick into the docking station is not recognized. The microSD in the tablet works fine.

    SW versions:

    Vanilla (not rooted, not anything) Asus firmware, build nr HTK75.WW-epad-8.6.619-20111101.
    MobileDock version (still recognized): EP101-0213




    Any help in troubleshooting this ?

    TIA for any assistance / help / pointers


    P.S. Forgot to mention: This happened out of the sudden. The only thing I did earlier in the day to the tablet is that I used (maybe a tad too much?) alcohool on the (undocked) tablet to clean the finger / palm stains on the screen....

  2. #2
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    I would try 2 things:

    Undock and inspect the connectors for damage between the tablet and the dock. If no damage, re-dock and see if it works.

    If damaged, try to fix the damage or send for repair.

    Also, try a hard reset:

    Shut down the TF, remove charger cable if connected. Hold the VOL- and POWER for around 10-12 seconds until some text appears in the top left corner. Release and wait. The next screen will show two icons (left one has a BOX and says WIPE DATA, right icon says ANDROID and has the robot and should have a green glow fading in and out to show it is selected). Wait about 10 seconds and it will say Cold Booting Linux and then will boot into Android. No data will be lost.

    Also, welcome to the forum!


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  3. #3
    Soundwave
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    First, thanks for being willing to help & for the welcome.

    The connectors are fine on both sides: no sign of damage, brushed them clean.

    Cold started the tablet per instructions above (thanks). Still same result: Dock recognized by the tablet (icon changes in the status bar, MobileDock version read correctly and reflected in the status).

    Oh, one other thing I should have mentioned above (even if obvious): The touchpad is not working either. Neither the "Caps Lock" button on the dock (i.e. the LED to the left of it not turning on/off) or any of the "system" buttons

    Any other suggestions ?

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Bumblebee
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    RMA it. I think I know what's wrong.

  5. #5
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    It sounds like the dock is defective. There is a ribbon cable for the keyboard that could have come disconnected. I would return to the retailer if you are still within the window. If not, RMA to ASUS would be my 2nd piece of advice.

    If you want, you can try to crack open the dock and fix it yourself, but it may void the warranty, and may not fix the issue.


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  6. #6
    Bumblebee
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    Do not open it. Without knowing what to do, you could permanently damage the casing.

    This sounds more than just a problem with the keyboard ribbon. He said neither the trackpad nor the sdcard slot is working either. Why is this important? Because both of these run in a separate connection than the keyboard ribbon. And yet the TF recognizes the keyboard dock. This means that the chip controller is fried. This would explain why only the battery charging and discharging works. And since the battery still works as well as the dock is recognized by the TF, this tells us there's nothing wrong with the connection between the TF and the dock. Nothing he can do. If he RMAs it, they will most likely replace the main board.
    Last edited by goodintentions; 12-03-2011 at 01:25 PM.
    Frederuco likes this.

  7. #7
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodintentions View Post
    Do not open it. Without knowing what to do, you could permanently damage the casing.

    This sounds more than just a problem with the keyboard ribbon. He said neither the trackpad nor the sdcard slot is working either. Why is this important? Because both of these run in a separate connection than the keyboard ribbon. And yet the TF recognizes the keyboard dock. This means that the chip controller is fried. This would explain why only the battery charging and discharging works. And since the battery still works as well as the dock is recognized by the TF, this tells us there's nothing wrong with the connection between the TF and the dock. Nothing he can do. If he RMAs it, they will most likely replace the main board.
    Thanks for chiming in, I was hoping our dock expert would hop in on this one.


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  8. #8
    Soundwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodintentions View Post
    Do not open it. Without knowing what to do, you could permanently damage the casing.

    This sounds more than just a problem with the keyboard ribbon. He said neither the trackpad nor the sdcard slot is working either. Why is this important? Because both of these run in a separate connection than the keyboard ribbon. And yet the TF recognizes the keyboard dock. This means that the chip controller is fried. This would explain why only the battery charging and discharging works. And since the battery still works as well as the dock is recognized by the TF, this tells us there's nothing wrong with the connection between the TF and the dock. Nothing he can do. If he RMAs it, they will most likely replace the main board.
    Thanks a lot for the insight. Relieved to know there's nothing wrong with the tablet itself -- I got pretty scared when the video on the tablet got garbled first two times when I tried to boot the tablet with the docking on.

    I'll contact Asus and see what they can do -- "problem" is that I bought my TF101G via Web from another EU country then the one I live in (about 3 months ago) hope they will honor the product warranty....

    One last question: Have you seen this happening ? Is there anything I can do to prevent it / anything particular that causes it ? Asking just in order to be aware if there is anything I can / should do wrt handling it...

    Thanks again for the insight,

    Florian

  9. #9
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    There have been some folks who their keyboard stopped working and it was a tablet issue, but usually it is the dock.

    As far as warranty, ASUS has a worldwide warranty on most of their products regardless where it is purchased. To my knowledge all RMA's from anywhere in the EU go to the Czech service center.

    It is pretty rare, I treat my TF pretty well, but it has had some issues. Not sure why this happened, perphaps goodintentions has some insight, but it could be a loose cable inside the dock, bad pc board, or something else entirely.

    Keep us posted on your RMA experience.


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  10. #10
    Bumblebee
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    No special insight here. From what I've seen in a couple dozen docks (yes, I've worked with that many), the dock inside is very well solidly built. But like everything else in life, there's bound to be a few black sheeps in the lot.

    From what you've described, it really does sound to me like it's the dock that's the problem. There are 2 connections between the TF and the dock. One's for data and the other's the power line. The dock battery has its own board and chipset, and it is connected directly to a line with one end going to the proprietary power connector and the other going to the TF. So, even if I set the dock main board on fire, it would still not interfere with the power line. This is why I said your symptoms sound like a problem with the dock main board chipset. This is why neither of your USB or your sdcard slot works. If the chip in the main board is fried, info can't go through from the usb and the sdcard slot. Would also explain why your keyboard and trackpad are all out.

    The kicker is this. You say your TF still recognizes the dock when the TF is plugged in. This tells me there's nothing wrong with the info line. And since the battery is acting fine, there's nothing wrong with the power line either.

    Can you tell me what your dock serial number is? Was your dock sent in for asus to change the chip for power saving mode?

    I want to tell you a story. About 5-7 years ago, IBM figured out why their chips were going bad at a faster rate than normally expected. After much investigation, they finally figured out something. You see, in all electronic manufacturing facilities, everyone is required to wear gloves. One of the most harmful things to microchips are the oil from your hands. At the time, IBM got the parts from Malaysia. What they discovered was that the workers there found it more convenient to use their thumbs to push in the chips before soldering them in. And because of the extreme humid climate down there, people had more oil on their hands. Thus, those chips were corroding almost immediately after they were assembled.

    The point is most of our electronic parts are manufactured in east and southeast asia. And as such, quality control is always a problem.

 

 
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