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Physical keyboard doesn't work


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Hello, I hope someone can help me.
I wrote to support a few weeks ago, but have not received an answer so far.
I use LineageOS on my Fx(tec) Pro 1 and use the MS Swiftkey app.
A few months ago the physical keyboard failed for the first time. The lighting works, but no key works. After a reboot the keyboard worked again.
After that, the keyboard fell out at ever shorter intervals.
Now, the physical keyboard hasn't worked at all for about 4 weeks. Reboots don't help either. The keyboard lighting works, but no key responds.
Anyone have any advice on what I can try? What can be the cause?

Many thanks for your help

Stefan

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Thanks for the tip.

What exactly do you mean with "clean install"?

I have a lot of apps installed and in use. A new installation costs me several days because I don't use google. I only have root and titanium backup.

I am not a power user but a normal user.

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7 minutes ago, wrc08 said:

I only have root and titanium backup.

I am not a power user but a normal user.

You do realize that the first line disqualifies you from being a "normal" user. 😄

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Please let me explain better what I mean.

When I got the Pro1 about 2 years ago, I read and searched a lot on the internet to set up the Pro1 the way I wanted it. It really took several months. I need root access for several apps and have been using Titanium for a long time when rooting smartphones was very easy. (I'm over 50 years old 🙂) I didn't understand everything I did, I just have the instructions, that I found followed. In the end everything worked the way I wanted and I've been using the Pro1 for a little over 1 year now and I'm totally thrilled. It's just not that great anymore without a physical keyboard. I'm not a software developer and I don't work in IT either, but I use the Pro1 very intensively, especially the physical keyboard.

I can't remember exactly what I did to get the Pro1 set up like this, I just somehow managed to do it. Unfortunately not documented🙁. I now again need several months to start the process all over again. I would like to avoid that, especially since I only have one cell phone.

I'm really thankful for every tip.

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25 minutes ago, wrc08 said:

Please let me explain better what I mean.

When I got the Pro1 about 2 years ago, I read and searched a lot on the internet to set up the Pro1 the way I wanted it. It really took several months. I need root access for several apps and have been using Titanium for a long time when rooting smartphones was very easy. (I'm over 50 years old 🙂) I didn't understand everything I did, I just have the instructions, that I found followed. In the end everything worked the way I wanted and I've been using the Pro1 for a little over 1 year now and I'm totally thrilled. It's just not that great anymore without a physical keyboard. I'm not a software developer and I don't work in IT either, but I use the Pro1 very intensively, especially the physical keyboard.

I can't remember exactly what I did to get the Pro1 set up like this, I just somehow managed to do it. Unfortunately not documented🙁. I now again need several months to start the process all over again. I would like to avoid that, especially since I only have one cell phone.

I'm really thankful for every tip.

I'm sorry for my little bit of humor in the middle of seeking help.  I completely understand, We are much alike (I am 69). I too usually need directions to follow. I think you only need to do a factory reset, which should be somewhere in settings, probably under "System".  This will give you a clean version of Lineage with all your apps and data wiped.  I understand your hesitation, and it may not work,  It's more of a test to see if it is a software problem.  I had my touchscreen completely stop responding to touch.  So, again, I did the logical test of a factory reset.  It didn't help and without a touchscreen, I couldn't even get back in. Frustrating, but it was a necessary trouble shooting test.

You can try contacting support before doing that and see what they say.  Their communication is slow sometimes, but I have rarely had to wait more than two weeks for a reply and most times less.  Others here have reported longer times, but that's my experience.

My Por1 is in London now for repairs.

Good luck.

 

 

Edited by Hook
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No problem. I am grateful for your compassion. I'll try a little more. If I reset the factory settings, then everything is gone and I have to start from the beginning. I really want to avoid that, or rather I need something to get used to the idea.
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4 hours ago, wrc08 said:

If I reset the factory settings, then everything is gone ...

Before wiping everything, I would first try to just uninstall MS Swiftkey, and see if that helps.

I do not know that software from personal experience, but from what I read, it does have functions related to hardware keyboards. Maybe there is some conflict with native keyboard handling in Lineage.

Also, there has been quite some development around the keyboard driver in LineageOS (18.1) during the last few months. While all these changes were of course meant to improve things, regressions for heavily customised set-ups are always possible, I guess. Which release and version of Lineage are you using?

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Thanks for the tip and for thinking along.

I am using Lineage OS 16.0. As I said, once installed and since then it has run perfectly.

I uninstalled SwiftKey and rebooted, but the physical keyboard still doesn't work. Thanks anyway.

Is there any way I can get up to LineageOS 18.1 without having to reinstall all my apps and settings?

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21 minutes ago, wrc08 said:

Is there any way I can get up to LineageOS 18.1

If you haven't updated your LineageOS 16 in two years, chances are you using one of @tdm's unofficial builds. Not sure if there are supported upgrade paths from there. I'm still on (a modded) LOS 16 myself, others might know better if upgrading to 18.1 can be done tranparently in your case.

However, if you never updated, regressions in LOS cannot be the reason for your troubles anyway, so what would be the point of upgrading now?

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If it's up to my wish, then I don't have to update either. As I said, I'm actually very satisfied. I just would like the physical keyboard.

@DieBruine recommended doing a "clean install". Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that without a full reinstall of all apps and settings.

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5 hours ago, wrc08 said:

If it's up to my wish, then I don't have to update either. As I said, I'm actually very satisfied. I just would like the physical keyboard.

@DieBruine recommended doing a "clean install". Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that without a full reinstall of all apps and settings.

This probably won't do anything, but I've had many glitches miraculously repaired by this little procedure.  With SwiftKey still uninstalled, hold the power button.  Ignore the boot menu, keep holding power until the Pro1 turns off, then release. The pPro1 will boot up on it;s own.  This is called a "battery pull reboot."  I'm not sure exactly what's different about it, but it does indeed clear up things that go wonky like a battery pull did with old smartphones that had removable batteries.

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If you got titanium backup, my approach before a wipe would be gradually>

  1. A backup
  2.  One by one uninstall (or disable) any app. Start with those easy to reinstall, and/or recently installed, (and without any hard to restore data).
    Repeat this until it helps or all is gone.
  3. Wipe the phone by a factory reset
  4. Flash back to Stock Android (If your Lineage installation is somehow damaged)

If you send it to service, they are most likely to start at step 4 anyway, unless it is a known bug to them.

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15 hours ago, Hook said:

This probably won't do anything, but I've had many glitches miraculously repaired by this little procedure.  With SwiftKey still uninstalled, hold the power button.  Ignore the boot menu, keep holding power until the Pro1 turns off, then release. The pPro1 will boot up on it;s own.  This is called a "battery pull reboot."  I'm not sure exactly what's different about it, but it does indeed clear up things that go wonky like a battery pull did with old smartphones that had removable batteries.

Thanks for the tip. Tried it. Unfortunately, it did not lead to the desired result either.

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11 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

If you got titanium backup, my approach before a wipe would be gradually>

  1. A backup
  2.  One by one uninstall (or disable) any app. Start with those easy to reinstall, and/or recently installed, (and without any hard to restore data).
    Repeat this until it helps or all is gone.
  3. Wipe the phone by a factory reset
  4. Flash back to Stock Android (If your Lineage installation is somehow damaged)

If you send it to service, they are most likely to start at step 4 anyway, unless it is a known bug to them.

Thanks for the tips and your thoughts. I'll try steps 1 and 2 and report back.

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I just noticed something while trying it:

Under Settings--> System--> Language&Input under Physical Keyboard it says "not connected".

Doesn't that have to be Pro1 or something like that?

Can someone check this on their Pro1, please?

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1 hour ago, wrc08 said:

Under Settings--> System--> Language&Input under Physical Keyboard it says "not connected".

For LOS 16.0, the usual string shown there was "Builtin Keyboard".

I'd say, either the keyboard is indeed physically disconnected, or the system has been re-configured to default to some other hw keyboard. Did you ever use an external USB or Bluetooth keyboard in the past? If yes, what happens if you re-connect that?

However, as your problem appeared kind of gradually, I rather fear that the keyboard is indeed not properly connected to the system board anymore. Maybe the ribbon cable connecting it to the board has loosened with time. There is a quite complete official disassembling guide for the Pro1 (links have been posted here several times). I have never disassembled mine until now, so I cannot judge how easy it is to check this. Others here have more experience.

Edited by claude0001
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Thank you @Benni and @claude0001.

No, I had never plugged in a USB keyboard before.

I know the disassembly guide. I've already looked at that.

I've been thinking about checking the connection. I've wiggled the ribbon cable between the screen and the keyboard before, but that hasn't helped so far.

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32 minutes ago, wrc08 said:

I've wiggled the ribbon cable between the screen and the keyboard before

The ribbon cable that is exposed by the Pro1's mechanism connects just the screen unit to the mainboard. The mainboard is inside the bottom half of the phone which also holds the keyboard. So the connection you are interested in is not visible from outside.

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On 2/13/2022 at 5:28 PM, claude0001 said:

The ribbon cable that is exposed by the Pro1's mechanism connects just the screen unit to the mainboard. The mainboard is inside the bottom half of the phone which also holds the keyboard. So the connection you are interested in is not visible from outside.

OK, thank you for the hint.

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I searched the internet a bit and read:

My planned approach now would be as follows:
1. I make a full backup of the Pro1 with ADB (adb backup -all)
2. I reinstall LineageOS, either the 16 again or the 18, probably doesn't matter
3. I am testing the physical keyboard
4. I restore the full backup using ADB.

My goals are:

1. I can determine if there is a hardware or software failure in the physical keyboard
2. After the test, the phone works as it is now, so everything works, except the physical keyboard

Am I wrong somewhere? Does this work as I think?

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I would suggest that you between your 1 and 2 install the stock Android, to get it as close to factory condition as possible, and IF the keyboard works there, install Lineage.
If not it must be a hardware issue.

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Did you ever try Eske's suggestion to uninstall apps one at a time  testing the keyboard after each uninstall?  If not, I would insert that after step 1 in your list as, if there is a software culprit and you find it, you can save the reflashing  and restoring the bad app. 

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Concerning:

15 hours ago, wrc08 said:

2. I reinstall LineageOS, either the 16 again or the 18, probably doesn't matter

As you mentioned earlier, your present system is rooted.

It might thus be of interest to you that LineageOS 16.0 was the last major release with built-in root management ("AddonSU").

Starting from 17.1 you have to use Magisk for rooting, which I am sure will work, but may require to do differently whatever you are using your root access for.

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