Note that this is generally how laptop keyboards work, but there will be exceptions. The best way to research what your laptop requires is to search for a keyboard swap of your unit (or a similar unit) on YouTube. Google's video site has a ton of explanatory videos that show you the process first hand. IFixit.com is also be a good source for this type of maintenance. After a little research, you can decide whether a keyboard swap is something you're up for.
If you're wondering where you buy a replacement keyboard, one word: eBay.
You do not need someone to re-install your operating system for you. Trust me on this one. And that goes doubly so if you're running Windows 8.1, which has tools for re-installation built right in. If you're planning on upgrading to Windows 10, the process will supposedly be even easier in the future.
The basic thing you need to know about doing a fresh install of Windows is that first you need to backup your personal files on an external hard drive. Then throw in your system discs and start the fresh install process. You will also need to re-install extra software such as Microsoft Office or accounting programs like Quicken. Depending on how you purchased that software, you will either download it from the manufacturer's website or install it from discs after Windows is up and running again.
Just make sure you have your product keys on hand when it's time to re-install. If you don't have those physically available, run the superb Belarc Advisor and jot down the key information found in the "Manage all your software licenses" portion of the results page before you reinstall Windows.
Here's our latest tutorial on how to re-install Windows whether you're running Windows 8 and 8.1, or Windows 7 and older.
PC repairs can be stressful to the uninitiated, but once you've successfully conquered even one of these tasks you'll be ready to take on the other two.
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