MS Ergonomic Keyboard Fix
Fix for the sticky, stiff, noisy spacebar problems with Microsoft's natural ergonomic keyboard 4000
Here is a solution for the problems most of us have experienced for many years with the spacebar of this favorite keyboard. I recently bought a new ergokeyboard despite these problems, replacing a Logitech Wave that was causing wrist pain. The spacebar of the ergokeyboard is hard to press evenly and smoothly, and it makes annoying clicking noises, standing out among all other very smooth and quiet keys. Leaving the keyboard as it comes out of the box is not an option.
I opened up the new keyboard by removing the ALT, B and N keys and then the spacebar, using a pointy knife with a stiff blade and popping them up from underneath. The spacebar can be removed from the bottom in the center. I used an old ergonomic keyboard to analyse what was causing the problem and to test out solutions - and they work!!
Remove the spacebar with a thin stiff blade. It is helpful to remove both alt keys next to the spacebar also, as well as the b and n keys. They all easily pop up by prying underneath without damaging other parts of the keyboard.
Get a 6 mm (1/4") wide rubber band and cut two pieces of about 10 mm (3/8") long. Glue these two small pieces of rubber band with super glue onto the two outer hollow posts or "stoppers" on the keyboard. This is what causes MOST of the noisy tapping!! See next image.
(Bogdan Bujdea found the rubber band solution too complicated and used nerf foam. He also posted a nice video with sounds before and after, so I suggest you have a look at his solution too.)
A solution suggested by others: add padding at the top edges. I used double-sided 3M foam tape of about 2 mm (1/16") thick, but any padding of about that size should work. Remove only one side of the protective strip to glue it down.
Cut a 2 x 5 cm (25/32" x 2") piece of paper out of a 5 x 5 cm (2" x 2") sticky note and roll it up in a tiny roll. I wrapped it around a toothpick (and then remove the toothpick). Make a straight line and cut it straight to get the right length for the roll. This paper has the right thickness/stiffness but other paper should work too.
Place this tiny roll in the center stud of the spacebar. It will stick out about 2 mm (1/16") so the spacebar better activates the contact inside at the bottom of the post. Now, put the spacebar back in place. See next.
Keep the bar tilted forward and make sure that the two "arms" of the "coathanger" (as Microsoft seems to call it) are directed backwards and rest in front of the L-shaped plastic brackets. The arms will slide underneath the brackets when you click the spacebar back in place, but first make sure that the stud with the roll of paper rests in the receiving post. Press the spacebar down until it clicks in place.
Replace the other keys. Pay attention to the N-key which has a small coathanger as well. Its arms need to slide under their plastic brackets too.
THAT'S IT! Type away. I have been using it for two years now, without any complaints whatsoever.
You'll be surprised!!