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There are two common causes of a malfunctioning keyboard. Mechanical failure and software issues can cause mechanical failure. If you have a bad keyboard, it's best to call a technician to come out and look at it. If the keys are completely broken or missing, it may be time to buy a new keyboard. A good rule of thumb is to replace a keyboard every three to five years. The keys on the keyboard are the most important part of the keyboard and help you type on your computer.