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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Solution for keyboard issues - non working keys


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grnvlmike

 
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Member Since: Jan 14, 2010
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I was recently frustrated by a keyboard issue that destined my macbook pro to the ever popular apple tecs.

The problem was that my function keys F1 through F9 were not functioning at all. No, it was not the stupid toggle under the system preferences.. I mean NO RESPONSE from them at all.. even in windows bootcamp, so I knew it was a hardware issue. Apple support kept saying it was a software issue and were stubborn about the problem. They also kept referring me to the "use funtion keys as regular keys" in keyboard preferences.. NO!

Anyway, after about a week of researching, I saw in a couple of obscure places about the ribbon cable under the battery. so, i unpeeled the little see though plastic covering and gently unplugged both ribbon cables and cleaned with a q-tip. I plugged them back in... all while the computer was on so I could see if anything happened.. Well, the keys came back on, so did the trackpad but the F keys still didnt work. I was getting frustrated even more... then I decided to reboot... YAY!!! I now have all F keys!!

Seems to be an issue with either the connections or the ribbon cables not making good contact with the pins. if anyone has any keyboard issues, keys not working etc... TRY THIS FIRST! it is fairly simple and quick, but dont forget to reboot after you reinstall the ribbons.

Hope this helps at least one poor, frustrated person!!!!!
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skykingturbo

 
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Thanks for posting your problem and solution.

Recently my nearly 2-year old MBP has developed a keyboard problem in which the bottom row of letter keys (z-x-c-v-b-n-m) are not responding when struck. They seem to work fine at startup, but drop out after the computer has been on for a while. I'll try your fix and see if that resolves my problem as well.
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skykingturbo

 
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The problem described above became problematic enough that I decided to talk to a tech at the Apple store. It was going to cost minimum $100 plus parts. I thought what the heck, and decided to try the solution suggested y grvlmike (above).

I very simply removed the battery, which revealed the translucent plastic cover over the ribbon connectors. I gently pulled the widest ribbon cable out of it's socket, gently cleaned it with alcohol, then re-inserted the cable into position and replaced the translucent plastic protector.

Result: SUCCESS!! All keys functioning properly now.
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grnvlmike

 
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Glad you had success!! This seems to be a common issue and an easy fix... My work is done!! Lol
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Btrthnezr3

 
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I'm glad you guys were able to resolve your issue...next time someone does it...perhaps they can take pictures so that if someone else has this problem, we can have a visual explanation of repair?

Just a thought--

Awesome job you guys!
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skykingturbo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skykingturbo View Post
The problem described above became problematic enough that I decided to talk to a tech at the Apple store. It was going to cost minimum $100 plus parts. I thought what the heck, and decided to try the solution suggested y grvlmike (above).

I very simply removed the battery, which revealed the translucent plastic cover over the ribbon connectors. I gently pulled the widest ribbon cable out of it's socket, gently cleaned it with alcohol, then re-inserted the cable into position and replaced the translucent plastic protector.

Result: SUCCESS!! All keys functioning properly now.
Drats! My success was short-lived.

Ended up taking it to the Apple store for analysis, and they estimated it would be about $150 to replace the keyboard. Unfortunately, they determined that replacing the keyboard didn't work either. They said they would need to send it away for repair with an estimate of over $600. I declined.

This was my first mac, and, over the next 18 months, subsequently bought four more (imac, macair, macbooks). Despite being a portable, this computer is rarely moved. I expected higher quality than I've experienced with this MBPro.
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