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  1. #1
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    Hoping somebody might be able to help me troubleshoot a very strange issue Iím having with my MacBook Pro 15 Touch Bar.

    About a year ago, I stupidly spilled a glass of red wine on the left hand side of the keyboard. I immediately shut it down, and left it a couple of days to dry out. I turned it back on, and it worked fine, although some keys wouldnít respond.

    After a couple of weeks, it started working perfectly again, and has been fine ever since until a week or so ago, when the keyboard stopped working completely. Of course, I have no idea whether or not this is related to the initial wine spillage over a year ago, but regardless, I canít take it in for a warranty repair at the Apple store under the extended keyboard repair program as it would be classed as liquid damaged.

    The weird thing is, the boot key combos work fine. For example, apple key plus r on startup enters recovery mode, holding the D key launches diagnostics, holding the alt key loads the boot loader etc. None of these keys work once the OS loads: Iíve also tried booting into windows and the keys donít work there either, which would suggest a hardware problem. But the fact that the keys work for the boot combos would seem to disprove that.

    I consider myself pretty competent at repairing Macs: I used to repair loads of them when I was a teenager to make a bit of extra money, and have easily swapped logic boards, screens etc on mid-late 2000s models, but looking at the repair videos for my model, it appears that the keyboard is basically impossible to separate from the top case itself. Iím thinking of taking it apart tomorrow just to clean the connectors and check to see if anything is obviously amiss, but does anyone have any ideas as to what it could be? Iím reluctant to buy a whole new top case assembly unless Iím 100% sure itís going to fix the issue.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Launch your Keyboard Viewer.app and see what key presses show a response. That may give you an answer as to why only some seem to work.

    It sounds like only some are dead and very typical after any sort of liquid spill and yes, it can take a long time to cause any problems.

    Bummer, as they say.

    PS: Welcome to mac-forums and good luck with your keyboard exploration.



    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Launch your Keyboard Viewer.app and see what key presses show a response. That may give you an answer as to why only some seem to work.

    It sounds like only some are dead and very typical after any sort of liquid spill and yes, it can take a long time to cause any problems.

    Bummer, as they say.

    PS: Welcome to mac-forums and good luck with your keyboard exploration.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Thanks for the welcome. It is not the case that "only some seem to work". They all work before the OS loads (or any key which is part of a boot combo) and yet none of them at all work when the OS loads. In keyboard viewer, none show a response.

    As an example, I can enter recovery mode by pressing CMD and R. Therefore, both those keys work. However, when the OS loads, neither of those keys work at all. Strange, right?

  4. #4
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Strange, right?

    Right. Quite odd.

    Have you tried booting up using Safe Boot Mode???
    Press and hold shift key when you hear the boot chime, if your MBpro has the capability.

    Or maybe try holding down the D key at startup to start Apple Diagnostics and see if it shows any goofups.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 03-23-2019 at 08:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Right. Quite odd.

    Have you tried booting up using Safe Boot Mode???
    Press and hold shift key when you hear the boot chime, if your MBpro has the capability.

    Or maybe try holding down the D key at startup to start Apple Diagnostics and see if it shows any goofups.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Tried both: diagnostics passes with no issues, and in safe mode the keyboard still doesn't work, just the same as when I boot into normal OSX or Windows. The backlight on the keyboard works fine. I'm thinking maybe it's an issue with the keyboard controller, but I've no idea where that is when I take it apart.

  6. #6
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Tried both: diagnostics passes with no issues, and in safe mode the keyboard still doesn't work, just the same as when I boot into normal OSX or Windows.

    And I assume you have also tried the SMC and VRAM/PRAM resets. That should be all the software fixes you can try I think unless the Apple store types have something special that they caould use.


    - Patrick
    ======

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    And I assume you have also tried the SMC and VRAM/PRAM resets. That should be all the software fixes you can try I think unless the Apple store types have something special that they caould use.


    - Patrick
    ======
    I have indeed tried both of those. Thanks for the help anyway!

  8. #8
    So, I got to work today taking it apart (surprisingly easy when you watch the iFixit videos). From what I can see, there is no evidence of any water damage to either the connectors or logic board, so any problem I assume must be under the black plastic cover of the keyboard. I'm starting to think that this issue may not be anything to do with the wine damage from ages ago.

    My question is: does anyone know what the water sensors are supposed to look like when activated? I know that on the older Macs they changed from white to pink, and from what I can see, all of my sensors are white, which would indicate that very little, if any, wine, entered the Mac at all. There are lots of tiny dots on the bottom of the keyboard, but they are simply a standard metal color and don’t appear to be water sensors at all. Indeed, are there any water sensors on the bottom of the keyboard at all? The ones on the casing and logic board appear to be the standard ones I’m used to seeing, and they’re all white.

    I put the laptop back together and nothing has changed. If someone could look at the pictures below to give me an idea in terms of if they can see any damage / activated water sensors, that would be great. Thanks.








    Last edited by MacbookMexico; 03-31-2019 at 03:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Apple has a tendency to use water damage indicators that look white when not tripped. They can vary in color from pink to dark blue if water or heavy amounts of moisture touches them. Water sensors will usually look like a white piece of paper, sometimes they can also have a waxy shine to them if they are in areas where they are open to the environments(charging port of an iPhone). Usually, they are found at the center of the keyboard, diagonally across the keyboard, by the trackpad, power port, and underneath the upper chassis. It's hard to tell from the phots, but I don't think I see anything that is tripped. Some say Apple also uses UV sensors, but I don't know if that is true for the new MBP w/TB.

    However, just because the indicators are not tripped does not mean there is no liquid damage.
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by iggibar View Post
    Apple has a tendency to use water damage indicators that look white when not tripped. They can vary in color from pink to dark blue if water or heavy amounts of moisture touches them. Water sensors will usually look like a white piece of paper, sometimes they can also have a waxy shine to them if they are in areas where they are open to the environments(charging port of an iPhone). Usually, they are found at the center of the keyboard, diagonally across the keyboard, by the trackpad, power port, and underneath the upper chassis. It's hard to tell from the phots, but I don't think I see anything that is tripped. Some say Apple also uses UV sensors, but I don't know if that is true for the new MBP w/TB.

    However, just because the indicators are not tripped does not mean there is no liquid damage.
    Thanks. Just to give a final update on this, I put it all back together and made a Genius Bar appointment under the apple keyboard replacement program. They agreed there was no evidence of liquid damage and replaced the whole top case assembly, including keyboard and battery, free of charge. Very happy with that result.

  11. #11
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Excellent. Good for you.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  12. #12
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    pm-r's Avatar
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    +1!!! Nice.

    Which MacBook Pro 15 Touch Bar and what year model was it???

    Did you have any AppleCare coverage??



    - Patrick
    ======

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    +1!!! Nice.

    Which MacBook Pro 15 Touch Bar and what year model was it???

    Did you have any AppleCare coverage??



    - Patrick
    ======
    Thanks! It was a late 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with Touch Bar. No AppleCare coverage.

  14. #14
    Keyboard not responding at all, but boot key combos working
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacbookMexico View Post
    Thanks! It was a late 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with Touch Bar. No AppleCare coverage.

    Double Nice, and kudos to Apple!!!

    A neighbour friend now has a dead late 2013 MBPro Retina with black screen after it getting soaked in her backpack after her friend stuck her water bottele in next to it on their recent trip back from Hawaii. A classic no-no!!!

    No Apple Genius Bar anywhere close (or plus expensive ferry trip and possible overnight accommodation) and probably much too old and likely vivid pink water tell-tells.

    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 04-08-2019 at 03:21 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Double Nice, and kudos to Apple!!!

    A neighbour friend now has a dead late 2013 MBPro Retina with black screen after it getting soaked in her backpack after her friend stuck her water bottele in next to it on their recent trip back from Hawaii. A classic no-no!!!

    No Apple Genius Bar anywhere close (or plus expensive ferry trip and possible overnight accommodation) and probably much too old and likely vivid pink water tell-tells.

    - Patrick
    ======
    Indeed: mine was nowhere near completely soaked: I'd estimate about 10ml of wine got onto the keyboard, which was probably why no sensors were tripped. With that one it may well be worth taking it apart and cleaning everything with alcohol and a soft brush: I used to have decent success doing that with water damaged machines although by no means did it work every time. As you say, there's no way apple will service it without a substantial fee, so if they're remotely handy with a screwdriver, it would be a good option.

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