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  1. #1
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    cowbrain's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2009
    Location
    London UK
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    186
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR, 512GB, OSX 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    11
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    Hello all

    Pleased to see the forum is still up and running - I thought it was going to close?

    This MBP has been brilliant. It's an A1278, i7 2.9ghz, 16GB RAM, 512SSD. I've had it since new (late 2014, but it's a mid 2012 model) - but lately I'm getting the erratic trackpad issue. The cursor will be unresponsive, or dart about and even open pages and folders by itself.

    The battery was old (1275 cycles), I thought it may be swollen and causing the issue, so I replaced it - but no change in behaviour.
    I did a SMC reset, PRAM and NVRAM, but no change. I then verified and repaired permissions (I'm on 10.11.6 El Capitan, so I had to do it through Terminal) and the trackpad worked very well for a day. But, now the issue is back. It's different, because it comes and goes, instead of being there the whole time, but it's still not cured.

    I think my next course will be to remove and clean the trackpad - and then possibly replace the trackpad and trackpad cable?

    Am I wasting my time? Is this a sign that the MBP is on the way out? Or can anyone suggest any other avenues I should look into?
    I'm reluctant to upgrade to the latest OSX, as some of my software will not work on it.

    Thanks in advance.
    Best wishes, CB
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR(Crucial), 512GB SSD (Crucial M550) OSX 10.11.6
    iPhone SE

  2. #2
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    58,090
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Rep Power
    53
    Upgrading to a newer version of macOS will probably not help since a misbehaving trackpad is a hardware problem. If your new battery is not swollen and the trackpad is still acting up, then it might be a good idea to clean it first before removing it. You can check the removal procedure and changing of the cable at iFixit: The Free Repair Manual if necessary.

    As far as worrying about which software will work with a newer version of macOS, you can verify that by going to the Roaring Apps site and looking up your apps to determine compatibility with the latest versions of macOS.

    We recommend updating to the latest version of macOS that you can run. Falling too far behind with macOS will eventually leave you in a situation where you can't catch up even if you want to.

  3. #3
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    cowbrain's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2009
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    186
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR, 512GB, OSX 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    11
    Thanks, chscag. That's good advice.

    I'd never heard of the Roaring Apps site. I must get on there and look into it. I'm normally keen on the latest OSX, but my ancient version of Final Cut (Express) is still playing happily with El Capitan and I didn't want to splash 400 on the latest Final Cut - although I know I will have to, eventually. Thanks for the tip, though.

    Yes, cleaning the trackpad is next. The old battery was slightly swollen and I wondered if it has damaged the trackpad cable, which is a complex beast of a cable. If cleaning doesn't work, I'll go for replacing the cable, next.
    The new battery is behaving well. I didn't go for the Apple battery, but I also avoided the cheap Chinese imports and got one from the mid range - around 60.

    Thanks again for your reply. I'll report back as I proceed.

    Best wishes, CB
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR(Crucial), 512GB SSD (Crucial M550) OSX 10.11.6
    iPhone SE

  4. #4
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    cowbrain's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2009
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    186
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR, 512GB, OSX 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    11
    Just to update:

    I have done nothing! But the trackpad has settled down and is behaving well, again.
    Amongst the things I did, I think that the replacement battery may be the thing that did the trick. the old one was swollen and must have been putting pressure on the trackpad cable. I'm not sure why things didn't change immediately - maybe it took a day or two for the cable to settle back into it's correct position?

    That is a wild guess, of course - but after four days of perfect behaviour (and heavy use), I'm reluctant to take it all apart to 'fix' a problem which has disappeared.
    It goes without saying that the problem may re-appear and if so, I will take the next steps and report back.

    Thanks to all for the help.
    And I'm delighted that this site is still up and running.
    Best wishes, CB
    MBP 2.9GHz i7, 16GB DDR(Crucial), 512GB SSD (Crucial M550) OSX 10.11.6
    iPhone SE

  5. #5
    Macbook Pro trackpad misbehaving
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    11,627
    Rep Power
    18
    I have done nothing! But the trackpad has settled down and is behaving well, again.
    Amongst the things I did, I think that the replacement battery may be the thing that did the trick. the old one was swollen and must have been putting pressure on the trackpad cable. I'm not sure why things didn't change immediately - maybe it took a day or two for the cable to settle back into it's correct position?

    That is a wild guess, of course - but after four days of perfect behaviour (and heavy use), I'm reluctant to take it all apart to 'fix' a problem which has disappeared.
    It goes without saying that the problem may re-appear and if so, I will take the next steps and report back.

    Good news, and your summation makes very valid sence, and IMHO, I would leave things as they are with the OS version you are using. Everything works right!!!

    If the trackpad goes goofy again, I would then try Booting up in Safe Boot Mode just in case it might be some third party software goofing things up. But it sounds like you found and fixed the problem. Well done!!!


    - Patrick
    ======

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