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  1. #1
    Unhappy Keyboard and TrackPad not working, replaced many parts - same problem! Losing hope, please help.
    Hi All,

    I am a switcher by means of a project... So some history first:

    I inherited my first Mac; a Macbook Air 4GB RAM. Mid-2012 A1466. It was very poorly, with dead battery and the common graphics problem where it would boot up then it would crash / hang with a weird pattern over the screen. I decided to take this little project on with the intent to learn about Macs, having come from a PC background.

    I started by buying a 2nd-hand replacement logic board and upgraded to the 8GB model. I switched over the SSD and the wireless and all connectors etc and she worked! I was very pleased. Next I replaced the battery with a new 3rd-party one and that worked too. She could now hold a charge.

    I started to explore the Mac OS, enjoyed it, learning the system differences from PCs etc. I started using it as my main device. It was at this point I noticed a bit of an intermittent issue. The 'L' key would sometimes not type... if the caps lock was on, the L key sometimes switched the caps off and sometimes the l key would delay and output to the screen seconds later. Sometimes, and this is the worst one, the keyboard and TrackPad would just stop working. I thought at first it was the whole OS locking up but eliminated that by using a USB mouse and keyboard, which worked fine.

    So I decided to update the OS to see if that would solve the problem... it's now on Catalina (nice!)... but the problem remained. I figured it must be a faulty keyboard, so I replaced it with a brand new one. Nope. The problem remained.

    Ok, so I thought, maybe I should check the ribbon cables upon investigating, when I lifted the plastic 'lock' it looked like there was a little bit of corrosion on the wire, so I cleaned that up and it didn't look too bad. The ribbon cables looked ok too. Problem still present, but now the keyboard and track pad do not work AT ALL.

    So I just ordered a replacement TrackPad, changed it... no different. I'm thinking... I am really new to this so, here I am! I'm guessing there's all sorts of tips / tricks I don't know about. I didn't fancy reading lots of conflicting ideas all over the Internet, so I came straight here.

    What am I missing please? I love using the Mac, but I don't want the inconvenience of an external k/b & mouse all the time.

    So I am open to suggestions, no matter how obvious, as I said, I'm new and don't know much.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sean

  2. #2
    Keyboard and TrackPad not working, replaced many parts - same problem!  Losing hope, please help.
    krs's Avatar
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    After neither the MacBook Air keyboard nor trackpad worked at all, did you try an external keyboard and mouse again to see if they still worked perfectly?

    Also, with an external mouse, try using the Keyboard Viewer to see if that works or not

    To test the keyboard functionality, I always use TextEdit to eliminate that the problem might be with an application

  3. #3
    Hi krs, thanks for the speedy response and apologies for my slow one! In answer to your questions:

    1. The external USB keyboard and mouse work fine, unless I unplug them and plug them back in... at which point they do not work anymore.

    2. With the external mouse, the keyboard viewer works and can input text use function buttons.

    3. TextEdit makes no difference, the keyboard and trackPad are, essentially, dead. The caps lock light doesn't even come on. The only button that works is the power button.

  4. #4
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    I have the same macbook air and had problems that were solved by zapping the PRAM, if you can press P-R-CMD-OPT during turn on before the chime, sometimes twice. I had to do this just yesterday.

    i have an extra logic board that did not read the usb or keyboard on a macbook air 2010
    the connection ribbon from the left speaker to the electrical circuit board was damaged.

    on these macbook airs, everything need to perfectly connected. I could not type on my until the connection from the keyboard was perfectly connected to the track pad. not 99%. took 17 months to figure and finally get the connection perfectly.

    i would not spend to much money on parts, a similar or better macbook air that works is cheaper on craigslist that a 1800-irobu.com site. these people are vicious and over charge for parts big time.

    i love my macbook air ans will never part with the computer, these are fun machines!
    Last edited by MBAmtloin; 02-13-2020 at 08:10 AM. Reason: pram

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MBAmtloin View Post
    I have the same macbook air and had problems that were solved by zapping the PRAM, if you can press P-R-CMD-OPT during turn on before the chime, sometimes twice. I had to do this just yesterday.

    i have an extra logic board that did not read the usb or keyboard on a macbook air 2010
    the connection ribbon from the left speaker to the electrical circuit board was damaged.

    on these macbook airs, everything need to perfectly connected. I could not type on my until the connection from the keyboard was perfectly connected to the track pad. not 99%. took 17 months to figure and finally get the connection perfectly.

    i would not spend to much money on parts, a similar or better macbook air that works is cheaper on craigslist that a 1800-irobu.com site. these people are vicious and over charge for parts big time.

    i love my macbook air ans will never part with the computer, these are fun machines!
    Thanks MBAmtloin,

    I'll try the P-R-Cmd-Opt thing... I'm guessing that I need to use the external keyboard, seeing as the built-in keyboard is dead? (Which is non-Mac, BTW)

    I'll maybe strip the Mac down again and check all the cables / ribbons / connectors again. It's just weird that it was ok, then not ok.

  6. #6
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    No problem, hope that works!
    these machines are like ...Montreal, the bridges port and subways need to be connected for the city to function and thrive.
    but they are very durable and the wide bezel is actually a good thing which protects the screen better from smudges.
    the  powerbooks from 2000 were a nightmare with 92 different screws and no tolerance for parts that need to be perfect set.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MBAmtloin View Post
    No problem, hope that works!
    these machines are like ...Montreal, the bridges port and subways need to be connected for the city to function and thrive.
    but they are very durable and the wide bezel is actually a good thing which protects the screen better from smudges.
    the  powerbooks from 2000 were a nightmare with 92 different screws and no tolerance for parts that need to be perfect set.
    Ok, so I stripped her down and re-seated every ribbon cable. I put her back together and still the same. So I tried the PRAM reset with both the built-in and then with an external k/b (Windows+Alt+P+R as non-Mac k/b)... still no use.

    So next I tried an SMC reset with the built-in keyboard and I saw the led colour flash on the power connector. I though this could be a good sign... but no. Still no k/b and pad.

    EDIT: OK, so I just tried a hardware diagnostic and I received this message:

    Error: 8000000000000003, Cannot load 'EFI/Drivers/TestSupport.efi'
    Status: 0x00000003
    Last edited by silverdagger; 02-13-2020 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Performed an extra diagnostic step.

  8. #8
    MBAmtloin
    Guest

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MBAmtloin View Post
    Ok, so this is a nightmare! The iFixit link is one I found too. Basically, I need to either install diagnostics back on my HDD... or make a USB drive diagnostics.

    I ended up following this link to download the diagnostics .dmg files from a torrent file... which I did. So after formatting the USB drive as instructed, but when I come to restore the dmg OS to the partition on the USB drive it fails saying I need to diskscan the image file first. When I try that, it doesn't work. So I try something different:

    I attempt to copy the .diagnostics file into /System/Library/CoreServices, but I'm met with permissions issues, so I learn that I need to disable SIP... so I need to restart in recovery mode, use terminal : 'sudo csrutil disable', back into the OS, attempt to copy the files across again... If I drag and drop it doesn't work and just shows the no entry sign. So I get info and change all permissions to R&W, try again... no good. I tried sudo cp -R too. Still no good. Aaarrrgh!

  10. #10
    Keyboard and TrackPad not working, replaced many parts - same problem!  Losing hope, please help.

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverdagger View Post
    Hi All,

    Ok, so I thought, maybe I should check the ribbon cables upon investigating, when I lifted the plastic 'lock' it looked like there was a little bit of corrosion on the wire, so I cleaned that up and it didn't look too bad. The ribbon cables looked ok too. Problem still present, but now the keyboard and track pad do not work AT ALL.

    Sean
    Going back to your first post, re 'little bit of corrosion on the wire' and 'didn't look too bad'. The 'wire' must be the IPD flex cable, and I only find the cables contacts show corrosion when there has been a previous liquid spill. Unless after your cleaning the cables contacts are spotless, there will still be problems. I find the IPD flex cables are a high failure part anyway, and replacement in cases such as yours advised. In the older MBA's the keyboard data enters the trackpad, then with the trackpad data connects to the logic board via the IPD cable. Other than the logic board and trackpad that you have replaced, the IPD cable is the only component that can effect both the keyboard and trackpad. Other issues can be if the lock bar has been broken off on the sockets at either end of the IPD cable.

    I won't get involved with the ASD issues, as even though now very old, I haven't used for a long time, and that is Apple proprietary software. It may be downloadable via torrents, but that doesn't make it legal. AASP's use AST and AST2 servers now for diagnostics.
    Last edited by techiesteve; 02-20-2020 at 02:22 AM.
    Steve
    UK

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by techiesteve View Post
    Going back to your first post, re 'little bit of corrosion on the wire' and 'didn't look too bad'. The 'wire' must be the IPD flex cable, and I only find the cables contacts show corrosion when there has been a previous liquid spill. Unless after your cleaning the cables contacts are spotless, there will still be problems. I find the IPD flex cables are a high failure part anyway, and replacement in cases such as yours advised. In the older MBA's the keyboard data enters the trackpad, then with the trackpad data connects to the logic board via the IPD cable. Other than the logic board and trackpad that you have replaced, the IPD cable is the only component that can effect both the keyboard and trackpad. Other issues can be if the lock bar has been broken off on the sockets at either end of the IPD cable.

    I won't get involved with the ASD issues, as even though now very old, I haven't used for a long time, and that is Apple proprietary software. It may be downloadable via torrents, but that doesn't make it legal. AASP's use AST and AST2 servers now for diagnostics.
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your response. Reference 'the wire', I should have been more clear. All ribbon cables look fine (and all lockbars are present and functioning), although, I'll admit I haven't changed the ribbon cable from the trackPad to the logic board (maybe that could be my next, and frankly, cheaper step?) The ribbon from the keyboard is new as I replaced the keyboard. So, back to the wire: Please see the original TrackPad below:

    rsz_trackpad_old.jpg

    The wire under the lockbar on the left, you should see it looks darker. There was some loose crud in between a couple of the wire, which I cleaned out. But after that, it never worked again. So I changed the trackpad for another... but the problem still remains.

    Reference the ASD issue... it's starting to look like I need to take it to Apple or an AASP... any recommendations? Is this going to cost me an arm and a leg?

  12. #12
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    Apple is not going to fix this laptop because they discontinued.
    since you did inherit the MacBook, there is no history or record of the laptop, maybe it suffered problems or was dropped several times.
    i would not spend to much money on parts, you can get a similar or better macbook air that works is cheaper on craigslist or eBay.
    or just buy a brand new one and enjoy your life while selling that for parts or as broken for what you think it is worth.

    I usually persuade and help people fix their MacBooks instead of replacing them when they are the original owners and the problem can be solved.
    but not in your case.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MBAmtloin View Post
    Apple is not going to fix this laptop because they discontinued.
    since you did inherit the MacBook, there is no history or record of the laptop, maybe it suffered problems or was dropped several times.
    i would not spend to much money on parts, you can get a similar or better macbook air that works is cheaper on craigslist or eBay.
    or just buy a brand new one and enjoy your life while selling that for parts or as broken for what you think it is worth.

    I usually persuade and help people fix their MacBooks instead of replacing them when they are the original owners and the problem can be solved.
    but not in your case.
    Well, I've changed most of the parts now, so it's a bit late... The only thing I haven't replaced is the ribbon cable from the TrackPad to the logic board, but I'm guessing the problem lies within the board now, TBH. I've found a Vintage Mac repair guy near me and he said it sounds like a logicboard specialist job. I can get it to him for a quote. I'm going to hold off for now. I've been watching some Rossman Group videos on YouTube about such repairs... very technical and interesting. Maybe I can do it with the right tools. Time to learn new skills? We'll see.

    Like you say... I an buy one and sell this one for parts as an alternative.

    Cheers.

  14. #14
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    that would good if they can find and fix the logic board since you did invest in all that.
    it's juts a part or confectioning thing that need to be replace or solder, just finding that circuit is a project.

    i have a spare board myself im tempted to get a chassis, a upper and lower case just to see if that worked.
    then the other part of mt brain wants me to get a MacBook pro instead for a few more dollars.
    I need my iPad fix first, if i really want to get that fixed.
    my point i we all have broken  products that might not be worth repairing since we all have other platforms to be productive and entertained with nowadays.

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