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  1. #1
    rMacBook 12 Keyboard Stopped Working
    Hello,

    My Macbook keyboard (except the Power button and the trackpad) suddenly stopped working yesterday and I'm unsure which part is defective. No spills or anything of that sort. It was just on, worked on it and left it for an hour so before realizing the keyboard stopped working after I resumed work.

    Right now, I've connected an external keyboard so that works. I've resetted the SMC and PRAM/NVRAM to no avail.

    After a couple of days struggling to adapt to an external keyboard and the whole setup with the USB hub .... the keyboard miraculously started working again. What in the !&&* is going on...nope. Started acting up again after I let it go to sleep for hours. Opened it back up and not working. Only trackpad, power and I think command, options buttons are working. So odd.



    In the meantime, Iíve replaced both the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cables but to no avail. Does this mean itís time to replace the actual keyboard itself now?

  2. #2
    rMacBook 12 Keyboard Stopped Working
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    59,788
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Catalina
    Rep Power
    55
    Welcome to our forums.

    I'm wondering if the cable connectors themselves might be the cause? Intermittent problems are the most difficult to diagnosis so it may be something that you least expect. Have you closely checked the connectors to see that they are snug and that there are no bent pins?

    It is possible that the fault may be the keyboard itself.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Welcome to our forums.

    I'm wondering if the cable connectors themselves might be the cause? Intermittent problems are the most difficult to diagnosis so it may be something that you least expect. Have you closely checked the connectors to see that they are snug and that there are no bent pins?

    It is possible that the fault may be the keyboard itself.
    Thank you.

    Didn't look like it, though. I might need a magnifying glass to inspect even closer.
    I'm just thinking what if I buy another keyboard and the problem remains.. what then? Ah yes, the adventures of repairing this unit.
    I had the battery replaced by a certified Apple repairshop 4 months ago because it kept giving me the Service Battery message after 400 or so cycles after all the methods in "fixing" that warning message failed.

  4. #4
    rMacBook 12 Keyboard Stopped Working

    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2019
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    37
    Your Mac's Specs
    5K iMac 27" 4.2ghz / Mojave
    Rep Power
    2
    Don't shoot the messenger - mine did the same damn thing. Sometimes a reboot would fix it. Usually not. Sometimes I'd get multiple keystrokes from one press. In the end, it began typing by itself (alas, nothing intelligible). I tried an external keyboard at this point, but the internal keyboard was still typing away madly.

    And of course, the integration with that generation's keyboard with the system board means replacement is practically (and $$$) impossible.

    I got an old loaner MacBook Air from a friend that got me through another year... but eventually I had to have something new. And by that point - well, we were smack in the middle (well, not really, still ongoing) of the MacBook Pro Keyboard Scandal. With reports coming out of everywhere that the new keyboards were failing left and right, no way could I pull the trigger on a new Apple laptop. Even today I'd be hesitant - I'll be waiting for at least another revision before considering a new one. In the meantime, I've changed my workflow completely and splurged on a 5K iMac i7. It's been quite an adjustment from sofa / bed / cafť computing culture, but that big, beautiful screen makes up for it....

  5. #5
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    Some people have had success just changing the language flag in system preferences and posted their stories online.
    there are quite a few just to post one here as a link.

    i had trouble typing on my MacBook air until i exactly clamped the ribbon from the keyboard to track board perfectly.
    i took the track pad out and thread the ribbon to the slot while looking underneath the loop, if that makes sense.

    [B]NSMacGuru[/B: thats a funny post, i like the sofa/bed.cafe experience, that is why i ditched my monitors and mac mini last year and purchased a new laptop. I think the new MacBook pros are safe to purchase, but i understand how wary we can be.

  6. #6
    Now the trackpad and the select few buttons (except the power) that worked has stopped working.

    This really sucks.

    I’ve ordered the topcase (without the trackpad) already so i’m really hoping that that’ll fix everything once I able to replace it.

    Update:

    After disconnecting and reconnecting the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cables, the few keys that did work and the trackpad started working again.

    Still going to replace they keyboard/topcase when the part arrives.
    Last edited by chaeze; 02-16-2020 at 09:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chaeze View Post
    Now the trackpad and the select few buttons (except the power) that worked has stopped working.

    This really sucks.

    Iíve ordered the topcase (without the trackpad) already so iím really hoping that thatíll fix everything once I able to replace it.

    Update:

    After disconnecting and reconnecting the trackpad and keyboard ribbon cables, the few keys that did work and the trackpad started working again.

    Still going to replace they keyboard/topcase when the part arrives.
    Unbelievable. Iíve finally replaced the upper case assembly with keyboard and the keyboard is still the only part that doesnít work. The power button is the only button that works now. I have the original keyboard ribbon cable along with two other replacements ordered from eBay and Amazon but none of them have worked so far. What could the issue be then?

  8. #8
    rMacBook 12 Keyboard Stopped Working
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    7,564
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone 11 Pro, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    29
    Is the battery swollen? If so, it can press upward on the trackpad and keyboard. Lay a ruler or straightedge across the Mac in the area between the keyboard and the trackpad and see if it lies flat all the way across. If it rocks, the battery is swollen and pressing up.
    Jake

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Is the battery swollen? If so, it can press upward on the trackpad and keyboard. Lay a ruler or straightedge across the Mac in the area between the keyboard and the trackpad and see if it lies flat all the way across. If it rocks, the battery is swollen and pressing up.
    I checked it and it's stays flat; no rocking whatsoever.
    The battery was replaced 4 months ago. The battery looked really flat to me when I opened the notebook.

  10. #10
    i've finally solved the issue!
    I ordered 2 in total, one off of eBay and one from Amazon. I saw a lot of reviews on Amazon for these cables in general that they're faulty ..etc
    I opened the notebook once more to see if I indeed didn't miss anything, so I unplugged the ribbon cable (let's call it #1) and trying turning the macbook on.
    Didn't work so I replugged it and only the power button worked.
    So I looked at my other two spare ribbon cables, which I tried before and didn't work at that time, and one of them bothered me because of the length.
    I had to bend it a little to fit in the connector. I tried that one, bend it a little and just before putting on all the screws again i turned it on an tested the keyboard.
    Worked great. Well, I was relieved. So relieved. Spending $100+, got an A+ grade keyboard (this one has quite a few sticky keys!) and all for a faulty ribbon cable that really cost me $13.00
    Gddmn.

    TLDR: faulty ribbon cable, one of new ones I ordered was defective. Luckily I ordered two and one of them just so happened to work.

  11. #11
    rMacBook 12 Keyboard Stopped Working

    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    788
    Your Mac's Specs
    Various Mac's
    Rep Power
    13
    I only drop into this forum every now and then. If I had seen this thread at its start I would have recommended replacing the IPD flex cable, which you eventually found fixed your issue. I find the IPD flex cable very temperamental, and see lots of failures. Just disconnecting it carefully can cause it to fail or become intermittent. Possible that when you had the bottom cover and battery replaced earlier that may have contributed to it. Also, although they appear visually the same, the IPD cables for the different models have different part numbers. You may have been shipped the wrong cable. Good to hear you have it up and running now.
    Steve
    UK

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