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Keyboard stops working in Snow Leopard when using Spaces

113259 Views 292 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2013 6:42 AM by kwxr2000 RSS
  • jockmoron Calculating status...
    I bought a new MacBook Pro 13" recently, and I've had this problem a few times. I was reduced to restarting the computer via the on/off switch. I was really concerned that it might be a hardware issue because searching on Google I've had lots of pages come up, possibly an issue with a electrical contact under the keyboard/trackpad. So I've had a go at doing the Automator script, thanks to the person who suggested this. I've never used Automator before, so it was an interesting exercise, I was worried I'd wreck the whole software. Anyway it does seem to kill the dock momentarily so I await with interest the next occasion when the keyboard freezes. And by the way it doesn't seem to be anything to do with using spaces. I have spaces disabled and have never used it. But I will let the local Mac shop where I bought this computer know about this problem, so there's no argument later in case it is a more serious issue.
    MacBookPro 13", Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • beach boy Calculating status...
    Try making a "new folder" on desktop, then trashing it. Should bring the keyboard back.
  • beach boy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Try making a "new folder" on desktop, then trashing it. Should bring the keyboard back.
  • TetsuMac Calculating status...
    Just to add to this, I have found that when it happens, not only does the keyboard stop working, but key-command equivalents sent from other sources, mouse driver, QuicKeys etc., also stop working. This is telling me that it's not the keyboard it's stopped reading, but all key-input for certain keys, whatever their source.

    As others have noted, using key commands to change spaces still works, as does the Eject key, for me.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1), (shh... I own PCs too)
  • treyethan Calculating status...
    The kill Dock workaround is the most reliable for me (it's never failed thus far), however, I've found that 95% of the time you can fix the issue by clicking a Dock program icon of another running program. For instance, if Spaces freezes when you're in Safari, click the Preview icon (assuming Preview is running). Clicking the currently-running program's icon doesn't fix the issue.

    I leave Activity Monitor running all the time (hidden, set to appear in all Spaces), which makes it trivial to kill Dock when this fix doesn't work.

    I've noticed that the issue occurs more frequently for me when running Aquamacs 2.0preview2. When it's not running, or I'm running an older Aquamacs Emacs, the issue happens more rarely.

    Also, I have never seen it happen when I switch Spaces via ⌘⇥ (command-tab) to switch to an application occupying a different Space. It only seems to happen when I switch Spaces directly (via ^→, ^← etc., or ^1, ^2, etc.).
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • themancan Calculating status...
    Thought I'd chime in as well, with a variant to this issue.

    Same problem with the keyboard dying, but the problem only happens for me when I have Typinator or TextExpander running and I trigger the spaces switch via a mouse click using USB Overdrive. The big difference though (for me) is that only the first few keystrokes are ignored, after which point the keyboard functions normally. (It'll ignore all keystrokes until a slight (.5s) pause is given in keystrokes. So if you start typing really fast it'll ignore it all, but if you just hit a key, wait a second, then start typing, it'll be fine.)

    And, as others pointed out, it ignores simulated keystrokes as well. So keystrokes given by USB Overdrive will get ignored as well.

    (Perhaps related to the questions about using command or control or option for the Spaces shortcut: If TextExpander is enabled and the spaces shortcut is control+arrows, it won't kill the keyboard but it will switch spaces twice. If it's the command key, it'll eat the keystrokes as described above. With Typinator it behaves the same way (kills the keyboard) regardless the shortcut key.)

    Less annoying than having the entire keyboard die like everybody else, but it's really, really frustrating. Spaces took a big step backward in Snow Leopard, between this and apps consistently being restored from the dock onto the wrong space.
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Sanjay Nambiar Calculating status...
    I have this problem. It goes away, however, when I press the up or down arrow keys on my MacBook Pro. Strange . . .
  • pascal_meheut Calculating status...
    I upgraded to 10.6.2 this morning. Still the same problem.
    MacPro, MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • sabor Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the info. This lack of interest from Apple is making me enjoy more and more Windows 7 on my Macbook.
    MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • monkeypaul Calculating status...
    Still same issue here too. Very very frustrating that a basic feature touted in their OS is still non functional after several updates.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • neilio Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    I haven't seen this issue as often as before, but one change I made was to turn on automatic Space-changing when an application becomes active. I think that seems to "reset" the problem often enough that it helps prevent the sticking from occurring.

    The issue is still there, but if you rely on Spaces turning on automatic switching might help make it less annoying (or at least replace a hugely annoying issue with a less painful one).
    20" iMac Core Duo, 15" 2ghz MacBook Pro, 15" Powerbook G4 1.5ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
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