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Macbook Air 2012: intermittent, random freezes of trackpad and keyboard lasting a few seconds each

2451 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2013 7:47 AM by Pappa Dukes RSS
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dchang0 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 26, 2013 2:42 AM

There have been a few other people to have reported this problem, but there has been no consistent solution for me on my Macbook Air 13" 2012, running 10.8.4.


What happens is this: while typing, the built-in keyboard and trackpad will suddenly lock up at the same time, randomly, intermittently, and for just a few seconds before returning to normal. This has been true through all the updates of 10.8.x since I bought the system last year.


During the freeze, one of the three behaviors occurs:


1) both keyboard and trackpad are completely unresponsive

2) both keyboard and trackpad get really slow, with high latency. Keys pressed show up much later or have to be pressed several times before registering. Trackpad is jumpy if it moves at all.

3) key gets stuck, sometimes the BACKSPACE key, which usually results in several dozen emails getting deleted or entire paragraphs, or rows and rows of the same stuck key. Pressing other keys does nothing.


I've spoken online with various other people who have the same problem and confirmed that the built-in keyboard and trackpad seem to be joined together whenever this problem strikes. You never see one freeze without the other also freezing.


Also, these commonly-recommended solutions don't work:


a) Reset PRAM. Done this many times. Does nothing.

b) Bring it in to Apple. Did this too. They replaced the keyboard and trackpad but the problem remains.

c) Clearing caches in safe mode. No improvement.

d) Removing "" and "" doesn't seem to work either, even though the errors and behavior are exactly the same for me as for george.e.gonzalez in this thread:


These files do come back, though, thanks to Google Software Update. The keystone software appears to be part of Google Chrome, although I cannot confirm this.

e) I DO have Google Android File Transfer installed like one other person reported; they said uninstalling it fixed the problem. Unfortunately, that has not worked for me. Also, Android File Transfer is installed (same version, same Mac OS 10.8.4) on an older 2008 Macbook, and it works fine, which points to something on just this Macbook Air as being the cause.

f) I don't use the Radio Silence firewall app--can't remove it.

g) I don't have the telldus device or whatever it is, so I don't have the "com.telldus.service.plist" to remove.

h) Completely clearing out /Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/LaunchDaemons, and /Library/StartupItems doesn't do anything.

i) Repairing permissions or repairing the volume does nothing.

j) Reinstalling the OS fresh does nothing.

k) I don't have an external trackpad, mouse, or keyboard for testing while the freezing happens, but the machine itself seems to be working, just not the built-in input devices, which are on the same USB bus.

l) Pressing ESC does not stop the key stuck situation, as it does for some people.



It feels to me like a hardware problem, not an OS problem, and it feels like a USB bus issue. I have noticed that when I insert USB flash drives, I get the same lock-up for a few seconds, something which my other Macs don't do.


I've also noticed various USB errors in the Console around the same time (same as george.e.gonzalez):


7/26/13 1:20:04.000 AM kernel[0]: AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::_deviceGetReport - DeviceRequest for reportID 0x0 returned with result 0xe000404f - retrying

7/26/13 1:20:05.000 AM kernel[0]: USBF:          844075.636          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff80157f1000]::Found a transaction which hasn't moved in 5 seconds on bus 0x1a, timing out! (Addr: 2, EP: 0)


But I'm not able to precisely correlate these errors to the pause.



Is anybody else having this problem that can shed more light on it than these other suggested repairs? This has been frustrating for quite a while, but I've had the stuck BACKSPACE key delete hundreds of emails on a webmail platform that I was unable to recover using Undo and out of the trash, and that's just no longer tolerable...


Thank you, thank you, thank you, if anyone can help me fix this!

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,110 points)

    Yes, it's a hardware problem. If you get the same log message with all USB devices disconnected, an internal component is causing the problem.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,110 points)

    If you can figure out a way to reproduce the problem, it will help your cause a lot. If not, print a copy of the log extract and bring it with you. I don't know whether the "Geniuses" are smart enough to understand it, but they might be.

  • Dan Todd Calculating status...

    I have the same issue with a mid 2011 11' MBA.


    dchang0, do you have dropbox, quicksilver, evernote or fitbit installed? These are the only apps I have running other than Safari or Mail when my lagging occurs.

  • Dan Todd Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Strange, I have similar Apple processes running, but not many of the non-Apple apps. For example, I don't use Libre Office and I haven't got Flash installed.


    If I find anything, I'll let you know.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,110 points)

    If you haven't already done it, you should run the extended version of the Apple Hardware Test.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,110 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.


    This procedure is a test, not a solution. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.


    Step 1


    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is localized to your user account.


    Enable guest logins* and log in as Guest. Don't use the Safari-only “Guest User” login created by “Find My Mac.”


    While logged in as Guest, you won’t have access to any of your personal files or settings. Applications will behave as if you were running them for the first time. Don’t be alarmed by this; it’s normal. If you need any passwords or other personal data in order to complete the test, memorize, print, or write them down before you begin.


    Test while logged in as Guest. Same problem?


    After testing, log out of the guest account and, in your own account, disable it if you wish. Any files you created in the guest account will be deleted automatically when you log out of it.


    *Note: If you’ve activated “Find My Mac” or FileVault, then you can’t enable the Guest account. The “Guest User” login created by “Find My Mac” is not the same. Create a new account in which to test, and delete it, including its home folder, after testing.


    Step 2


    The purpose of this step is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login, by a peripheral device, or by corruption of certain system caches.


    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode and log in to the account with the problem. Note: If FileVault is enabled, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t do this. Ask for further instructions.


    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including sound output and Wi-Fi on certain iMacs.  The next normal boot may also be somewhat slow.


    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    Test while in safe mode. Same problem?


    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of steps 1 and 2.

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