i just wanted to say thank you. i was starting to have the same issues and just before i was ready to toss this one out and start saving for a new one i found the same bowed copper wire. this seems to be the issue as moving it flatter towards the macbook gave me immediate results. I can see this is going to become an issue eventually. thanks again for this amazingly quick fix. sorry you had to go through **** to find out how to fix it.
I had the same problem - took it to the apple store where I got my disk repaired and it worked for a few hours. Tried the wires behind the laptop but never worked be me. Thanks to txparticleman for this post because IT WORKED YEAH! (restart holding CMD-OPT-P-R) worked wonders
+I had the same problem w/ my Macbook pro. However, I noticed that it occurred after Apple firmware updates. The latest occurred 10/15/2010 after the MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.4.+
+Apple claimed this was not a cause of the update but recommended I zap the PRAM and reset the SMC.+
+Solution (which has worked thus far):+
+logged in as another admin user on the computer and could not repeat the keyboard/trackpad issue+
+zapped the PRAM (restart holding CMD-OPT-P-R)+
+reset the SMC (shut system down, removed battery and power, held power button down for 5+ seconds, reassembled)+
+No problems since I have done this. Hopefully it will remain working as I don't see any evidence of hardware failure in my system regarding the ribbon cable, etc.+
Just to chime in.... thanks so much, Steve Eugene.
I had just upgraded to Snow Leopard when my keyboard/trackpad became unresponsive. I was convinced that it was a software/OS issue. I tried everything (including downgrading back to Leopard) and nothing worked until I came across this post. Who knew a bowed cable could cause so much trouble for so many people?
Thanks for saving me a whole lot of lost time and $$$ from a visit to the repair shop.
Just want to say I was able to get my trackpad and keyboard working with my 2008 Macbook Pro after replacing the topcase flex cable from www.powerbookmedic.com it cost me just $25 vs. the $400 Genius Help at Genius bar was going to have me pay for replacing the topcase. This was definately a bad cable design that has been kept on the DL and now in the dust bin of Apple's design history. I love Apple, but this issue has been so prevalent they should of did a recall!
Thanks for the tip. This has worked for me also
I thought my 3+ yo MBP was doomed.
I still have a question though. I recently got my MBP logic board and optic drive replaced. Could the part that gets taped down be moved around due to my very recent repair?
I ask as my MBP is now out of warranty.
With some soldering skills the broken conductor path in the ribbon cable can be bypassed. In my case, the third contact from the left of the plug on the touchpad board did not work. So I soldered one end of a cable to the corresponding copper pad next to the plug. Near the mainboard plug end of the ribbon cable, I carefully scratched off the insulation coating of the affected conductor path and soldered the other end to it. After that I fixed/protected the tiny cable with some kapton tape strips. Works!
Some pictures (click to enlarge):
Apparently not - I have all of the logs, can push on the battery to replicate the problem, no battery swelling as the Apple phone support person first suggested. Apple Store wants me to spend $250 or so to have the Keyboard assembly and Top Case assembly replaced - have heard from too many others that this only fixed their problem for a week or so. Called Apple's phone support again today just to tell them that I think Apple SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE AND FIX THIS PROBLEM regardless of the warranty status. I believe it's a hardware issue, but I don't want to spend money to replace bad hardware with a new chunk of bad hardware...
Guess I'm buying a new machine, but it would be really nice if this one could be a reliable backup, without having to carry an external keyboard/mouse with me to make it work.
Okay everyone take a chill pill.
This is an easy fix. No one needs to get their nickers in a knot anymore.
Yes, I too suffered for two years carrying around a big keyboard, wireless mouse and other accessories. Everyone thought I was a lunatic, but after paying 3000 dollars on a computer, the desire to just throw it out wasn't strong enough. But the frustration surely was.
I tried the sticky note, the folded paper and the business card trick and yes, they all worked for a month or two until again, the trackpad and keyboard became lost to me.
I finally found a post a few months back suggesting that you get the new flexi cable and install it. After trying to get the part in Australia without success, I finally bit the bullet and bought it in the US. It arrived last Friday and I am happy to inform you that after 45 minutes removing screws and a carefully removing the old cable, I can FINALLY use the keyboard and trackpad once more.
PLEASE, PLEASE, give up on pushing the cable with paper, hassling the mac store minions and hitting your head agains a brick wall. Just order the part - 29- 45 bucks online and install it yourself. If you aren't that technically minded, ask a friend who is friendly with a screw driver and they'll have the issue resolved in an hour.
I know that this is apples fault, but the only person I can blame is myself. I chose not to take out the extended warranty knowing full well that 10 of my friends Ipods had died a few weeks after their one year warranties had expired.
And yes, the mac people are just as stupid as us for building the machine like this in the first place with the cable exposed and for not knowing that a 20 buck fix would fix it properly.
Don't try anything else. Just replace the cable and then get on with your lives. I am so very glad to be doing just that and thinking that I'll not have to look at these forums for at least a year or so.
Goodbye and good typing to you all.