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  • Ikari Hazaku Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So my MBP has just developed this problem but it is quickly becoming a real issue fr me. I have tried the tape and napkin fix and it has actually not even helped (unless I'm doing something wrong with the placement). I called Apple but unfortunatly my phone support has run out and I find myself here on the forums. I really want and need this problem fixed but since I ALSO have yet to purchase Apple Care, and the $300 price is not making it look appealing. So here is my question, can anyone post a picture of what their "tape and napkin" fix looks like, every time I try to place it I end up with the keypad dying as I type my password in to get to my home OS. The other thing is would I have to have Apple care to send it in and get it looked at professionally? If anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated!
  • E_S_D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yeah,

    I agree with the last post.
    First of all, this is clearly a problem that many people have encountered or are experiencing. My own MacBook Pro developed the problem a couple of weeks ago. I found this thread, tried pressing on that particular area, and indeed it revealed that my machine was suffering from the same issue as most people here - hardware, not software.

    However, it is difficult to see what the pressure is actually doing. It doesn't seem like there's any need for there to be physical contact between the chassis/casing and the orange strip, the latter being plastic shielding.
    There appears to be a plug/socket at the end of the strip, below the transparent oblong: does pressing on the orange strip allow for better contact between the plug and the socket?

    Before using tape and napkins, it would be really helpful to understand what the pressure is achieving from a mechanical/electronic point of view.

    In any case, well done for hunting this down!

    In the long run, it still looks like a case of taking the machines back to Apple... Very annoying.
  • Peter K. Grether Level 4 Level 4 (2,885 points)
    Hi Ikari,

    Make an appointment at an Apple Store with a Genius Bar. If you are still under warranty, you will have no problem getting your MBP repaired.
  • mattathayde Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    well i will say this for apple care. over 4 years i have had few issues with my machines but when i had them, without applecare i would have been SOL. HD corruption, logic board issue (after 3-4 weeks i was able to get a new machine due to the fact it was going to take a few more weeks to get it done since the machine was a late model). newer machine i have now had to get my super drive replaced and battery issue.

    price i paid for all this 700 for the 2 apple care plans, price i would have paid 800-1000 plus the calls to apple that i would have been charged probably another few hundred.

    apple care is worth it and personally i wont buy an apple product with out also buying the apple care with it.

    for this issue if you let it go past your standard warranty date you will be paying that much just to get this fixed. (also remember apple care must be purchased before your 1 year standard warranty is out)
    -matt
  • JustTed Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    With all due respect regarding AppleCare, for every story like this, there are multiple stories of people who have had several Apple laptops with no issues whatsoever. AppleCare is just an insurance policy - a bet on the company's part that there will be no problems, and one on your part that there will be. In Consumer Reports, they listed the repair rate of Apple laptops at 23% for a four year period between 2003-2007, which means that 77% of people did not require a repair. Also, if you read books like "Punching In" by Alex Frankel, you'll see that AppleCare is part of the Apple business model for generating revenue. Nothing wrong with that at all, that's how insurance companies stay in business, just wanted to add balance to the conversation. Everyone has a different level of risk tolerance, if yours is low, get it, but you are not guaranteed to lose out if you don't get AppleCare.

    With regard to the trackpad problem - I scotch taped part of an index card over the ribbon cable, as pictured at the top of this discussion, and it worked. I'd take a picture of it, but I don't want to jinx the fix. It seems that keeping the ribbon flat (and not kinked, which maybe comes from battery heat?) keeps the trackpad and keyboard working. This would also explain pressing on the top, because it would flatten out the same area. I would guess that's not as good a long term strategy because it will put the ribbon cable in closer contact to a hot battery and therefore make the problem worse.

    I hope this helps someone/anyone out there, like I was helped by this discussion. I give credit to Apple for supporting openness and transparency, which saves customers and the company time.
  • mattathayde Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    very good point, i am a very heavy duty everyday user of my machine so it gets a lot of miles on it in a short period so for me if is a very good option.

    in regard to what the pressure is achieving (this is all a guess but it is logical) some how the connection is flawed, probably the the bowed piece or maybe at the connection farther in. the pressure is for some reason straightening out the connection and causing it to function correctly. kind of like when you have a set of head phones and they start to go out but if you hold the wire a certain way it works fine, same issue/idea

    -matt
  • fjp999 Level 2 Level 2 (180 points)
    Dont forget that you can find AppleCare at a discount from some retailers.

    I purchased AC for my iPod Touch at a pretty good discount and it went thru at Apple with NO problem.

    I think Amazon has it but do a google search. If you cant find it I can find the place where I got mine.

    good luck.
  • miradu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you so much!

    My Macbook Pro has been loosing keyboard /mouse every once in a while for a few weeks, spewing usb failed to enumerate errors in the usb log. Then, after flying, last week it broke entirely. I was at loss on what to do. Buying a usb keyboard mouse, and then looking through the kernal showed to me that it was a problem with the HID device. Great. Now what do I do.

    I waited. But I have an important meeting in Europe next week, and I needed my out of warranty laptop fixed. And then you came in.

    Your solution has worked perfectly. I added a bit of tape, put the battery back in, and it applied just enough pressure to keep it working.

    Ribbon cables are supposed to be flexible, so I'm a bit at a loss on why this solution works - perhaps it's slightly out of the socket. I really really appreciate the solution though!

    Thanks!
  • mattathayde Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    your right they are supposed to be flexible but i wonder if this one is just slightly to long so the bend in it ends up being a little extra stress

    -matt
  • empireapts Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow.. This is soooo strange.. I had the same problem and now it works perfectly.. Does each MBP have that issue? I am going to the mac store to see what they say. Just got this couple of weeks ago.
    Thanx for the post. Fixed my problems.
  • midnightmac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Me too! The problem was gone. But I've updated to 10.5.3 and 2-3 days the problem comes back
  • Markus Danielsson Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I agree. I've gotten a ticket to go see an apple technician. However, since I'm out of warranty I might have to pay for everything myself (and a new top case isn't cheap). I even have to pay for just the evaluation (which is over $100 here in Sweden), and Apple will only refund it if the technicians find it being a manufacturing error and not due to trauma/damage. However, at this point all we know is that for some reason the cable and/or the connector isn't working properly. We're not sure if the cables inside the flat are damaged from the creasing/heat, or if it's the socket it goes into and so on. Also, is it due to heat, improper battery placement, has it got anything to do with whether or not you've switched RAM (the connector goes through to the same part of the Mac as the RAM-slot is) and so on. It's great that we've found a fix, but I'd love to hear if anyone has gotten anything more out of their Apple technicians as to what was the faulty part.

    Or does changing the top-case mean that the cables themselves are fine? There were two items replaced for those of you who got replacements, right? What was the other one?

    Great post, and I'm relieved, but I still want to know more. As a student in summer, I don't want to be facing a $300 repair bill.
  • SAGO Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    the solution didn't work for me. It did for a while when pressing the cable..but once the machine is on for a while, it will stop responding. Up to the point when even if i press the cable, it won't work.

    Have send in for repair. Let's see what happens.
  • Torsten Blum Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    When I first experienced the dead keyboard/trackpad problem I found this thread and used the "piece of paper" workaround. It worked for a few weeks but the problem did come back.
    Dropped the machine off at a local Apple auth. Service Partner and got it back in 26 hours (driving included). According to the receipt they replaced the TOP CASE ASSY. Unlike Steve Eugene's case, my invoice does not list the ASSY,KEYBOARD.

    -tb
  • mercergeo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a MacBook, not a Pro and have the same problem with the keyboard and trackpad locking but it seems to be caused by using usb-serial cables. I have one usb-serial that was connected to a DataGrid GPS and caused a lock up (when switching desktops) and one usb to garmin gps serial cable that caused a lock up twice (once when switching desktops). The desktop switching might just be coincidence or a trigger for something that was going to happen anyway. This seems to have nothing to do with the battery but more to do with the way serial ports are handled.
    I have no bluetooth mouse to check with but the Apple infrared remote for Front Row worked whilst the trackpad and keyboard were locked.
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