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My mouse and trackpad went completely unresponsibe after a reboot. On loggin into apple I discover my MacBook Pro is one week out of warranty. After googling the problem I saw that it was a common issue and was alarmed to see that it some cases it costs $1000+ to fix, including replacement of chips, keyboards, etc. etc.
I read this thread and, although extremely skeptical, I duly taped down a piece of cardboard over the copper bit as described. Un-*ing-believable. It works!
I have been wrestling with the same, exact problem for two weeks (12/2008). My MBP is over a year old. NH Winters = cold. MBP = hot. On/Off outside, inside = thermal stress on connectors. I noticed that pressing on the flex cable under the battery worked (brought the keyboard back) but, over days, that stopped fixing the problem. Dead keyboard and trackpad. External USB keyboard works fine.
Called Apple Support. That was not worth the energy I used to dial the telephone. Apple says: "We don't know" send to repair. Might be $20 might be $200. Might find nothing. Serial # not recalled, so we don't know.
This morning at 9:06 AM, I tried the napkin trick. Instant success.
DEAR APPLE, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS THREAD. YOU HAVE A PROBLEM TO FIX HERE!
Thank you, Steve!
i think i started having Macbook pro trackpad and keyboard freezes in September last year. Thankfully my macbook pro is connected to a monitor with wireless keyboard and mouse most of the time. It has been getting steadily worst over the months and i have found no cure. But more and more are reporting the problem. During the macworld keynote i was sat trying to read the blogupdates of the live event. 4 times my keyboard and mouse froze and the only way to fix it is a hard restart via the powerbutton. It's impossible to take to client meetings.
I'd like to take it back to be fixed, but is there anything to be fixed hardware wise or is it a software problem?
I got my Macbook Pro in August of 2007, and just a few months later I began having trackpad and keyboard issues. I could be in the middle of typing something, and suddenly neither would work. The only way to resolve it was to perform a hard restart with the power button. I brought to a Genius bar in the city (I live in Brooklyn) and the guy there said that it had to be a software issue, even though I didn't upgrade to Leopard. He did a Firmware reset and it seemed to help... but now I'm back to where I started and I occasionally go to use my computer and realize that neither work.
As someone suggested, I put a piece of a sticky note in between the battery and where the ribbon cable is, and hopefully this will resolve the issue. However, is it really safe to be placing paper where the battery is though? Is there something else that I can use to put pressure on the ribbon cable (that won't result in the destruction of my precious computer)?
It's rather distressing that Apple is not reviewing its forums and listening to their customers. It's not as if their hardware is cheap. Isn't a happy customer the best way to do business?
I add myself to the unlucky macusers affected by this problem and not being able to fix it with the sticky-note solution under the battery. I can press the ribbon cable as much as I want, no effect whatsoever. I've also took apart the top case to check whether the connector was loose on the other end, and it wasn't.
So, both my trackpad and keyboard suddendly stopped working and never come back. They don't show up in the system profiler, I've tried all:
-creating a vanilla user
-booting from my external backup clone drive
All I see at reboot is my mouse pointer stuck in the upper left corner of the screen and paralysed there.
External USB mouse and keyboard work.
Any ideas? Should I just resign to the bitter reality of a top case replacement?
Ok, I have Apple Care, but I live and work in Burundi, so the closest Apple Center is a few thousands miles away, mind you?
I had my motherboard repalced just one week ago, during Xmas holidays in Italy, because of the faulty Nvidia GPU 8600M GT acknowledged by Apple.
Before that I had to have my display replaced twice and once the optical drive.
Before this MBP, I owned a PB G4 Alu: had to change the display (myself) once, and the mobo got broken 3 times: yes 3, and even if it was a fault acknowledged by Apple (faulty upper RAM slot) since my PB Serial Number was just a few hundreds out of the official faulty batch, I didn't have it repaired by Apple for free, as it was my right, since clearly the official serials batch was "optimistically" faulty as well.
Before that I had a TiBook G4: both hinges snapped, one after the other, and I had to buy them on eBay, have them DHLed to Burundi and replace them myself with epoxy and all. It was no fun, let me tell you. Then the display started flickering. And then again the trackpad ribbon cable got worn and I luckily found a sticky-note like solution on this discussions, so that I could repair it myself with a little patch of tape.
I'm an enthousiastic macevangelist since 1986, I've persuaded tens of friends to buy a Mac, and I'm providing "24h/24 DIY Apple Tech Service" to all Mac users in Burundi for free... Mother Apple: do I deserve all that?! Are you testing my worship to see if I deserve to seat in the same room as Holy Steve once we will be both in Heaven (where all macusers go, as you certainly already know ;-)?
I would add one more MBP "Unresponsive Keyboard...Trackpad" symptom and, its apparent solution for me. I've found that while online, after Minimizing a number (>8-20) of web pages for later reading, my trackpad will not perform "grab" a window (doubletap) or "drag" functions-I discovered this after trying everything logical/intuitive to remedy an unresponsive trackpad. By accident I found that having closed all the open pages, my trackpad normalized. I doubted the "cause and effect" of this but have duplicated the action many times.
Thank you so much steve!
Every time I bring it in for a diagnostic at the apple stores, they always resort to a clean sweep of my MBP. I have spent almost $300 of getting an external hard drive, and extra softwares in hopes of fixing, but still, to this day, the unresponsiveness still occurs. I will bring up your idea tomorrow at another scheduled diagnostic. I hope it works for my MBP as it has for others!
Thank you so much!
Just adding my 2 cents to the discussion. I've had the 'problem' for a little over a month and have seen it apparently escalate - e.g., for a while windows was fine when leopard was having a problem, then it reached a point where windows was not fine and AHT reported an error.
No console error logs though. Began after an update to 10.5 but reading through the thousands of posts I'm assuming that it really is a hardware issue about the top case+trackpad / keyboard battery cable, perhaps BootCamp was initially more resilient and error-correcting when the cable started faulting.
The SMU reset does seem to clear it for a little while, though it takes a few tries sometimes. It doesn't seem to last too long, though.
From totally dead, it take me about 5 tries to get a folded piece of paper with another pressure to where I could get the internal keyboard and trackpad working.
Financially, if like me, your AppleCare just ran out, you might be asking yourself do I spend $370 for the 3 year renewal vs. about the same for a new top case and keyboard
(your answer likely depends on if you can bear to part with your machine and your level of DIY confidence and access to torx screwdrivers)
This replacement seems like the logical next step if you believe that the rolled up paper trick is not going to work forever. Maybe what we need is a poll of how many people have done the replacement and the figures on how many have seen the problem go away entirely vs. reappear at some point?
I am having the same problem, keyboard and trackpad freeze, with my late 2007 macbook. The only thing I am still able to do is to hold down the on/off button for a couple of seconds to shut it down. As far as I have read in the thread and on the net this fault has only been discussed with MBPs - is that true, or do you know that this problem exists with the old plastic MBs as well?
Update: apparently yes: http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=8958869#8958869
Message was edited by: mcvr69
Unfortunately my warranty ran out before I could buy AppleCare, so I was SOL until I stumbled upon this thread. I applied direct pressure with my fingernail and my keyboard/trackpad started working again. When I added a piece of paper underneath the cable and applied pressure, nothing happened. When I removed it and applied pressure, it worked. For some reason, the ribbon cable has to be in contact with the inner casing. Perhaps it's a grounding issue.
I agree with the fellow above who suggested that this should be a recall issue. My keyboard is dead, although I'm not sure when it failed because I generally use an external USB keyboard and mouse... so I was actually a little surprised when I discovered the keyboard doesn't work. The trackpad still works. There was also one incident where I pressed a key on the internal keyboard and it initiated an endless loop of carriage returns that I couldn't stop. You can imagine the havoc that created. I rebooted, and the CRs were no longer there, suggesting some sort of OS glitch? If Apple has the presence of mind to issue a recall on this problem I'll probably consider buying another Mac when it's time to replace my computer, but if not I'll probably replace it with "the other option." Macs cost about three times as much as the other option, so these kinds of problems are a significant disincentive to make the same mistake twice.
What Apple has going for it is the fact that there's one manufacturing standard, so that ought to contribute to the economies of aftermarket repairs (after warranty expiration). And there is a fairly concentrated aftermarket in parts and repairs. Given the number of separate manufacturers of the alternative, that situation is less likely for Windows machines... at least for laptops. The desktop design is fairly standardized, though... and there's also a long tradition of homebuilders.
Anyway, Apple has a nice little product line so I hope they deal with customers in a way that doesn't undermine their long term business. And kudos to the fellow who started this thread. It seems to have helped a lot of people.