8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2010 1:55 PM by MikeMc00
MacinNW_Brent Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
I have an Early 2008 15" MacBook Pro, and I live in a dry climate, and so static discharge is a problem. If it discharges on the track pad it disables the track pad and keyboard.

That does not allow me to save what I was working on, because the only way to restore them is to force quit by the power button.

I have two questions. Is there a way to restore the track pad and keyboard without a restart?

Can someone suggest a device to discharge the static. There is nothing within arms reach to dischaget the static. So far I have been lucky that no permenant damage has happened.

MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz & others, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Matt Shelley1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same issue here. It looks like a grounding issue that has never been addressed by Apple.
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Can we assume this is only a problem when you are running on battery power? If you are using the AC adapter, use the three-prong grounded cord rather than the little two-prong "duck head" insert with the adapter, and plug it into a properly grounded outlet.

    If the problem only occurs while running on battery power, you'll just have to position yourself someplace where you can occasionally reach out and touch something that is grounded — or run a ground wire to a location within reach of your workplace, so you can discharge static electricity safely and conveniently as you work. If the problem is serious enough, you may even want to wear a grounding wrist strap as you work, so no charge ever builds up.
  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    +*So far I have been lucky that no permenant damage has happened*+

    I would agree with that statement. If you are getting discharges that are significant enough to disable the trackpad and/or keyboard, you need to take precautions in order to avoid that. Even minor discharges over time can cause component failure. It sounds like you must be giving the machine quite a zap.

    +*Same issue here. It looks like a grounding issue that has never been addressed by Apple.*+

    Actually... getting a shock from your MacBook and a static discharge are not the same thing. Getting zapped due to a faulty ground... while unpleasant to experience, isn't particularly dangerous to your notebook... however, discharging static charges can cause permanent harm.
  • ab52 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've had this problem for about a week, and the first 2 times the static was so minimal I didn't realize that's what happened. I have no quick fix (other than a pad to discharge the static). It has only happened to me at home, where I also have a wireless mouse and keyboard. I have noticed that if it happens and you you can't use the trackpad or keyboard, the wireless counterparts still work so I've never lost data. It is annoying to have to restart though.
  • ab52 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    sorry, I had my old Macbook info - this never happened with my old G4
  • djvega Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This problem just started happening for me as well, and I believe that static may be causing the problem. It happened to me twice last night - both the trackpad and the keyboard completely froze, and the only thing that I could do was press the power button to restart. I did notice that everytime I touched the computer I felt a shock, as I was most likley discharging energy from walking across the carpet in my studio. I was not able to replicate the issue last night when I got home, and so far no problems at home today. I'm really leaning towards static having caused the two freezes last night.
  • xairbusdriver Level 2 Level 2 (160 points)
    I've used a 3M static discharge pad for over 10 years now, both on my desktop and my wife's. They are not INexpensive, unless you deduct the costs of the damage that does NOT happen or the discomfort that does NOT happen. As I said, these things have been doing their job for a considerable time and show no signs of failure. On a desktop, just put it under your keyboard close enough to the edge of the front so that you automatically touch it before anything on the computer. Basically the same thing with your laptop. These things are easily cut with a strong pair of scissors to just about any shape or size. Just don't cut off and discord (no pun intended) the part that has a wire that you connect to a grounded outlet, usually the screw holding the cover is also grounded on properly installed outlets. It would be wise, of course, to be sure, and correct that first! I bought mine at a local electronics store but they are also available on-line. Just search for "static discharge pad"
  • MikeMc00 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I also lock up my keyboard and trackpad from time to time with static discharges. This is with the computer plugged in or on battery. Two things to note: 1) If you touch the side of the computer (bottom tray) before touching the trackpad, the static discharge won't lock up your computer. 2) If you do lock it up, try this: close the lid, wait for it to go to sleep, and then open the lid. Your keyboard and trackpad should be responsive again.