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Few keys won't work after coffee spill

5165 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2009 7:36 AM by calleasto RSS
calleasto Calculating status...
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Dec 3, 2009 12:34 PM
I realize this subject has been beaten to death because I have done searches here and Google multiple times but I can't seem to find a precise answer for my problem. Yesterday, around noon, my daughter spilled some coffee on the keys of my aluminum 13" Macbook. I wiped it off immediately and powered the laptop down. I read some tutorials on removing the keys so I decided to do that and wipe up some of the spilled coffee from under the keys. I put all the keys back and I turned my computer on this morning only to find that none of my keys worked, but the mouse pad still works fine. I plugged an external keyboard in and continued to log in. I opened Word and began typing and about 1/2 of my keys began to work. The "L" key opens up Spaces instead of typing the letter "L". So, a few questions:

Is it possible I didn't clean the keys good enough and that is why some of them are not working?
Is my Macbook, late 2008 aluminum 13" considered a unibody style?

I'm having trouble finding information on my specific Mac body style. I'd like to search for some tutorials on how to get a better view point of the keyboard to see if I can clean it a little better. I am prepared with the fact that I may need to buy a new keyboard. Also, I live about 4.5 hours from the nearest Apple store so that is out of the question. Thank you in advance for any help.
Macbook 13" aluminum, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Thomas Bauer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2009 2:03 PM (in response to calleasto)
    hi, calleasto

    sorry to hear about this mishappen. I recognize it, since it happened to me a few years ago, also my daughter pooring thee (not coffee - but the difference is marginal - ) into an external keyboard. I took it apart and cleaned and dried it very carefully, but never got it working again. This was an external keyboard.

    a similar failure occurred to other people with they laptop keyboards (and to me, without "using" any liquid). I presume - without knowing really the interiors of the laptop keyboards - that (1) they are read out in a kind of matrix (sensitive bars arranged in rows and (almost) columns corresponding to keys), which needs two layers of contact strips; and that (2) the layers are separated by plastic sheets.

    Your diagnostics seems to imply that
    1) there are still bad contacts (might be liquid where it shouldn't be);
    2) the contact point has shifted ;

    The latter could perhaps be due to liquid shifting the pressure away from the point where it should be applied.

    What i would do:
    Give the keyboard much time for drying - perhaps by removing the keys again. But there is always the chance that the temperature of the coffee, and the residues are causing troubles and might cause some keys not to function properly.

    I think (i am not sure !!) you have a "unibody": i think it is "unique " in the sense that it has no screws (except at the bottom) - and no Firewire outlet. I have never opened my MB, but the only way i see for opening it is from the bottom (there are 4 screws at mine) - but i do not know whether it is advisable to open it. I would check via Phone with Apple before doing anything myself.

    Hope this helps.

    iMac Intel 2, 2.4 G, iMac G5, 768 MB, PB G4 12", Mac OS X (10.5.6)


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