Previous 1 2 Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2015 6:50 AM by JEL888
aps215 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi.  I  purchased a close out 13 inch MacBook Air from Tekserve in NYC for a friend in Europe, and she is reporting serious issues with her keyboard and trackpad (i.e. neither of them works).  She has tried rebooting a number of times. The specs of the machine are as follows.  13.3"/ 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/ 2GB/ 128 GB Flash.  I am looking to know if anyone has had this issue and if they know how to solve it.  I am not sure which OS she is using, but the laptop was purchased Feb 2012 so I am imaging LION.  I have not yet UG'ed to Lion so I am not aware of any issues myself.  Thank you so much in advance.  Alex

MacBook Air, keyboard/track pad failure
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)

    This is not likely to be an issue with the OS version - if the keyboard and trackpad are both inoverative, there isn't a setting or system property in Lion that could cause it.


    I would try an SMC reset - it's detailed in but the procedure for a macBook Air is:


    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
    3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
    4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
    5. Press the power button to turn on the computer. 
      : The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

    If that doesn't help, and given the lack of responsiveness from the keyboard it may not, and assuming the laptop was bought through an authorised Apple reseller, the warraty should be valid and is worldwide, so it should be possible to have it examined by Apple or an Approved Service Provider in her area.

  • aps215 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Andy,


    First off, thank you so much for the quick reply.  I am going to walk her through this later over the phone

    so I appreciate the really detailed explanation.  You're a star.  I will post an update soon as I know anything. I have never had this issue before so I didn't even know where to start. 




  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)

    I'll cross my fingers, though if the keyboard really is inactive, the SMC reset may well not work - and unfortunately I don't believe there's a way to use an external keyboard on laptops with internal batteries.

  • aps215 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The way my day has gone, I am not surprised. 

    Haven't gotten in touch with my friend yet.  She might be freaking out to much to...



  • aps215 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Andy


    Here is an update concerning the MacBook Air.  She did the SMC reset and nothings changed, however she still has full use of an external keyboard and mouse.  Both wired.  Because the ports still work I am no longer thinking motherboard or SMC.  We have an appt with the 'genuis bar' next week.


    Fingers crossed.



  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)

    It's not as likely to be a logic board issue so much as perhaps a connection or something along those lines. The fact that an external keyboard and mouse work and the internal keyboard and trackpad don't doesn't rule out a logic board fault, but it would be expected that a logic board with that kind of issue would show signs of other problems too.


    It's not hard to disassemble a MacBook Air, so hopefully your Genius appointment will turn up something! Good luck!

  • captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,270 points)

    Take a look at System Preferences > Universal Access > Mouse & Trackpad tab.


    See if the "ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present" option is checked.

    If so, uncheck it.





    Edit: Nevermind, I see now the keyboard doesn't work either.  This option wouldn't affect that.


  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)

    That had been my first thought too - it's amazing how many times universal access options end up activated unintentionally, with unexpected and tangential symptoms!

  • captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,270 points)

    Happens everyday..   I wonder if Mouse keys is on for the "disabled keyboard" and the above option is on disabling trackpad....  That would be a first! 

  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,050 points)

    I tried that on my MBA just to see!

  • aps215 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much both of you. I will let you know how it goes on Tues.

  • dcom Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks AndyO, I had the same problem tonight (built-in keyboard and trackpad on a 13" MBA stopped working). Resetting the SMC fixed it.

  • tonymills77 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've got an extremely similar problem. Spillage on the keyboard. Unknown, what it was.

    To start with it was dead, no power up.

    Then it dried out. There was still a bit of battery power left, and the mouse and track pad worked for a few minutes then it all froze.

    So I shut the lid. I left it like that, because I couldnt switch it off.

    Much later, opened it up again and all windows opened up, all info was correct,

    I was advised to try wireless mouse and keyboard, but you have to get in there before it freezes again.

    The battery was charging normally as well.

    I made the decision to let the battery die completely and then switch it on again, but sure enough when I did this, it ignored any re-boot command and that's that. Dead as a do-do.


    So, without being a computer whizz kid, I presume, it's off to the Apple store for a sizeable bill.


    Unless someone else has a cunning plan ????????


    I would love to hear it !!!!!!

  • JasonMiller1975 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Resetting the SMC worked perfectly for my MB Air (2010) after KB and Trackpad abruptly stopped working today. Bookmarked should it happen again, thanks!!!

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