8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 18, 2013 9:57 AM by random.vamp
random.vamp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Sometime in the last week the 'p' key on my MacBook Pro (2008) keyboard started to behave like the "mute" key, so that any time I type 'p' it additionally mutes/unmutes the volume and pops up the transparent volume indicator on the screen.  This is highly aggravating but I have yet to figure out what caused this or how to correct this.  I've verified that the Keyboard Shortcuts in the Keyboard preference pane doesn't have anything for mute (I don't see 'mute' as an option there at all), so any other suggestions would be very welcome.

MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,520 points)

    Try restoring defaults in keyboard preferences.

  • random.vamp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, I already tried that option.


    This could be something that required a command-line accident to trigger.  It probably happened while I was coding, which I mostly do via xemacs in X11.  I was doing Arduino coding, so I guess its also possible something got messed up via the USB connection for that.

  • binarian Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This sounds disturbingly familiar to a problem I have.

    My late model 2009 mbp's hard drive was failing, causing all sorts of I/O errors, including random key events and remappings.  I put in a new hard drive and reinstalled from scratch, and transferred NOTHING to the new install.  the I/O events have stopped triggering wildly, but the remappings stayed.  For me,  the following keys all trigger the mute button:

    0 - p \ ; / <enter>


    Since the problem survived an os reinstall, that suggests it is a hardware issue rather than a software one.


    Playing with an arduino should not have affected anything.  Not saying it didn't, but it shouldn't have.  Whatever firmware that exists that handles the keyboard is more or less untouchable.



  • random.vamp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, I have a suspicion that this is some odd hardware problem, conveniently cropping up after AppleCare expires.  I haven't been able to find any solution to it yet, I may try cracking it open to see if I can find any internal issues as I now have another laptop from work I can use in the mean time.  Let me know if you happen to uncover anything.

  • dodg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This issue is haunting me for the past 3 weeks, did you get any answer to that? did you solve it?

    BTW - If I hit the mute key it acually outputs 'p' as well.

    Please help (it is almost impossible to write w/o using 'p'...)

  • binarian Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, no.  I ended up getting a new laptop (it was time for an upgrade anyway).  I took the old one to a non-apple repair store in NYC and they repaired it pretty well.  Only one or two extra keys trigger the mute key now, which is an improvement over the entire right half of the keyboard.  In any case, I have turned down the volume al the way, and don't use that machine for anything involving audio.


    I know it *****, but if you can afford a new machine, it's not a terrible way to go.  You can still use the old one for research purposes or something.  A second monitor is great for most applications, but a second machine altogether, I have found, is even better.



  • dodg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I bought it 13 months ago, I was hoping this is not a hardware problem, but it looks like yours was.

    The only solution I found was to have the function keys work as regular function keys (mute=f10) and to map f10 to nothing. I'll stick to that for now.

    Thanks for the relpy

  • random.vamp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, this weird key mapping turned out to be only the first of a number of problems to crop up, with the machine eventually dying due to a logic board problem.  I ended up taking it in to the Apple store and came out with basically "new" guts of the machine, logic board, hard drive, and battery all replaced.