4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2013 6:33 AM by EdOfTheMountain
OneEyed55 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


I have a Macbook Pro Early '09 (I got it about 1 month ago used) and yesterday a problem occurred. Suddenly, as I was typing a message, the keyboard stopped responding and the trackpad started acting up. Whenever I tapped with 1 finger, it would mark the text or would show the right-click options ("Copy, Cut, Paste" etc on text or "New Folder" etc on desktop).

I restarted it thinking that it would probably solve the problem, but then I couldn't even log in, because not all keys were working, so I couldn't enter the password. Pressing "O" seemed to work -not always though-, but other keys didn't. I logged in as guest user, since no password is required for that, and tried typing a URL on Google Chrome, just to see what happens. there I noticed that sometimes the F letter key would work as right arrow and A as left.


I should finally note that certain applications would not open lately (for the past weeks) and would "quit unexpectedly" (HDRtist and Inkscape, to be specific). 


So, maybe it needs a Disk Utility Repair? Is it possible that this would solve both problems? But how do i do that if I can't log in as admin?
It would be better to find a way to solve this on my own without having to pay for the repair.

Any ideas?


I know it's a common problem and that it's been posted many times, but most answers on other discussions have confused me so far.
I've read about the tape under the battery thing, but I'd prefer a different solution if anyone can offer one.


Thank you in advance. I appreciate it.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (29,995 points)

    It sounds as if you've some sort of hardware failure. Try running the Apple Hardware Test and see if you have any errors.



  • OneEyed55 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks! I'll do that as well, although it seems to be working perfectly now (except for the issue with HDRtist and Inkscape). I removed the bottom case to check whether the battery was bloated, which would explain the situation, and later when I turned it on the problem was fixed. I don't know why or how... I'm afraid it might happen again, though.
    What about the applications that won't open? Do you have anything in mind?

  • OneEyed55 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Command + Alt + Ctrl + Esc was the solution to my keyboard/trackpad problem after all.

  • EdOfTheMountain Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I have read of people saying Resetting SMC fixes stuck touchpad drag problems. In order to do this you must typically remove the battery.  I think it was the act of battery removal that fixed it and not the act of clearing SMC memory.


    If your Macbook battery is removable and is located directly under your touchpad a bloated swollen battery could be the problem


    Try this:

    1. Remove battery
    2. Connect to magsafe power and boot up. 
    3. Try using your touchpad


    If this fixes the problem you likely have a swollen or bloated lithium battery.  My symptoms on my 15" late 2008 Macbook Pro were that the touchpad acted like it was stuck in drag mode.  The bottom left and right touchpad switches would not click or took great effort to press. I had to hit the touchpad very hard for a mouse click to be recognized.  It also screwed up opration of my bluetooth mouse. I noticed several months earlier the battery cover no longer closed tightly; there was a gap.   I should have been more curious as to why.


    MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) MacBookPro5,1

    FB4700LL/A ( MB4700LL/A )



    http://sites.uci.edu/lifepo4battery/2011/05/19/swollen-lithium-batteries-swell-c osts/


    "Battery bloat or “swollen batteries” is a common occurrence among older lithium ion batteries. It is commonly caused by overcharging a battery and then leaving it unused for a long time. It may also be caused by extreme changes in temperature. More often than not, battery bloat essentially “kills” the battery, rendering it unusable or unsafe for further use."