MacBook Keyboard Problem

I received some sort of keyboard firmware update today. I was restarting my MacBook Pro and was in a rush, so when I saw a message about a keyboard update, I just accepted. I have a MacBook Pro, 15 inch, 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, for those keeping score at home.
To my surprise, when I rebooted, my trackpad and keyboard were dead! Dead dead. Not even available for a PRAM reset during boot.
So I borrowed a USB keyboard and mouse, which worked fine. I tried several things, for two hours, until I found another MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update.app from Sept. 27, 2007. I installed that, which rolled me back, I guess. Then I got my keyboard and trackpad back.
But I was minutes away from giving up and driving to the Apple Store.
Of course, without the external USB mouse and keyboard, it would have been impossible to do this. At one point I only had an external mouse, and was unable to enter my password to allow the install. I suppose it is funny in retrospect. I wish there was a on-screen keyboard of some sort.

Comments: 62 Responses to “MacBook Keyboard Problem”

    Stephanie
    13 years ago

    I have this same problem! How did you install this update? My computer tells me that I don’t need the update, and won’t allow me to do it. Thanks!

      Dede
      12 years ago

      Check out the post below by Frasier that refers to this site: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6571108. It TOTALLY fixed my problem with keyboard and internal mouse and I can’t believe how happy I am. Think we need to let our friends at apple know this as I’ve taken mine in before and inquired and they didn’t know.

        Tracy
        10 years ago

        THANK YOU!!!! I lost use of my keyboard and mouse today and this completely solved the problem!!!!

        Charity
        10 years ago

        I have a question. Please answer soon. Ummm I have a macbook and my macbook tells me that I have on a texts field which I have no idea what that means. It won’t let me type my password in. Can anyone help?

          10 years ago

          I’m not sure. Can you ask again in the forum (http://macmost.com/forum) and put exactly what the message reads and exactly when it appears. The more details the better.

        spetemundy
        9 years ago

        Dead keyboard so I can’t even login! Now what?

    jeff
    13 years ago

    Same for me. How did you install it ?

    13 years ago

    I never got any message about not needing the update. I just ran that file and it installed.

    JJ
    13 years ago

    I tried to install this and when I open it up it just says “your computer doesn’t need this update”, then shuts down. How did you get around this?

    JJ
    13 years ago

    Sorry, didn’t see the about comments!

    Ape
    13 years ago

    I have the same problem, It’s a real pain– I’ve tried everything and can’t do the update because it says “my computer doesn’t need this update”…. well obviously it does when the entire keyboard and mouse track stops working every so often. :(

    13 years ago

    Ape: It has been a while, but try finding an earlier update, or a way to revert to the original keyboard drivers. Then do the new update. I don’t remember the specifics. You could always try taking it to the Genius Bar if you have an Apple Store nearby.

    Fraser
    13 years ago

    This could be a hardware problem. I had it and tried everything with no luck (MBP 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, OSX 10.5.5). Then I stumbled upon this thread:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6571108
    The technique in this thread worked for me, however I will try to have the MBP repaired anyway (although some are reporting that the factory fix replicates the same possibility for failure).
    The technique involves actually removing the battery and applying pressure to a small strip of plastic. Sounds totally lame and not something you’d expect from such an expensive product, but there you go. It may get you through the next few weeks, but as I said I am pursuing a real fix form the company. These things should not be held together with bits of tape and paper!
    Read the full thread so you know what you are doing.

      rolfmobile99
      10 years ago

      Hey Folks who still have MBP’s from this era (2007 or so),
      I recently experienced the same keyboard problem: trackpad
      and keyboard completely stopped working. But, plugging in external USB mouse and keyboard did work.
      I found this forum and the excellent link mentioned above
      (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6571108)

      So, I added some tape on that “suspect” flat cable inside the battery compartment, and now things seem to work again.
      Good luck!

    Kylie Chu
    12 years ago

    hey guys!
    my macbook is also having the same problem.
    i’m installing the new update, but my computer says i don’t need the update.i’m using the usb keyboard and mouse as we speak.
    i’ve tried finding earlier updates but my computer still says the same thing!
    can some one tell how to get around this_
    thank you!

    12 years ago

    Kylie: If you are near an Apple store, I’d make an appointment to go to the Genius Bar — probably the easiest way. Otherwise, you can try installing older updates if you can find them still.

    paul
    12 years ago

    yep the pressure on the strip worked for me. my mac was completely unresponsive. As a matter of fact i’m typing this with one hand and pressing the strip with the other. Removing my hand stops everything working.

    virgil
    12 years ago

    QHello QIQam having a very anoying problem with my keyboard.

    QI have a 13inch white QMacbook, QIntel Core 2 Duo. and

    Every time i press the left Shift a capital Q appears… and… when pressing Q key, only appears on capital letter….. and when pressing the Enter key, it also makes the function of the decreasing the volume key….

    HELP ME PLEASE!!!

      QS
      11 years ago

      did u change your Q thing corrected?

      QS
      11 years ago

      hey virgil..did u change your Q thing corrected?

      QUpset guy
      11 years ago

      QHey QVirgil:

      QDid you ever get this solved – it just happened to me.

      QScallop…

    12 years ago

    You keyboard is broken. You’ve got to take it in to get it fixed.

    Matthew Henry
    12 years ago

    On the off-chance that the keyboard is the only problem, turn off all Universal Access options and it should come back to life. As for the on-screen keyboard, if you turn on the languages icon in the menu bar, you can turn on the “Keyboard Viewer”, which is an on-screen keyboard.

    If you want to lessen the warping of the ribbon cable, download smcfancontrol, and turn the default up to around 3000rpm. You don’t hear 3000rpm, and its fine on the battery. If you want better cooling when you’re plugged in, set it to change to 5000rpm when plugged in, and you’ll never get heat issues.

    Derek Bell
    11 years ago

    The top row of function keys on my key board stopped working and the keys don’t do what they say they are how do i change the settings of what the top row keys do??

      11 years ago

      The settings is here: System Prefs, Keyboard, Keyboard, “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.”
      Whichever option you choose, using the “fn” key and the top row will do the opposite.

    JoJo
    11 years ago

    I have a problem with the numbers 2,3 letters w,e,s,d,x,c on my keyboard and other funny things happening with the shift button on my macbook running on Mac OS X 10.5
    No problems with the external keyboard.
    Anyone got any idea how I can fix this???
    Thanks

      11 years ago

      Sounds like there may be some damage. Take it in to a shop.

    arjun
    11 years ago

    hey guys,
    i have the new macbook pro 13 inch
    im having a slight problem with the upper most alphabet line(i.e qwertyuiop)…they have 2 be pressed very hard and work after a while ,or sometimes dont even work ! what could the possible problem be ?
    request ull if any one could help me..

      11 years ago

      That’s not normal. You should take it in to Apple ASAP.

    LP
    11 years ago

    I think it is an hardware problem. Apple says, that there is a fix included in the OS 10.6.4 update, but I don’t think so. After the update my Computer behaves almost normal, but sometimes still strange.

    Here it what I get when I type “sudo dmesg” into the terminal:

    s – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::_deviceGetReport – DeviceRequest for reportID 0xc8 returned with result 0xe000404f – retryingAppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::validateChecksum – 18-byte packet checksum is incorrect (expected 0x32c, checksum bytes were 0xc8d)
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized
    Warning: audit space low (< 5% free)on audit log file-system
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::message – kIOUSBMessagePortHasBeenReset.
    AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::checkStatus – received Status Packet, Payload 2: device was reinitialized

    This is with the 10.6.4 "fix". As you can see touchpad & keyboard are reinitialized again and again. Which means fix from Apple is a hack to make bad hardware work.

    I would apreciate if some of you could post your dmesg and OS X version as well to see if you suffer from the same cause.

    curtis
    10 years ago

    my keyboard likes to add letters on its own like the letter w and x here is an example : two i twyped to and when i type twhe letwtwer bx i gsetw…….
    as you can see this is fustrating also numbers 1234256789012342566…..CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. I HAVE A 13IN MACBOOK OSX 10.6.4 WITWH MAGIC MOUSE.

      10 years ago

      Sounds like something may be wrong with it. Have you taken it to the Genius Bar so they can have a look?

      Evelyn
      10 years ago

      Curtis, i have the exahsct same problem, as you cå∫n see. How did you fix it? Pleåse, ånything would b very helpful. Thank you

    DesperateTraveler.
    10 years ago

    13 inch white macbook 10.5.8. (late 2008) My keyboard just ceased to work completely, thank G-d have an external mouse and have been typing through ‘keyboard viewer’!!! It’s all i have at the moment and couldn’t be a worse time as things are presently hectic at work.
    ! Worst part is i’m abroad and no apple shop where i am.. Pleaaase HELP :\

      10 years ago

      It sounds like a hardware problem (need to get it fixed by a shop). It could be software — have you kept the Mac up-to-date with Software Update? There have been some keyboard updates here and there.
      Until you get it home, why not just pick up a cheap USB keyboard and plug that in?

    FErnando Martinez
    10 years ago

    Tengo un problema con mi teclado de macbook, no ecribe la letra W,S,X

      THMP
      10 years ago

      The same happens to me, from the QWERTYUIO don’t want to work and the backlid neither. That really sucks, can someone help!

    John Robertson
    10 years ago

    I found the actual problem (and solution) – the internal (USB)keyboard/touchpad cable appears to fail internally. If you want to fix it permanently you either have to replace the cable or do some fine soldering work. See this page for details and pictures:
    http://flippers.com/MacBookPro.html
    I hope this information helps someone!

    karen
    10 years ago

    when i type, are erased as i type sometimes and jump around…???

      10 years ago

      Perhaps you are touching the trackpad unintentionally? Or, perhaps a bluetooth mouse is being moved be accident? Hard to say…

    lawrence
    10 years ago

    hey guys, if my key board is broken ie. a few keys dont work, so by installing the whole topcase will that solve my problem? also because my macbook was bought in korea the keyboard is different, will this cause any problems when i install the new english topcast?

      10 years ago

      I’m not sure what you are asking. Installing topcase/topcast? Not sure what that is.
      If your keyboard is physically not working, then a software install will not fix it. You’ve got to have it repaired.

    Yfke Pasman
    10 years ago

    Hi, I have a 15″ MacBookPro labtop purchased last October and since 2 days on my key board the G-key only works in combination with the shift-key, so only capital letters it doesn’t work if you just press it or when capslock is on. I reloade MAC OS as advised by the Apple aent, I reset the PRAM with didn’t solve the problem. I also ran the hardware test but there are no hardware issues detected. What action miGht solve this problem?

      10 years ago

      That’s a very unusual problem. I would take it in to the Genius Bar and have them look.

    philip
    10 years ago

    I have macbook white, most keys function ok, a couple dont work at all, a couple show two letters at once and one shows the letter next to it. Any ideas

      10 years ago

      Probably “broken.” Take it to a shop to have them look.

    Julia
    10 years ago

    Bought a brand new keyboard with number pad this time. Can’t get the Function keys to work. (Brightness, Sound, etc.). No more software updates and I’ve done all I can in System Preferences. Any suggestions?

    Gaby de Neef
    10 years ago

    Let me add to the fun here;-) IMac OS X 10.5.8 been having trouble w/ keyboards.
    First one, numbers 3 stopped funtioning, and letters e d . Replaced keyboard at first all was ok….then number stopped functioning again, now nr. 2 as well whihc is a pain as has the ‘at’ sign with caps. Also noticed that shift key with u doesn’t make U, any longer unless I use capslock.
    Tried both keyboards with other Mac….no problem there. So it’s not the keyboard but the iMac, I guess software. I’ve updated all software and FIRMware…..still no joy.
    What to do? When checking in the show keyboard mode, I notice that F6 key appears to be stuck. Also get a lot of ‘sound warnings’ …Tks for any help.

      10 years ago

      Take a look in your System Prefs under Keyboard with that keyboard plugged in. See if you have it set to something else — like a european keyboard.

    Gaby de Neef
    10 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    tks for response. I am in Europe so have European keyboard, selected language Dutch. I checked System Prefs however, under hardware, keyboard/mouse I only see key repetition speed and repetition slow options? Or do I need to go elsewhere …sorry, but not sure I understand. Tks for your time and trouble.

      10 years ago

      Try System Preferences, Language & Text, Input Sources.

    Petter
    10 years ago

    HELP !!! I have the same problem as a lot of people have askled for help wioth – but NO answers !!!!!!!! Mac Bookl – typing 8 i k , instead doubles to be “89 io kl ,.”
    Must be a common problem since so many ask – WHAT IS THE SOLUTION ???
    Please helpppppp!!!!

    Petter
    9 years ago

    Thanks for your answer,. but it is a mac book PRO that gets help from napkin pieces !! Mine and a bunch more are Mac Book ()NOT Pro!) and they do not lookl the same !!! So repeationg questioon someone pLEASE help !!!!

      9 years ago

      Either way it is probably a hardware problem so you’ll probably need to have a repair shop take a look and fix it.

    Adam1noah
    9 years ago

    The following worked for me
    (my keyboard wasn’t working except when booting and choosing the startup disk)
    type this in Terminal:

    kextstat -kl | awk ‘ !/apple/ { print $6 } ‘

    hit enter (I had to hit it twice for some reason) and then a list of files should appear which you have to find and delete. I personally deleted only the files that I was suspicious about, and now the keyboard works just fine.

    Just in case, the files I had to delete where located in -> Library -> Preferences

    Siem Abera
    9 years ago

    I have a macbook, and the keyboard and the trackpad just stacked, I can switch on and off on the caps lock but i could’t type in any thing, Even i have tried to mount an external keyboard and mouse but doesn’t work.
    can any body help me with it

    MacBook, Mac OS X 10.6.4

    Blessings

      9 years ago

      Take it to the Genius Bar so someone can have a look.

    Doug Smith
    9 years ago

    My office computer is a PC and when trying to use my sales program
    I Series from home (with my Mac Book 7,1) I am unable to use the
    F1 through F12 keys. So before having my hard drive replaced at work a few days
    back, I’d use a “on screen keyboard” that would let me work on the I Series from home. Now the new “on screen keyboard” doesn’t have the F1 through F12 keys
    above the numbers?? Can anyone help me out with this. Thanks

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