Keyboard randomly stops working

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by baryon, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68030

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #1
    Sometimes I'm trying to type something and I realize that nothing's getting typed when I press the keys. I don't know what causes this and when exactly it happens, but so far I have not been able to make it go away unless I reboot.

    When the keyboard stops working, it's completely dead: Not only can I not type, but key combinations like [ Cmd + W ] and [ Alt + Arrow keys ] for swapping Desktops doesn't work either. As I remember though, the light on Caps Lock still works normally.

    Within one week it has happened to me twice so far, and I rebooted each time and that fixed it.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    a working keyboard is important

    I'm having the exact same problem with Lion. One time I tried putting the computer to sleep and bringing it back but the keyboard still did not work (and I could not type password to get back in).

    The next time it happened I logged out of my account and the keyboard started working again on the login screen. Can you confirm the same behavior?

    Also, maybe we can find out if a specific app is causing this. I believe that I was using either MacVim or iTerm2 both times this happened to me, can you correlate with that?
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #3
    My 2007 15" MacBookPro does this too after upgrading to Lion. It also happened after a fresh install of Lion rather than just the upgrade. Caps lock key light and num lock key lights work. I logged out and the keyboard started working when I tried to login.

    I saw that killing the dock would fix it, but I haven't tried it yet.
    http://answers.downloadatoz.com/q,1...ding-working-in-mac-os-x-lion-how-to-fix.html
     
  4. chrisrk7, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #4
    Same issue

    I have a 17" MacBook Pro from 2007 (OSX 10.4.11) that's doing the same thing: the keyboard arbitrarily decides to stop working and I usually have to reset to fix it. A couple times I was able to regain use simply by going to a different program. I never had this problem before, but in the last month or so it has stopped working about 8 or 9 times.

    I don't know if it's related, but in the past couple days I noticed a significantly slower processor speed, one that leaves me staring at the spinning rainbow of doom far too often for far too long and it is starting to drive me crazy. I don't mean to derail this thread, I just don't know whether or not it could be relevant to diagnosing the problem and thought I'd rather be safe than sorry, so-to-speak.

    Help!
     
  5. viruz.360, Sep 6, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #5
    I'm having this exact same problem.

    Sometimes it happens just randomly, but it also happens anytime I switch to Dashboard using ctrl-left.

    I've resorted to just opening Activity Monitor (using only the mouse...) and killing the Dock process.

    I'm using a fresh install of Lion on my Late 2008 MacBook Pro.

    edit: I narrowed down the problem:

    I disabled Dashboard as per this hint: http://www.macworld.com/article/46236/2005/08/disabledashboard.html

    Now, If I press crtl-left, dashboard doesn't appear but the keyboard still freezes.
    I also noticed that it freezes when pressing crlt-right (but not ctrl-up/down).

    I suppose this has something to do with spaces (but AFAIK you can't disable spaces in Lion).

    edit: I attached a small applescript-app to kill the Dock (easier than going to activity monitor everytime).

    Also, do any of you use a DisplayLink device with your mac? There might be a link between the DisplayLink drivers and the keyboard lockup problem.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. macrumors 6502a

    quietstormSD

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    I had this problem with a late 2007 Macbook Pro 15" model. I read in a forum somewhere where someone had a similar issue and it appeared that a ribbon cable beneath the battery apparently warped or became more lose. The simple fix was to place a sticky-note folded up placed in between the copper-ish cable and the battery and carefully close the battery. This worked for me. If you have a unibody Mac this obviously won't work since you can't remove the battery.

    This person appears to have the same or similar problem.

    http://lbarclay.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/macbook-pro-trakpad-and-keyboard-not-working/
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    MasterHowl

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    North of England
    #7
    I'm having this exact same problem at the moment as well. It happened once a week with Lion, but it happenes at least once a day with ML.

    I've got a mid-2009 15-inch MBP. So frustrating.

    Anyone got a fix?
     
  8. plumsauced, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    #8
    try pressing alt 5 times

    Hi Guys,

    Try pressing alt five times - this enables and disables the "mouse keys" function which disables the keyboard.

    I have to credit this to brownknee at mac forums: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os...oard-stops-working-photoshop.html#post1436578

    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT203157

    I thought this was an issue related to photoshop, and have been searching for a fix for a long time, so happy to share this. Just found brownknee's answer today and thought I'd share.
     

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