[Powerbook G4 15"] Weird Keyboard Problem

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Keon, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Keon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    Twente \o/
    #1
    Hello,

    Long time reader, 2nd time poster ;).

    Yesterday I recived my brand new Powerbook G4 15" with Backlite keyboard. Everything looked fine, until I started typing. Everytime I press the K or L key, it goes deeper then the other keys. Like there's nothing under it to stop it. Further more the surrounding keys go down with it (because of the plastic surface its mounted on it). This makes a very irritating sound, doesn't type very good and I'm afraid it's bad for the keyboard in the long run.

    [​IMG]

    I will call apple service today, but maybe anyone knows a sollution to this problem?
     
  2. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    #2
    No solution my friend - my keyboard's been replaced twice, and the problem seems to shift to other keys. I hope they have better luck with yours.
     
  3. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #3
    I feel your pain

    I understand what you are experiencing. I've been dealing with my keyboard problem for over a month now. My first PowerBook immediately went through 5 keyboard replacements and a top case replacement and still didn't solve the issue. I call it, sticky keys. When pressed with even a bit more pressure than "normal" typing the key releases with a click that sounds like adhesive releasing. The first PowerBook started with a visual difference in those keys too. They were raised up in the area centered on the bad key. By the time the 5th keyboard and a new top case were installed, you couldn't see the problem keys but, as in each previous repair one or more keys stuck (not the plastic key itself, but internally) making that sticking noise.

    I got a new PowerBook and right out of the box two keys had the same problem. We checked two floor models at the Apple store and one had problem keys and the other didn't (although we didn't check that one thoroughly after finding the other to prove I wasn't nuts). I asked for a replacement and that too has 3 keys sticking. None of them are raised like the original machine, but I'm afraid it will happen eventually. To make it worse, a day later I discovered the Delete key is touch sensitive. Striking it with normal pressure will give multiple hits and just touching it will register a strike.

    I'm still working on a solution with Apple. At this point I'm ready to give it back.

    This is the first I've been able to find on this problem after much searching. Glad you posted.
     
  4. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #4
    My keys sometimes stick, but I was told it's because of the sticky tape beneath the keyboard. All I do is gently press on the keys and it usually goes away.
     
  5. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    This is all very unnerving. One of the things I love about the PBs is the great keyboard. How common is this problem? Is it enough of a problem for apple to maybe have incuded a fix in the rumored new round of PBs?
     
  6. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #6
    dferrara, Doesn't it councern you? I bet that if you listen long enough after gently pressing on the key to "stick" it back down you'll eventually hear it pop back up. It's subtle, but you can hear it. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

    I've been told by technicians that there is a membrane, or layering that makes up the keyboard internals. When you hear that "sticky tape" releasing sound after pressing a key, you've got this problem. Currently none of my keys are raised, they just make that noise. From my experience it will only get worse. I suspect that over time those keys and the ones around it will begin to raise (like Keon is experiencing) due to a larger area of the membrane that is separating internally.

    Everyone--PLEASE CONTACT APPLE CUSTOMER SUPPORT! Tell them what you are experiencing. I have been talking to Apple Customer Support and they only have minor reports about keyboard problems. We need to make sure they associate all this stuff so they recognize and fix this problem.
     
  7. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #7
    Yes I have the same issue. PB 15" about to get its 4th keyboard. I have two friends with PB 12"s and their keyboards are perfect.

    *sigh*
     
  8. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #8
    Yes, it concerns me a lot... I'm a writer, so the feel of my keyboard is very important to me. Not to mention I spent nearly $3000 for this beautiful machine.

    I was told the sticky/pop/click sound is from the adhesive that holds the keyboard.

    I totally agree. If we all do our part to contact Apple, maybe they will give us a better solution. Right now all I have been offered is a keyboard replacement.
     
  9. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    does it develop over time? or is it immediatly noticeable. Im waiting for the powerbook speedbumps to buy it so that 128mb graphics are standard. I ask this because if it is immediatly noticeable, then I can go into the apple store and feel the keyboard before I buy is, as opposed to getting it online. Id rather have a custon built one with more ram, but a good keyboard ovver rides the painless installation of more ram.
     
  10. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #10
    Yeah, I noticed it right away. Mine was ordered custom online.
     
  11. mbrun macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2004
    #11
    Right away. It can be subtle in some keys. My guess is that heat (maybe from the processor) will speed up the problem. That's just a guess.
     
  12. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #12
    Well I just got my keyboard "replaced." Although it feels a bit better, the problem simply moved to another place on the keyboard, and now I have several keys higher/lower than others. Not to mention the very small gap that now exists because they opened my PowerBook.

    This is really frustrating... do I get it replaced again?
     
  13. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #13
    I had the same problems but lately, its gone away. (I had problems with the apple and ctrl keys.) They seems to be stuck under the other neigboring keys momentarily. It was quite annoying until got used to it. I really don't have time to go to the apple store at the moment.
     
  14. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #14
    My problems continue too. My latest count is new 6 keyboards. Five in the refurbished unit, the new PB had sticky keys but I exchanged it, now the second new PB which I brought in for repair had the top case and keyboard replaced and still it has sticky keys and the Esc key is slightly raised. I had figured on trying to live with the problem after this latest repair rather than go through another repair, but then found out the backlighting doesn't work on all the keys. I'm waiting on a response from Apple. They keep telling me it isn't a problem they have encountered. Odd, since this forum has found several, and in my experience alone I've seen 6 new keyboards, 3 originals and one floor model in the Apple Store in Plano, TX with the problem.
     
  15. diamond geezer macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2004
    #15
    Kick up a stink and ask for a replacement computer.
     
  16. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #16
    You betcha. Noticed this morning the once sticky "period" key now exhibits problems like Keon reports and like I had experienced in the first unit. It aint scientific, but it kinda' proves my theory that the sticky keys could get worse over time and become raised and/or end up with a whole section of bad keys surrounding the original.

    Apple Care finally responded and I'm taking it in for yet another repair. I demanded one last repair attempt or a refund if unsuccessful. I don't want to give up, but I'd rather have nothing than have a PB with this problem and I've had enough of dealing with repairs. Not sure if they will comply.
     
  17. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #17
    Apple seems to be having Keyboard problems with the PowerBooks and iBook line. Why is this so?

    I was going to pick up a PB however I am going to save some money and get the 12" iBook instead.

    How do the keys on both Books differ anyone?

    I only need something small and portable nothing fancy even the 30gig HDD is ample for my needs.
     
  18. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #19
    CTO?? I'm guessing that = Configured To Order??? If yes,...Not sure how with a custom.

    Seems like they could just configure a new one and send it to you. I think when Apple Care agreed to a replacement for mine they intended to mail it, but then I asked for and got permission to swap it out at a local Apple Store to speed things up. Mine was not custom though.

    My guess is they will insist on several repairs first (my experience), so good luck with all that. If you press them on it and, maybe, ask that your case be escalated you might not have to go through 5 repairs before replacement (my experience). Escalating a case hands you to a person with more authority to do that sort of thing.
     
  19. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #20
  20. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #21
    Thanks dferrara!! I was thinking we were all alone with this. Somehow missed that in my first searches, but it may have been because my problems began a few weeks before the first post on the Apple Discussion.
     
  21. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #22
    UPDATE

    Just thought I'd update. I'm seeking a refund from Apple. I tried another keyboard replacement (I think that makes 9 I've tried in 2 computers) and it actually got worse this time.

    I'm sick and tired of this, especially after finding the Apple Discussions with many more people with the same problem. I counted roughly 46 keyboard replacements (and that isn't even counting the other Apple topic http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?14@277.1dBHafL3FOL.0@.689123ae that I found) and yet Apple won't admit the problem, or more importantly, do something about it that works.
     
  22. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #23
    Have you considered upgrading to 17"? Or would it not be worth it then?

    I agree though... it was ridiculous around 6 replacements, 9 is just awful.
     
  23. mbrun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #24
    I haven't really considered it. The 15 is a perfect size. Although nice at at home on the desktop, the 17 seems a bit to large for me. Besides, spending the extra money just becuase Apple has a keyboard issue doesn't thrill me. I guess no 12" or 17" models have the problem? Odd. Seems like the same basic internals.
     
  24. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #25
    I ran into this problem as well. They seemed to downplay the problem as much as possible. How did you get them to acknowledge the problem as a manufacturing defect, and replace the machine? I'm guessing the number of replacements really helps, even if it's frustrating to get it replaced that many times.

    Also, when your PBs were being "repaired", was it through Apple's mail-in service or through the Apple Retail store?

    Oh yea and Merry Christmas!! :D
     

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