2011 13" MBA: F5-F12 keys don't work, even AFTER replacing keyboard - argh!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JPamplin, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #1
    Hi folks,

    Bought a mid-2011 13" MBA off Craigslist - turns out, they guy selling it bundled an Apple wireless keyboard with it, saying some of the keys didn't work. The backlight was also spotty, so I have replaced the keyboard and backlight on it. It's not a fun job BTW - iFixit doesn't even talk about that.

    So after a new keyboard and new backlight, SMC resets, PRAM resets, and a couple of start-fresh 10.9 installs - the new keyboard is doing the exact same thing.

    F5 (lower backlight) - just beeps
    F6 (increase backlight) - does nothing
    F7 (previous track / rewind) - launches iTunes
    F8 (play / pause) - does nothing
    F9 (fast forward / next track) - mutes the volume
    F10 (mute) - lowers the volume
    F11 (lower volume) - increases the volume
    F12 (increase volume) - does nothing

    Every other key works fine. Backlight is great except I can't change the illumination level with F5 / F6. Tried switching the Fn key on to see if the key combo would change anything - nothing.

    I have spent a LOT of time completely disassembling the entire MBA to replace the keyboard and I am not happy. Could it be the trackpad? That's where it plugs in after all. Can I reapply a keyboard firmware for this unit (if it exists)?

    I'm about to give up. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    JP
     
  2. JPamplin, Dec 22, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014

    JPamplin thread starter macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #2
    Is this thing on?

    Beuller? I used the app Karabiner to assign Fn + Function keys to everything, and they all work properly now except for the F5 / F6 backlight keys. Backlight is set to a medium level, and lights up / goes off as expected, but I can't get the level adjustment to work.

    Any thoughts on that one?
     
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #3
    Is it definitely a 2011 MacBook Air? The 2010 one didn't have a backlit keyboard, and I wonder if you've been mis-sold and the Mac specific drivers doesn't know anything about a backlit keyboard.
     
  4. JPamplin thread starter macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #4
    You know, I wondered about that. But I checked the serial number, and it said "mid-2011". It also says that in About this Mac. And the main board has the power connector for the backlight.

    HOWEVER - is it possible that somebody replaced the trackpad with a 2010 model? The keyboard plugs into the controller chip on the back of the trackpad. Maybe that?
     

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