asdf Keys Not Working MB Pro 15

Christopher11

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
277
11
Hi. I'm feeling pretty down; the F key was failing intermittently on my 2012 MB Pro. Now the ASDF, all in a row, are not working. I had nearly filled the HD and emptied 300GB, and that seemed to fix it, so I was hoping it was a software issue.

However, It's done this again today. I'm typing on external usb keyboard. Please share any thoughts you have on what the problem likely is. Thank you in advance. Also, is there any software I can run to check the hardware, or fix any software issue? Thanks so much!
 

Lachhh

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2014
207
11
Mainland Europe
The problem is the keyboard. The fact that they key worked after you deleted data can only be a fluke, the two are entirely unrelated. Wobbly connectors can sometimes start working again for a while before giving out. Sounds like something in the wiring of your keyboard. If you must hang on to it you can try removing the keys and cleaning it out, or screwing it open (if that's a possibility on your keyboard) to see if there's some dirt jammed in it blocking some connector. Generally though, yeah, I'd just replace it.
 

Christopher11

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
277
11
`
replace the keyboard

You can buy one on eBay for ~$25
Thank you for responding. That's certainly cheap enough. I've looked at this video though
and that is very daunting for me. I think my boss at work will probably do it for me. Is there a chance I will screw up my laptop trying to do this with him?
[doublepost=1473477112][/doublepost]
The problem is the keyboard. The fact that they key worked after you deleted data can only be a fluke, the two are entirely unrelated. Wobbly connectors can sometimes start working again for a while before giving out. Sounds like something in the wiring of your keyboard. If you must hang on to it you can try removing the keys and cleaning it out, or screwing it open (if that's a possibility on your keyboard) to see if there's some dirt jammed in it blocking some connector. Generally though, yeah, I'd just replace it.
Thank you. You mean popping the keys out and cleaning them, like in this video?

That I think I could do. Since they're all in a row, does that more likely suggest a wiring issue though, than that there's gunk under the keys occluding the contacts? It would be nice if i could just clean them. There was no liquid spill. It could be oil from my hands on hot days collected inordinately there? I'm pretty careful though. Thank you in advance for any suggestion.
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,891
`

Thank you for responding. That's certainly cheap enough. I've looked at this video though
and that is very daunting for me. I think my boss at work will probably do it for me. Is there a chance I will screw up my laptop trying to do this with him?
Look at the instructions on iFixit. They are easier to follow.

It takes me about 45 minutes to do a keyboard replacement, but of cause I have years of experience, so take your time.
 
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Christopher11

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
277
11
Well I'm sure you're right. Thank you for your confidence that I could do it. It seems to happen more when the cpu is hot though, the asdf goes out. Does this imply a contact issue? Could cleaning out underneath the keys, popping them out like in that video help? Or do you think it's just intermittent failure that will likely get worse. Thanks for any response.
 

Christopher11

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
277
11
Hey you guys. Thanks again for all the help above. (keys are working now but will stop in a few minutes). Do you think there's any chance popping the ASDF keys out, one at a time, and cleaning with distilled water could solve this issue?

Or are you nearly certain it's a wiring problem. Thanks so much in advance or any reply.
 

funkyronster

macrumors newbie
Aug 13, 2013
3
0
Here is what I think is a possible solution, having read every other possible solution - dirty keys, accesibility settings, PRAM etc - nothing worked for me.

Specifically my fault is the same - the ASDF keys only, but I think others may be affected as well.

I found that the keys would occasionally work if pressed hard. Sometimes. then the problem went away for a few weeks, and then came back.

I think it's old age! My 2012 pro is now over 6 years old. It can't really be software if they work when pressed hard sometimes, and it can't be dirt if all 4 keys go together.

Don't laugh, but this is what I did. I placed the palm of my hand over the ASDF keys and pressed firmly, slowly and gently, hard enough to flex that area of the keyboard. It worked!

When I did this, I noticed that at that time my MBP was quite warm. I had been using it a lot. I am not a techie, but I do know that the keyboard has some sort of matrix circuit that senses what keys are being pressed. My theory is that with constant heat expansion and contraction over many years, this mechanism of contacts gets old and eventually under certain circumstances, a section of it goes intermittent. Applying some pressure to the area seems to have remade the connections, because these 4 keys came back to life immediately. And it is still working fine.

I suspect that a new keyboard will be needed eventually - nothing lasts forever. But this "fix" worked for me.
 

bobnugget

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2006
286
87
England
Specifically my fault is the same - the ASDF keys only, but I think others may be affected as well.

I found that the keys would occasionally work if pressed hard. Sometimes. then the problem went away for a few weeks, and then came back.
Mine did this too. The whole row then went so I had to replace the keyboard. If you are short on time and/or don't want to undo all the tiny screws holding the keyboard in, you can replace the entire topcase. 2011 top cases/keyboards are compatible and readily available due to the AMD graphics problem on those systems. I bought a fried 2011 MBP with a high-res matte display and upgraded my display at the same time.
 

Christopher11

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2007
277
11
Here is what I think is a possible solution, having read every other possible solution - dirty keys, accesibility settings, PRAM etc - nothing worked for me.

Specifically my fault is the same - the ASDF keys only, but I think others may be affected as well.

I found that the keys would occasionally work if pressed hard. Sometimes. then the problem went away for a few weeks, and then came back.

I think it's old age! My 2012 pro is now over 6 years old. It can't really be software if they work when pressed hard sometimes, and it can't be dirt if all 4 keys go together.

Don't laugh, but this is what I did. I placed the palm of my hand over the ASDF keys and pressed firmly, slowly and gently, hard enough to flex that area of the keyboard. It worked!

When I did this, I noticed that at that time my MBP was quite warm. I had been using it a lot. I am not a techie, but I do know that the keyboard has some sort of matrix circuit that senses what keys are being pressed. My theory is that with constant heat expansion and contraction over many years, this mechanism of contacts gets old and eventually under certain circumstances, a section of it goes intermittent. Applying some pressure to the area seems to have remade the connections, because these 4 keys came back to life immediately. And it is still working fine.

I suspect that a new keyboard will be needed eventually - nothing lasts forever. But this "fix" worked for me.
I am so grateful to you. That actually worked. After years of managing with an external keyboard, I can type on my MacBook. Thank you.
 

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