Certain keyboard keys continuously stop working temporarily!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BobNoto, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. BobNoto macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2013
    Dear MacRumors Forums,

    I need your help. Wether it's a hardware or software problem, it started a couple of weeks ago; certain keys on my MacBook Pro keyboard don't work. Well, in fact they do sometimes, but fail to work seemingly at random.

    More specifically, the affected keys are: R, T, Y, U, I, and O. See a pattern? They are all placed next to each other on the keyboard. I initially thought this was a hint of an 'external injury' - i.e. liquid spilled into it, slammed into something etc., but there has been no such incident. I am the only user of the computer and have been very careful about it (the kind of person who gives a crazy stare to the guy placing a cup of coffee even on the other side of the table). Let me explain my problem more closely:

    - As mentioned, I have not detected any kind of systematic pattern to the problem's occurrence - it seems to happen randomly. The six keys all act together - either they all work, or none of them work.

    - The way I've learnt to solve it is by pressing a ****-load of keys, including the malfunctioning ones. Then, suddenly in this long string of random symbols, the broken ones appear. Once this happens, I am able use all keys again for a while (sometimes, though, I have to repeat this several times for just typing a single word). I can also make them work by holding down the key I want to activate and then press the adjacent not-working keys. But obviously this is all extremely annoying.

    - Restarting the computer doesn't work; if the keys didn't work before, they still don't work after restart.

    - I am not sure if they are velocity sensitive, i.e. if it helps pressing the keys with a stronger force. I don't think so (but sometimes I want to, in frustration).

    - The problem is not specific to a certain program; it happens when using the internet browsers, in text programs, in games and so on.

    System specifications:
    MacBook Pro, 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5, 4 GB 1333 MHz DD3 (almost 2 years old) with Mac OS X v. 10.7.5.

    I prey for a saviour! Thank you in advance!
  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Try a safe boot right after it occurs, see if the problem persists.

    If I were you I would install a clean OS on an external disk, even a USB stick (Min. 8 GB) would work and see if the problem is gone, if so it's hardware.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Test the problem in a brand new user account. If all is well there, then you can fix the problem by sorting out prefs and processes running in your original account. (i.e. don't migrate to a new account.)

    Have you installed any software that might patch the keyboard? Like a keyboard macro app -- QuickKeys, Keyboard Maestro, iKey?

    Any other non-standard hardware or software?
  4. midorosan macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2007
    keys don't work on bluetooth keyboard

    My newest keyboard developed a problem the qwertyui and left side shift keys no longer function
    I attached an older keyboard and this works well does this indicate a hardware problem?
    I am not aware of any spillage or other damage.

    Any help appreciated, I have already been through the Apple KB forums and none of the offered solutions apply.
  5. macairprob, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013

    macairprob macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    Same problem!!


    I have the EXACT same issue and i dont know what is causing it to happen?! Did you solve your problem BobNoto? I'm not sure if this is will be covered by the warranty or not! Does anyone know?

  6. Slade Mahoney macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2010
    Similar issue

    I am having a similar issue. The key between the x and v on my keyboard intermittently stops working. I had to say it that way because I an't type the harater right now.

    I know it's a software issue, because when I plugged in another keyboard, the same key didn't work. Also, that letter is part of my password, but I an log on.

    By the way, I an type because due to autoorret.
  7. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Reinstall OSX and restore from a TM backup.
  8. kevindt2011 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Same persistent issue

    I have the same issue as the original poster. I have the same year of Mac pro as well, and the same keys going out on my keyboard. I have contacted someone to make a repair and am taking it in for diagnostic today. I saw that somebody mentioned that this issue may not be covered by warranty. My guess is that it will be covered by warranty, this is not an issue caused by the user, rather it is being caused by the hardware. I followed a few steps i found on Apple's website. The issue will not show if it is software based in the terminal in recovery mode. I was able to duplicate the issue in terminal mode, so the conclusion that can be drawn is this is indeed a hardware issue.
  9. Inglis 54 macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    Intermittent keyboard failure

    Intermittently, for no rhyme or reason, some keys on my keyboard stop functioning. Most often the 'o' but also the ',' 'u' 'y' and sometimes the 't'
    I have never found out what causes it or why it rights itself, as it has now.
    It does appear to be getting worse though.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

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