Help: Shift ALWAYS on

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sparth, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. sparth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I have quite an odd matter with my mac pro.
    It looks like the Shift Key is always on so everything reacts that way.

    I first thought it was the keyboard, so I cleaned it etc. but it's not ! I tried that keyboard on another mac and it works perfectly.

    The Keyboard Viewer shows that the 2 Shift Keys are ALWAYS turned on even if my keyboard is unplugged !

    I searched quite a bit but I can't find anything like that.
    Please, help me.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Hmm, that's strange. Okay, for a start, put your computer's restore disk in the drive and reboot, holding the C key until the Apple logo appears. This will open the OS X installer. When it has finished loading, open Terminal from the Utilities menu. Is the text you type there shifted (uppercase) as well?
     
  3. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #3
    No it's not shifted.
    Looks like it's working properly.
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Okay, so that means it's not a hardware issue.

    Try creating a new user account on your computer. Does the shift key work properly there?
     
  5. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #5
    I went on System Preference > Accounts and I created a new account (with admin power) but unfortunately, it's still typing shifted.
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #6
    That would indicate that it's a system-level software issue. That may be rather difficult to solve directly. If it was user-level, things would be much simpler.

    Anyone who is familiar with my posts will notice I recommend this too much, but I think reinstalling the OS is your best solution in this case. It's an easy solution, both in terms of troubleshooting and practical implementation! Since your problem is with the system that will be replaced by the reinstall, it shouldn't be carried over after the install. If you run an archive and install with the option to preserve users and network settings selected, your computer will come out the other end with the same data, settings, applications and so forth – but hopefully without the same issue. Run Software Update a couple of times and you're back where you started, but without the problems.
     
  7. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, I already tried reinstalling the OS with Archive and Install but it was still shifting.
    I guess I will just try to run Software Update ?
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    That's bizarre. Either it's a hardware problem that will happen everywhere, or it's software. It can't have the strangest of both worlds.

    Try typing in Terminal on your normal install. It's possible (although unlikely) that the problem does not affect Terminal, which is why it didn't show up when you tried it in the installer.

    If not, maybe it was carried over with the archive and install. If you're running Leopard, it supports live partitioning of the boot drive. Use Disk Utility to create a new partition on your drive and run a fresh install on that partition. Does the problem follow you there as well?

    Is your Mac Pro still under warranty?
     
  9. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #9
    What do you mean on your ''normal install'' ?
    I just kept C button at restart and used Utilities > Terminal
    In this case it's working properly.

    Unfortunately I'm not on Leopard yet. I'm running Mac Os X 10.4.11

    I don't remember. I bought it on Sept '07 and I didn't get any additional plan.


    Do you think it's possible that the Keyboard Layout file is damaged ?
     
  10. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #10
    I'm referring to the system you normally boot to, the one that's giving you grief.

    Oh well, there goes that idea. No external drive you could use?

    Then no. The normal Apple warranty lasts one year from date of purchase.

    That would be possible, but our troubleshooting has removed that possibility as far as I can think. I can't remember where layouts are stored, but it would have been erased when you reinstalled if it's in the system domain and when you created a new account if it's in the user domain.

    It could be a firmware issue, but I don't know how you'd diagnose or fix that. I guess a firmware issue would also affect the installer, though.

    Try going into the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane. Under Modifier keys... oh bugger, you can't remap the shift key. You could try creating a new custom keyboard layout with, say, the shift and command keys reversed. If the key itself seems to be the problem, I have an idea as to how we might go about developing a stopgap solution.
     
  11. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #11
    Yeah, I might use an external HD.
    Do you think using ''Erase and Install'' would fix that ?

    Yeah I kinda already trying creating a new custom keyboard layout.
    But if I click any button, remember that there's always the shift on.
    So if I press Command it's gonna be Shift + Command
     
  12. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
  13. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #13
    I don't wanna sound rude but.. Did you even read the first post? ;)
     
  14. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #14
    By sticky keys, he didn't mean your keys were physically sticky.

    This video shows you how to enable sticky keys and what it is: http://www.woopid.com/video/897/Enable-Sticky-Keys

    I don't think this is your problem though.
     
  15. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #15
    He mentioned ''the shift key stuck'' which makes me think he didn't read the first post, where I explained it isn't a keyboard related issue.
    I know what he is talking about by sticky keys, we already went through that and obviously that's not the case.
    Thanks anyway :)
     
  16. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Georgia, USA
    #16
    Well... now you can tell that I didn't read the entire thread. :D
     
  17. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
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    #17
    Possibly. That's what I'm wondering.

    And input remains shifted, so it's associated with the shift effect rather than with the physical button?
     
  18. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #18
    me too. I guess if I can't fix this I will eventually try...

    What do you exactly mean by that ?
    Whenever I try to create a new custom layout the shift is always on, so whatever I do it's gonna be a combo of shift + new button.

    I think the physical button works ?
    When I go to Universal Access and I check the box where I activate Sticky Keys I can press Shift 5 times to turn on and off.
    So basically it looks like I can still press shift, with it being already on.


    Anyway, this morning when I turned on the mac it first seemed like everything was fixed. The Keyboard viewer was alright and I was typing perfectly. However after 15 secs the Shift Keys started going On and Off super fast; like if someone was pushing that key crazy fast. It kept blinking for 20/30 secs. I tried typing and obviously it was reacting that way. Sometimes was shifted sometimes not.
    In the end, it eventually went back to the original issue so now the Keyboard Viewer is showing Shift on again.
     
  19. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #19
    How long did you use this keyboard on the other Mac? Based on what you saw in your last post it could be an intermittent keyboard issue. Does the other Mac have a keyboard you could move to the Mac Pro and test to see if the issue remains?

    This is a USB keyboard I assume? Have you tried using another USB port maybe? Is the mouse connected to the keyboard or it's own USB connection? Maybe try disconnecting the mouse? (May sound like stupid suggestions but it could be that the Mac pro is not pushing enough out the port to power the keyboard and/or mouse and that's causing some erratic behavior that might not exist on another computer).
     
  20. sparth thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #20
    I used it for long enough on my mbp and it works correctly.

    yeah, it's a USB keyboard. It's the one that cames with the mac pro. I'm not sure if they are still giving out that one, I've seen the super flat one lately.
    I already tried using another USB port. Usually I don't use a mouse, I have a wacom tablet that I use instead of it.

    When this matter came out I connected a mouse but NOT on the keyboard.
     
  21. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #21
    The only other suggestion I can offer to really determine HW/SW as the culprit would be to obtain/borrow another USB keyboard and see if the problem persists. If it does then it's almost definitely a software issue, if it goes away there may be some strange combination that's causing that particular keyboard to flake out with that Mac. It may be able to be fixed by a new keyboard, or possibly even just an externally powered USB hub.
     
  22. msevild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Schaumburg
    #22
    Well I thought I'd put my two cents in. I would suggest doing an Archive and Install but do not preserve user and network settings(this will still keep the data there, but won't create the user automatically- we can add it back later). This will fully and effectively install 100% fresh copies of the Library and System folders. At this point you can go through the setup assistant, create a temporary admin account that doesn't match the previous admin name, so that you can later move the old user folder back from the Previous system folder to the root level User folder. Then go into accounts and create a new user with a short name that matches the original admin's home folder name. So to recap...

    1: Archive and Install
    do NOT preserve users and settings
    2: Create temporary admin account with different name. e.g Test
    3: Test to see if issue is resolved(it should be)
    4: Move original user folder which resides in Previous Systems -> .. -> Users to the root level User folder(Macintosh HD -> Users).
    5: In the Accounts System Preference create an account that matches the "short name" of the folder you just moved.
    6: Success!!...Hopefully...
     

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