iBook keyboard problems: stuck key

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by johnnyjibbs, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    My brother has just got his new iBook and we've got it up and running. All's well with everything and it's a nice little machine.

    However, it does have one minor problem. The full stop key appears to be not quite set correctly, such that it occasionally activates without being pressed. Meanwhile, clicking the key in a word processor, for example, causes millions of full stops. Therefore, what appears to be a small problem is causing major inconvenience - it is difficult to type anything on it (because full stops or "periods" keep appearing at random in the text) and, maybe more importantly, the machine cannot be trusted in sleep mode because it sometimes starts activating itself with the lid closed (due to the full stop key thinking it is pressed and therefore waking the iBook). It then goes to sleep moments later again before waking up, and the cycle repeats.

    I know this is a simple warranty issue but I was wondering if anyone knew of similar problems with their iBook G4s and if there is any easy remedy. We bought a small screwdriver to unlock the keyboard today and took it off, but the whole keyboard comes off in one plate - you can't try to pick off individual keys (to try for a better contact).

    The option I'm trying to avoid is sending it back to Apple because that's an inconvenience we don't need. I'll be going to the Apple Store London launch on Saturday, but I won't have the iBook with me and my brother (and the iBook) are currently up in Leeds (student), with no option to travel to London. Otherwise, it'll have to wait until Christmas when he comes back home to Essex and then we'll be able to go to the Apple Store again and see what they say.

    Does anyone know of a quick fix that wouldn't invalidate the warranty?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    I've never seen the problem, but the apple store should do the trick.
  3. ryan42 macrumors 6502


    Dec 3, 2003
    Near Houston, TX
  4. johnnyjibbs thread starter macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    :confused: What do you mean? Take off individual keys? How would you go about that? I wouldn't want to risk invalidating the warranty!
  5. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2004
    I wouldn't try any self fixes that could possibly void the warranty. Have you tried calling Apple and seeing what they say? Maybe, just maybe, they will send you a new keyboard. Replacing the keyboard is a repair the average user can do (as you seem to know) and Apple even allows it without voiding the warranty.

    Best of luck.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes, you can just pop off the individual keys. They sort of pop down into a hole with a spring of some sort in it (and the sensor, which may be the real problem).

    To remove a key, get something under two opposite edges and apply even upward pressure; it should just pop off (sometimes more like "shoot off"). Putting it back is easy--just line it up with the hole, and push down until it pops in place.

    I've done this many times with desktop keyboards, and although it's a bit scary at first, I've never caused any damage. I assume laptop keyboards are the same.

    If there's something like it's mis-seated or something stuck in the hole, then you might well be able to fix it this way (look in and see if the rubber plunger is lined up correctly), but it's probably more likely it's the sensor underneath that's the problem.

    Oh, and although it MIGHT technically invalidate your warranty (I doubt it, though--they are removeable without any special tool or removing any screws), it shouldn't be possible to tell once you've put it back on. Besides, if something does go wrong it's broken anyway, so you could always claim it was like that when you got it, and it wouldn't really be dishonest.

    Good luck.
  7. kaylee macrumors regular


    Mar 21, 2004
    I just want to say that it might be an idea to leave it til you can get to an Apple store to get it repaired. My friend has taken keys off his ibook (G3, 700MHz) before, and it wasn't fun trying to get them back on again. You also have to be careful that you don't break the little "spring" mechanism that is underneath the keys, otherwise you are stuffed - we had one break on us, and Apple doesn't give replacement individual keys (at least here in Australia anyway), and under the circumstances (ie not being faulty) the keyboard being entirely replaced was NOT covered by warranty (we got quoted around $AU1000 plus installation).

    Maybe you could use an external USB keyboard? Not sure if this would disable the internal one though. ( i know you can disable trackpad if an external mouse pad is present)
  8. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Pop the key off and re-seat it. It's harmless.

    Second choice is to call Apple and have them send you a new keyboard, it's a fairly simple install on the iBook.

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