Keys on Keyboard Cutting out

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by voodoothemailman, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. voodoothemailman macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2017
    Recently the left shift, left option and less frequently the left command key on my Macbook Pro (2012; A1286) have been cutting in and out. One second they will work fine and the next they won't. Strangely, it seems the left shift and left option key either both work at the same time or not work at the same time. I brought it into the apple store and they replaced the shift key for me but it did not help. They said replacing the entire keyboard ($240) would be the only option for fixing it. I've tried resetting the PRAM and SMC and have dusted the keyboard with canned air. Can anyone please offer any other suggestions? Thanks!
  2. Bruno09, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here

    its not strange that several keys stop working at the same time : its because they use one same line.

    I would first unplug then plug back the keyboard ribbon cable in its connector.
    Be careful, this connector is fragile.

    If the problem is not fixed, you can replace the keyboard (plus backlight) yourself, or have it replaced by a repair technician (no need for an Apple Store here).
    You should be able to find the combo keyboard + backlight for $30 or so.

    I recently replaced the keyboard (after a Coca spill) on a Late-2011 15" Macbook Pro.
    All went fine. I also replaced the thermal paste and cleaned all the interior, especially the heatsinks and the fans.
  3. voodoothemailman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2017
    Thank you so much for replying Bruno09. May I ask, how do you go about accessing the ribbon cable? Can you tell me the basics? I'm sure I can look up the detail somewhere but I just want to make sure I'm doing the correct thing.

    I think I found a replacement here, does that look right to you? I'm not very technically minded and only have tried fixing internal computer issues once before on an old macbook pro (I replaced the fan). Sure does save a lot of money!

    Thanks again!!!
  4. Bruno09, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    Take a look at this iFixit tutorial :

    For the keyboard ribbon cable, see Steps #15 and 17.
    Disconnect the battery (Step #3)

    If you have isopropyl alcohol, clean the ribbon cable with a Q-tip after you have unplugged it from the connector.
    Let it dry, then plug the cable back and flip down the retaining flap.

    Your link for the replacement is fine.
    All the A1286 Macbook Pro have the same keyboard.

    You can find videos tutorials on Youtube for the keyboard replacement.
    Of course don't do it if you are not sure you can do it.
    Better to have some (good) repair guy do it for you.
    Its a 2 hours job including the cleaning and the thermal paste replacement.
  5. voodoothemailman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2017
    Thank you Bruno09, you are awesome! Yeah, after watching that video this does seem a bit over my head though I'd really love to try it! Maybe when I finally upgrade my computer I will but right now I really too much on it to risk doing this myself.

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