Left Cmd/Opt/Ctrl/Fn/Shift keys not working + start-up options not working in Terminal

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by angelhair0, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. angelhair0 macrumors newbie

    angelhair0

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Location:
    chicago, IL
    #1
    I have a multi-layered question here.

    My left side command, option, control, function, and shift keys do not work as of yesterday. It happened all of a sudden while working in Logic.

    Restarting didn't help, and I couldn't run many of the start-up options because of the keys not working. I reset the SMC by removing the battery and holding down the power button. It successfully reset but didn't help the issue. I wasn't sure if the right side shift key would work for restarting in safe mode, but it didn't.

    Then I realized I could at least use the diagnostics utility and hold down D when restarted, but then that didn't work. Which didn't make any sense.

    So I used terminal to tell my computer to start up in safe mode, or diagnostics mode, or to reset the PRAM. Terminal kept giving me errors I don't understand. If I type sudo nvram boot-args="-x", enter, and then my password, and enter, I get this error: nvram: Error setting variable - 'boot-args': (iokit/common) general error. It gives me that error with any of these boot-args commands.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with the keyboard, or if its a separate issue, but I'm honestly more concerned about not being able to use any boot options, especially safe mode, than I am about the keyboard.

    edit: I also tried deleting the the relevant preference files from my Library, repairing permissions, and running first aid. I also made sure that the keyboard was properly connected to the logic board when I removed the battery to reset the SMC.

    I can use an external keyboard for now, but the tab button doesn't work on this thing, so I have to keep reaching for my built-in keyboard anyway, and it's driving me nuts! LOL
     
  2. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Maybe part of the keyboard died or a connector came loose. What system?
     
  3. angelhair0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    angelhair0

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Location:
    chicago, IL
    #3
    macbook pro 15", early 2011

    i dont want to believe the keyboard problem this is a hardware issue but...maybe it is.

     
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    Long shot but have you ever had the battery replaced? They start swelling and compressing the keyboard, trackpad, and logic board, and sometimes lift the case up. The swelling is dangerous and can cause strange errors. They usually need replacement at 800-1000 cycle or 5 or 6 years.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    Battery on the Early 2011 MBPro does not extend under the keyboard, but any swelling would be fairly noticeable if you have already tried removing the battery while troubleshooting.

    Sounds like that lower left end of your keyboard has stopped working.
    You can test that by opening System Preferences, then the Keyboard pane.
    Click on the Input Sources tab, then select "Show Input Menu in menu bar"
    You will see a new icon in the top right area of menu bar. Click on that, then choose "Show Keyboard Viewer"
    That will open a window that represents your keyboard. Type on the keys. Good keys will be echoed on the keyboard viewer. Non-working keys (such as your left shift, etc) will not respond. This is a quick method to test all of your keys (with the exception of one or two keys, any key that you press should show a response in the Keyboard Viewer, and should also release when YOU release the key, so that will point out both dead keys, and sticking keys.
     
  6. angelhair0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    angelhair0

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Location:
    chicago, IL
    #6
    yes actually, i replaced my battery less than a year ago.


    i followed your advice. some really weird stuff started to happen!!

    first, i tried the control, option, and command keys. none of them responded. then, i tried the function key, which i assumed wasn't going to work because i had tested it using a website that is *supposed* to give you the same results that this keyboard viewer gives you. when i hit the function key, it lit up, to my surprise...but since then, every click i make with my track pad brings up a menu, as if i was holding down "control." it wont stop, and now i cant really even use my track pad to click anything.

    and it looks like hitting my function key now brings up the mission control
    preference pane?!

    an external mouse gives me the same results as the trackpad.

    what in the WORLD is going on! i had to login with my phone to finish this post.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    Yeah --- OK.
    Remove your battery completely, so you run on the power adapter, and the battery is not inside the system.
    Take a close look at the battery. Put it on a hard, flat surface. Flip it upside down. Press down on each corner - this is checking to see if the battery is perfectly flat, and NOT swelling.
    Try the keyboard/trackpad again with NO battery installed. Does your trackpad continue to give "unusual" inputs, even when the battery is not installed?

    ((Where did you get the replacement battery? Official Apple-brand replacement? Or, eBay/etc - cheap, cheep battery? I read lots of stories about folks that get a replacement battery from (somewhere), and find out later that the cheap battery is no bargain. Maybe yours is still OK! :cool: ))
     
  8. angelhair0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    angelhair0

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Location:
    chicago, IL
    #8
    i will do this, but the battery isn’t under the keyboard. it’s next to it, in its own spot. so does this still apply?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 24, 2018 ---
    oops forgot to respond to this. it is not apple, but i purposefully did not get some obscure cheap battery. i think i got it through OWC.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 24, 2018 ---
    now i’ve restarted, and things are back to the way they were pre-keyboard viewer. trackpad works and does not “right click” when it shouldn’t. but aforementioned keys still don’t work.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    You still need to check if the battery is flat (and not swelling)
    The battery IS underneath the trackpad, meaning that battery swelling can affect the trackpad.

    However, if the restart easily took care of that trackpad issue, then good...
    If your trackpad issue does return, do check without the battery again.
     
  10. angelhair0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    angelhair0

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Location:
    chicago, IL

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9 February 24, 2018