MacBook not typing

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by macbook2009., Apr 25, 2015.

  1. macbook2009., Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    macbook2009. macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello,

    After spilling a few drops only around my space bar, my whole keyboard stopped working even though it only got on the space bar and quickly got wiped off. That night the computers keys were acting up. The shift key sometimes made symbols, but I disabled the option key and everything was fine. I kept it in an upside-down "V" to let the computer dry out. The next morning, the keys just made an error noise when trying to type my password.

    External keyboards worked and when I did log in I turned on onscreen keyboard. When I pressed a key on my MacBook's internal keyboard, it would darken the correct key I pressed on the onscreen keyboard, so that indicates it noticed the key press and which key I pressed. This must also mean the keyboard works. All fn keys are also working. I got an application called 'Karabiner' that somehow made the keyboard work but the shift key didn't and it would randomly close. I have a MacBook 2009 13 inch plastic.

    I tried:
    - Resetting PRAM. Didn't recognize key-presses (Guessing option key doesn't work)
    - Wiping system and installing new OS. Used to run Yosemite but is now running Mavericks and the problem stayed.

    Please help! I would like my computer back to normal again! :mad:

    (I contacted both Apple Support and Apple discussions but they just replied with "Your keyboard is broken and needs to be serviced" which I don't believe because the computer knows which key I am pressing.

    Edit: It was water that I spilled on my keyboard and it only got around the space bar and shouldn't have broke the whole keyboard.

    Edit: I also posted this on the Apple Forums which has more information: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7011197
     
  2. Theophil1971 macrumors 6502

    Theophil1971

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    #2
    Unfortunately, it sounds like it did break the whole keyboard. It's all about the electronics. Sounds like the few drops you spilled managed to short enough out that it's not working. You can try drying it out more and see if things improve, but if not you may indeed need to take it for service. Some people pack water damaged devices in on cooked rice for 24hrs, as the rice absorbs the moisture. Gotta be careful of rice grains and dust getting lodged in the components, though. Don't use a hairdryer or heat gun. You can easily damage and distort plastic parts. Keep it in a warm, dry place and let it air out for a while, and possibly things will rectify.


    Best thing to do if you spill water, BTW, is to immediately turn the computer totally off. Cut the power completely. Then let it dry totally before trying to power on again. Any bit of moisture on a circuit board can short out a component.
     
  3. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thank you for the quick reply.

    Okay, I will try but the thing is this happened weeks ago. The keyboard didn't change at all. One thing that confuses me is that the onscreen keyboard highlights the key I am pressing on the keyboard, so it does know the key I am pressing.
     
  4. artivideo.nl macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes your keyboard is f.cked. I have had the same experience with my separate keyboard of my iMac. Also spilled a few drops liquid on it and the keyboard was instantly broken and had to buy a new one. One would expect that on a notebook Apple would have made some kind of protection against fluids since you can not replace it as easily as with a desktop.
     
  5. Idefix macrumors 6502

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    #5
  6. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Oh, I have a laptop so my internal keyboard doesn't work.
    I do have an external keyboard but I would like to use the internal one. With the laptop I have, it's extremely hard to replace and will require for me to take the whole entire computer apart. :(
     
  7. Theophil1971 macrumors 6502

    Theophil1971

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    #7
    Sounds like it's time to treat yourself to a new Mac! The 2015 MacBooks are sweet!
     
  8. macbook2009., Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    If only I could lol..
    When I can afford it, I will get one but right now it seems that the only computers I'll be using are my old Windows laptop.

    I can use the MacBook but only with an application called "Karabiner" which makes me able to type but the shift key doesn't work and it tends to crash every 5 minutes.

    Thank you anyway!

    I still will take suggestions
     
  9. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #9
    My suggestion is that you heed the advise that Apple Support gave you. I think it is obvious that you do not know more than Apple Support proven by you asking for help instead of it being fixed already.
     
  10. macbook2009., Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Yes, I know. I just wanted them to at least tell me more about the problem and why it was still registering key presses but them not coming out.

    I still feel like this could be fixed without paying $500 for them to practically replace everything in the computer because how else would the application Karabiner make most of the keys start to work again?

    EDIT: The eject key acts as it is the power button when the computer is on.
     
  11. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I realized I do have the money and I will get a new MacBook Pro from the Apple store today. Thank you all for your help and there is no use in trying to fix it now :D
     
  12. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #12
    That sucks. I've been incredibly lucky with a couple spills not ruining mine. Every time you have a close call you swear you'll never have water by your machine again but then you get more negligent as time goes on.
     
  13. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #13
    This is a $20 trp to eBay and a 20-30 minute repair.
     
  14. Hieveryone macrumors 68030

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  15. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I just want a new computer rather spending 700 dollars to get it repaired. The warranty expired.

    It isn't a 20-30 minute repair. This requires you to buy the whole computer top casing because the keyboard is connected to that. I saw prices and it costs 100 dollars. Then you have to take everything in the computer apart and unplug everything on the logic board. You have to take the logic board, track pad, HDD, etc. out just to replace it.. more like an hour and 1/2.

    I just think a new MacBook pro is the best way to go. I am not good when it comes to opening the laptop up.
     
  16. techGrid macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I am thinking of trying this. I have the same problem as the OP, with a small amount of water causing the keyboard to make symbols only. I should mention that I was stupid enough to turn it on and off a couple times after water got in, but it has been powering on just fine.

    Worried though, because there are a few other wonky problems: after doing a PRAM zap (I was told this might fix the keyboard), the machine seems to have reset my login password, and I cant get in anymore (using an external keyboard that I know works). The password hint is the same but it won't accept the pw. I can't get it to go into Terminal to reset the pw, and it's shut itself off a couple times. It seemed to be working ok otherwise when I used the guest account.

    Is there still a chance of getting it to work correctly if I air it out and maybe replace the keyboard? I really don't want to give it to Apple or replace it as I am far from rich.
     
  17. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Replacing the keyboard is hard but it will probably fix the MacBook.
    I have been airing it out for a week and I see no change so I don't think that will work.
     
  18. brand, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #18
    About 2 years ago one of the presidents at work spilled some maple flavored coffee all over their Latitude E6520 laptop causing it to no longer boot. Since the warranty was now void and not having anything to loose I completely disassembled it and soaked all of the electronic components, minus the CPU and RAM, in distilled water for about 6 hours then put them in sealed bags with rice for about 1 week. That laptop is still running strong to this day.
     
  19. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

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    #19
    Thank you for this thread. I'm normally careful to avoid handling drinks of any kind around my $1000+ laptop, but after hearing this I will be EXTRA careful to make sure no liquids are within 5 ft. May even invest in a keyboard cover.
     
  20. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Yeah, now I will be extra careful with my new MacBook... I still can't believe that the computer basically doesn't work after a few drops and a week of drying.
     
  21. techGrid macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Is there any chance of the keyboard working after just a cleaning? Or will I definitely have to get a new one? As I said, it was only making symbols, as if the option key was permanently pressed or something.

    Also I've been warned it's easy to damage the logic board by cleaning it with a toothbrush. Would just an ISOP aclohol bath work with no scrubbing? Maybe I can try to just gently shake it around in the liquid to dislodge the dust?
     
  22. happyslayer, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    happyslayer macrumors 6502a

    happyslayer

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    #22
    For the person this is a $20 trip to eBay, that is very untrue. on the 2009 white MacBook, the entire top portion of the Macbook must be replaced. The keyboard is literally part of the top half. (I have done this on two of them for customers.) It involves taking the entire MacBook apart (lots of screws!) and then reassembling it all back into the new/used top half of the MacBook. This is very labor intensive. So not cheap.
     
  23. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #23
    It's 19 screws and 30 minutes 40 if you haven't done it before. I just pulled mine off to replace the thermal compound and I did it in 20 minutes and it's been years since I've had one apart. The unibody Mac keyboards are much harder to replace because the logic board has to come out and there is a ton of tiny screws holding the keyboard in. If you just want the top case they're all over eBay for about $20 though you can pay more.
     
  24. macbook2009. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    You have to take the logic board out of the 2009 plastic MacBook to replace the keyboard.

    According to iFixit, it is difficult to fix and has 47 steps.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Unibody+Model+A1342+Upper+Case+Replacement/2185

    Also 86 parts.
     
  25. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #25

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