Macbook Pro Keyboard Backlight

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by airkarol, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. airkarol macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #1
    Hey,

    After a little spill, my MBP powers on, but the keyboard backlight on the sides isn't working. Is there a way to repair this, or do I need new parts. Also, can it be fixed with a replacement keyboard, or would I also need a top case?

    Thanks
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    You'll probably need a new keyboard and some serious cleaning of the inside of the computer.
     
  3. tombq macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Good Luck and I wish that apple....

    would offer accident protection.....THEN I would finally have my first illuminated keyboard notebook....I have been holding off because I need accident protection for a $3,000.00+ machine that I will travel with often.
     
  4. airkarol thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #4
    I had the machine open. Surprisingly, there wasn't really any on the logic board, or the parts exposed inside. There was a little bit under the ram cover, and around the battery. That was probably from the coffee that puddled below the laptop. I cleaned out the insides, but didn't remove the keyboard at all, I just left it to dry. The only issue I'm having is the stickiness of a few keys on the right side of the keyboard, and the back light is very dim on the sides. It's fine in the middle.
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #5
    Just just make sure you wipe everything drive and then go buy a new keyboard. You don't want signs of rust later.
     
  6. pinktank macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2005
    #6
    wipe the inside too or you wont be covered for anything due to liquid spills
     
  7. helios12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #7
    I had the same problem but minus the spillage. Just go to apple, and they'll replace it (the guy said it seems to be happening alot lately). Just don't tell them about the spillage.
     
  8. airkarol thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #8
    Thanks for the replies.

    Do I only need a keyboard, or do I also need a top case?
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    That's called fraud.
     
  10. helios12 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 23, 2008
    #10
    I thought it was called an accident :p
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
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    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #11
    Sure, it's an accident to spill pop in a computer.

    Not telling them that pop was spilled in the computer to circumvent the clause in AppleCare that says that accidental damage isn't covered so that you don't have to pay for the repair is called fraud.
     
  12. airkarol thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #12
    It seems like the backlighting is part of the keyboard, not the top case. The sides are slightly on, could that be the light sensors on the logic board?
     
  13. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #13
    The backlight of the MBP keyboard consists of 4 white LED's, attached to the back of the keyboard with double-sided sticky tape. A spillage could be shorting a couple of them out, hence the darkness. OR.. the liquid could be muddling the light because it's in the actual keyboard.

    What you can do, if your a dab handy with some precision tools is to dismantle the machine and remove the keyboard. You can fine a helpful guiide on ifixit - but dismantling the keyboard to it's dismantle it to it component parts will take a few hours and there are no guides for this...

    After you've dismantled the keyboard to the component parts, you'll need some paper towels and a hair drier that has a "cool" setting - you don't wanna melt the membrane part of the keyboard!! OR any of the connecting flex.

    Once done, the rest a matter of reassembly in reverse order!! Shouldn't take more then 4 hours to complete. While your at it, don't forget to dab off excess water from the top-case - if all done correctly, the backlight should return to normal.


    BEWARNED...
    If things go wrong, you could end up with a dead keyboard or worst.. a dead MacBook Pro.

    Good-Luck! :)
     
  14. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #14
    UltraNeo has the position of the lights changed as i had a early MBP and the lights faded for some reason i also thought they were under the keyboard but when i got it fixed i ended up having to get a new top case, i have a new MBP also but haven't taken this apart yet
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    '

    Don't ask, don't tell.

    If they ask, well don't lie then.
     
  16. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #16
    No.. I don't think so.
    However the keyboard interface is slightly different between the PowerBook (connects directly to the logicboard)
    and on the MacBook Pro, the keyboard connects to the back of the trackpad (as shown on the photos)

    Anyway... the Backlight LED's itself are actually part of the keyboard assembly - they're not physically attached,
    just stuck with tape - so care is require to remove them...They're only exposed once you physically separate the
    keyboard from the TopCase - it's possible...but there are atleast 20-30 tiny 1.5mm screws!!

    I took mine to bits when I replaced/exchanged the default UK keyboard for the Standard US version...
    Annoyingly, the e-bay seller sold the keyboard assembly without the backlight. Took a little while... But I did it!! :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At the top of the topcase there are some small metal clips, which secure the keyboard to the topcase.
    Before removing the screws I would straighten them first!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #17
    Thanks, the reason i asked was when the lights faded ( MBP 17'' 2.16 ) i e-mailed a company who sold spares explained the situation and asked if i could just buy a new keyboard ( £70 ) and swap out the keyboards.I then received a mail back stating that i would have to buy a top case ( £250 ) and that the light itself is part of the top case and just shines up through the keyboard were the keys are opaque & the top case is in fact anything but the keyboard. If i had just bought the keyboard would the lights just have been stuck on the back like your photos and is changing the keyboard as simple as unplugging the the ribbon and swapping
     
  18. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    近畿日本
    #18
    Hmm.. Grey area, me thinks.

    I'd say the lights is definitely part of the Keyboard assembly. I would of thought, if it's part of the Topcase, then the LED's would still be attached to the topcase, if and when you removed the keyboard, right? But that's not the case... it's kinda sandwiched between the two yet sticks to the keyboard more - cause there are clips on the back of the keyboard for it...

    BUT...

    If you buy a replacement keyboard, the backlight would have to be manually removed and attached to the replacement keyboard, since the keyboard will function without them. I suspect, IF one needs a replacement backlight module, he/she would have to buy it as a extra!! Though it's only 4 bright white LEDs surface mounted to the fliexi wire.
     
  19. airkarol thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #19
    Thanks for the replies.

    Searching on ebay, it seems like none of the top cases / keyboards come with the backlight led lamps. Can I purchase those at radioshack? Are they standard LEDs?

    The prices on ebay aren't horrible, I think I'll purchase both the top case and keyboard assemblies.

    After reading, I'm guessing that the issue is a short in the circuitry that controls the backlights?

    Thanks again.
     
  20. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #20
    I doubt you've damaged the laps to be honest.. the dullness could be caused by water in the keyboard. Cause if it's illuminating, then it's working. Perhaps just need to clean the inner parts of the keyboard, so the light isn't so defused?

    But yeah, they're very small surface mounted LED's like the ones you find inside a mobile phone. But soldering them in might be more tricky, as over heating will cause damage to the ribbon wiring.
     
  21. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #21
    don't worry, its pretty easy to tell if there's been a spill..

    We've had some customers where they just said their keyboard stopped working. Lo and behold we open it up and there's a sticky mess everywhere. We give him a call and then he mentions that tidbit.

    we're not that oblivious.

    i know for sure in 15" that the backlight is built into the keyboard assy, not the top case. I dont think 17" is too different..
     
  22. otispunkmeyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Middlesbrough UK
    #22
    i spilt stuff on my KB, its a fiddle to take it all apart, theres some tiny metal arms that you must bend to seperate the plastic sheets directly below the actual keyboard. i think theres like a clear one, and a second clear one with wierd patterns printed on it and then the flimsy white plastic sheet thats got 4 LED's woven into it. theyre equaly spaced about the center of the sheet which i found quite cool considering theyre then able to evenly light the whole keyboard from there. i used iFixits guides.

    i ended up washing all the layers of plastic, letting them dry and cleaning the keys with a wet paint brush
     
  23. niceguyeddie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #23

    Hey, I am having a party tomorrow night, you wanna come? You sound like a lot of fun.....:p
     
  24. TheMACologist macrumors newbie

    TheMACologist

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #24
    How many screws?

    Nice pics!

    FYI....Just did a replacement keyboard on a 15" MBP/ 2.2GHz today, and i found there to be only 11 small screws holding the keyboard in place, after the black film was removed..
    There may be differences on diff models, but that's what i found.
     

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