MBP Penryn - Keyboard + Trackpad randomly stops working

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by warhead1, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. warhead1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2008
    I read about this problem before and thus far came across 2 solutions (barring taking it back to an Apple Centre)

    1. Firmware update for keyboard
    2. Apply pressure underneath the trackpad area with stickytape behind the battery to hold down the ribbon cable.

    Neither of these apply to me.

    There is no firmware update that I can see in Software Updates (running Leopard 1.5.4) and the sticktape trick doesn't work for me.

    When the keyboard + trackpad freezes, I can put the laptop to sleep by closing the lid, when I wake it up, the kb + tp continue to work for a few minutes before freezing up again. Redoing this trick seems to give diminishing gains as the time to freeze decreases and ends with the trick not working at all ( can't type in password after wake up ). Plugging in an external kb + mouse however work fine and I can use the system per ususal but the inbuilt kb + tp would still not work until a restart.

    Has anyone heard of a solid fix to this issue? And how good is Apple Warranty when it comes to intermittent issues such as this ? I would hate to have some techie try my laptop out for 5mins and then say he can't find the problem and then waste my time.

    I've had this mbp for 5 months now and this problem has only come up a few times.

  2. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
  3. GreyMatta macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2007
    Mine has just started to do this as well for about 2 weeks now and I have to reboot to get it to work again.

    It does it like every other day or so. Unfortunately I need the machine for university work at the moment and will do for about 2 more months so I can't send it in for repair for the time being.

    Last time I sent my machine in for repair (dodgy superdrive) it had to be done 3 times due to the incompetence of the local authorized repair center.
  4. MacBrickout macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2008
    MBP Core 2 Duo trackpad stops working

    I have this exact same problem. Sleeping the machine and immediately waking it up seems to get it working for a while but with diminishing returns. Interestingly, if I use BootCamp to boot into Windows, I never have the problem (at least so far). It seems to only happen while running OS X....
  5. Denarius macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    Gironde, France
    Five possible plans in order of preference occur to me:
    1)Make sure you have the latest software updates from Apple->Software Update.
    2)If it's less than a year old take it to Apple and let them worry about it (longer if you have Apple Care I suppose)
    3)Have a look at this firmware update and think about installing it if you haven't done so already.
    4)Look at this page and look at the Boot Rom versions mentioned in each version of the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware update until you find the one that matches your boot rom version and install it. You can find Your Boot Rom version in Apple->About This Mac->More Info->Hardware.

    5)If you're still having problems and are feeling bold, look up some instructions on opening the computer, disconnecting the keyboard cable from the mother board and reattaching it. You can find plenty of photo tutorials on how to take it apart around the place.

    That's what I would do, but others may have better ideas.
  6. MacSamurai macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2006
    im having this problem too :( still no concrete way of fixing this?
  7. itinerant macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    Resets may help

    I've had this problem as well for the last couple weeks, and all the firmware updates in the world haven't helped. Just got off the phone with AppleCare, who recommended resetting system management control and PRAM. So far, so good, but we'll see.


    Shut down, unplug power, take battery out. Hold down power button for 5 seconds.


    Reattach battery and power cord. Start up and hold down: Command - Option - P - R. Once you hear the startup noise for the second time, release the keys and let the computer start all the way up.

    Hope that helps!
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Which MBP do you have?

    I thought it was three times?
  9. bgarlock macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2006

    I am having this problem as well, MBP (2nd gen. Intel - with FW800). Since doing the SMC reset, it has not happened, where it almost always would happen as long as my battery was attached. I have been running without the battery installed all week so far, and finally thought about the SMC reset. Then, I started searching for this problem, and it looks like it is quite common.

    You will also notice all kinds of USB errors when you do a 'sudo dmesg'. Plugging in an external keyboard/mouse work fine. I even would lose the laptop keyboard while in single user mode, which lead me down the road of "it must be in PRAM or SMC". I reset both, but did the PRAM first, and that did not seem to help. The SMC reset did seem to help.

    Crossing my fingers that the SMC reset fixes this for good. The only thing I have done recently, is up my HD to a 320GB 7200 RPM Hitachi (Stock 160GB 5400 Hitachi, which was slowly dying)

    I have also had a SMC reset fix a lot of strange issues my iMac at home would exhibit, mostly after changing or adding hardware. I guess a SMC reset is something to try after the normal T/S'ing stuff does not work.

    Good luck!
  10. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Are you sure its just the trackpad and keyboard and not ALL input? If you haven't tried already, check with an external mouse/keyboard or other input device.
  11. jdaniel macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    Lviv, Ukraine
    have the same problem with my intel 2.53 unibody.

    keyboard and trackpad freezes without warning, does not seem to be related to anything, have to restart to get it working. I have reformatted and reinstalled my comp, because i had a whole host of other issues starting up like airport not being able to be turned on after waking for sleep so i decided to do a clean reinstall.

    but soon after the freezing problem came back again and I have since done the PRM thing again, we shall see what happens.
  12. dmn89 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    I have almost the same problem on a 13" macbook pro mid 2010.
    The problem is that after 5 seconds of inactivity of the trackpad or keyboard it autodisable, and I have to close the lid and open it again to took it on again. is a very strange situation and i take it to a mac technician and they told me that they have never seen that and is a problem on the motherboard, but i think they didnt know what was happening and they just want to replace the motherboard.

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