Problems with MBP (old style)... please help! urgent!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pbjunkie87, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. pbjunkie87 macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    i'm having problems with my keyboard and trackpad freezing at times. Sometimes it will freeze completely, no keys working except for the power button. other times it will freeze for just a few seconds then unfreeze itself. the first scenario is esp bad because if im working on a project or typing a paper and it freezes, im SOL. sometimes it'll even freeze u when i turn it on. when the main screen comes up i cant move the mouse and the aforementioned problem starts. sometimes i have to turn it on and off 3 or 4 times before i can use it again.

    also, my keys sometimes "stick", and by stick i mean they will repeat itself after i've stopped touching the key. it's not literally stuck down, but it keeps putting the same letter (or doing the same function) until i push a couple more buttons.

    anyone have similar problems? i've tried everything i can think of. the only thing left is to reformat the hard drive. I want to use time machine afterwards but i'm afraid if its a software issue, i'll just put it back on my computer after the reformat.

    can anyone help me? please! i'm desperate! any help would be appreciated!

    my computer stats are in my signature.
  2. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    How old is the computer and do you have AppleCare? The problem could be your logicboard, or even a software issue. Call AppleCare if you have it and try to have a Product Specialist work with you. It's going to be very difficult to get into the Apple Store the next few days, but try to get a Genius appointment. Good luck.
  3. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Assume that it is a software issue.

    Create a new user and see if happens in there as well (chances are it will and it's a system-wide issue).

    The last and only other option is to backup whatever you can and reinstall OS X. If it is a software issue, then it should be resolved. If not then it's almost certainly the logic board. In that case, hopefully you still have AppleCare (probably near it's end) and Apple can help you out.
  4. pbjunkie87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    no i do not have applecare. could not afford it at the time of my mac purchase... seriously regretting it now loll.

    i will create a new user and see if that changes anything. i doubt it will. and i brought up the reinstallation of OSX in my original post. If I back everything up with Time Machine, after I reinstall OSX, wouldn't the issue come back after i put everything back on?
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    What signature?
  6. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    Of course you won't know before you try, but most likely the issue will not return. I do suggest making a Genius Bar appointment and trying to get some input from there. Even if you are not covered by AppleCare, maybe they can steer you in the right direction.
  7. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Try attaching an external USB mouse and external USB keyboard. See if the problem happens while using those. If the problem still occurs, you know it to be related to software issues, which can be more easily solved. If it does not happen while using those, it's probably a hardware issue and would need to be serviced.
  8. pbjunkie87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009

    an external USB mouse and Apple keyboard work with no problems. that's what vie been doing if my mac freezes, i just connect the external keyboard and mouse and use those.

    i reinstalled SL, but when i used Time Machine to put everything back on my computer, did i just put whatever was bad back onto my hard drive? that's what i was afraid of.
  9. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    If the externals work fine without the issue, your problem is most likely the cable that connects the trackpad/kb to the mobo.
  10. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...
    If the issue is indeed software related, you may have reloaded the same issue via time machine. However, it may have been a glitch.

    Good luck,

    Habitus :apple:
  11. pbjunkie87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    is there a way to diagnose that problem myself, or do i have to take it to Apple? Any idea how could that have happened?

    If it is indeed a software issue, is there any way for me to determine what application is making my computer mess up? a freeware app perhaps?

    This issue is killing me. Thank god for MS office's Document Recovery :/
  12. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    You've done the diagnostic already if I understand you. If you 1. work in whatever software program is being problematic with the tp/kb, 2. plug in an external kb/m, 3. are able to type with the external kb/m but still NOT with the internal tp/kb, then the problem is sure pointing hard toward a tp/kb hardware issue (most software issues would affect BOTH internal and external input devices). The tp/kb share a connection to the mobo and since both have functionally pooed the bed, it is pointing to that cable.

    The cable is a fairly fragile ribbon cable and they can wear from pushing hard (the computer stuffed in a backpack full of books can flex it some), from bouncing ever so slightly in its slot, or it can just be a manufacturing problem.

    Head on over to someplace like ifixit and have a look at where it sits and where it connects on both ends.
  13. pbjunkie87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2009
    but then why is it that the problem is sporadic at best? The amount of time from when I turn the computer on till it freezes varies greatly, from a few minutes, to a week plus. Sometimes it won't work at all when i first turn the computer on. Would it still be the tp/kb ribbon cable?
  14. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    i have a 2.5GHZ 15"MBP (not uni) and sometimes the keyboard will get "stuck". Like i will be typing, and then one letter will just stay stuck. Happens very seldom and at random.
  15. runrabbit macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2010
    Same problems

    I have the same problems - keyboard gets sticky, letters skip or get stuck on repeat - and then trackpad/mouse freezes, nothing works but power button.
    Using a USB keyboard and wireless mouse works but I prefer the trackpad!

    I tried the 'postit notes between the battery and cables' (see here: which did help but now its happening again and getting bummed.

    Thinking of taking it in but I can't live without my laptop!

    Mac Details:
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro4,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 2 GB

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