Trackpad only works in the bottom left

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Hey everyone I have a MacBook aluminum from late 2008. It has the 2 ghz intel core 2 duo processor, 4gb of memory and 120GB SSD. For about the past 6 months I've been having issues with the trackpad and recently only the bottom left corner works to click. I called my locally owned apple store and they told me its not worth fixing because my computer is so old. Does this sound like the trackpad is shot or could something else be going on? Do you think it's worth fixing? If so, is that something I could do myself? Thanks in advance!
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,471
159
Brasil
Hey everyone I have a MacBook aluminum from late 2008. It has the 2 ghz intel core 2 duo processor, 4gb of memory and 120GB SSD. For about the past 6 months I've been having issues with the trackpad and recently only the bottom left corner works to click. I called my locally owned apple store and they told me its not worth fixing because my computer is so old. Does this sound like the trackpad is shot or could something else be going on? Do you think it's worth fixing? If so, is that something I could do myself? Thanks in advance!
There's a screw below the trackpad where you can tighten to adjust its sensitivity. Tighten it very slightly to avoid breaking something. On my late-2009 unibody Macbook I had to remove the battery to reach it. Actually the procedure solved the issue only for a few days.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
There's a screw below the trackpad where you can tighten to adjust its sensitivity. Tighten it very slightly to avoid breaking something. On my late-2009 unibody Macbook I had to remove the battery to reach it. Actually the procedure solved the issue only for a few days.

I will definitely do that. Did you replace the trackpad then?
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,471
159
Brasil
I will definitely do that. Did you replace the trackpad then?
No, I didn't replace it. Actually the click always sounds, but I need to apply more pressure to see the "logical" click happening in the screen. The trackpad is functional in this sense.

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I do not believe adjusting the trackpad will fix this at all as I believe the pressure button in the trackpad is worn. You can get parts from eBay and the repair is not too hard at all.
Are the "Unibody" trackpads also easily repairable?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
No, I didn't replace it. Actually the click always sounds, but I need to apply more pressure to see the "logical" click happening in the screen. The trackpad is functional in this sense.

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Are the "Unibody" trackpads also easily repairable?

Yes. It is a separate part from the unibody all together and the repair is simple. The battery must be removed. Check out iFixit's guide on the repair.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Is it a 15" or 13"?



https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Late+2008+and+Early+2009+Trackpad+Replacement/12363



Heres an iFixit guide for the late 2008 unibody 15". One good thing with newer trackpads is they do not require a mechanic click, some people prefer mechanical clicks though.

I have the 13". I looked at the DIY and it looks like a pain in the butt. I talked to the guys in the computer repair department and they said it would be around $200 to fix. They said I should just get a new computer. Any thoughts?
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
924
2
I have the 13". I looked at the DIY and it looks like a pain in the butt. I talked to the guys in the computer repair department and they said it would be around $200 to fix. They said I should just get a new computer. Any thoughts?

That depends on what you are doing, if you are a speed freak like me you should get a newer computer. A 200$*repair on a 6 year old machine just isn't worth it, DIY or buy a new computer.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Here's my situation. I'm in my last year of college and I'm planning on running windows in addition to os x. I need windows for Access as I'm an accounting student. My current computer seems pretty solid except for the occasional lock up and it's slow sometimes. I have a 120 gb ssd and 4gb of ram. I wanted to make it last until I graduated but I can't afford to have it crash or break.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
This is the pricing I can get through school. Doesn't apple typically release new models around now? ImageUploadedByTapatalk1406410418.084390.jpg
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
The current crop of rMBPs are fantastic and well worth the money. There may be a slight speed bump in the fall but the new processor lines aren't coming until late 2014 or early 2015.

Oh okay. So in your opinion would you upgrade to a new one or fix my current macbook?
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
I just pulled it apart and wouldn't it just be a matter of pulling the screws and unplugging it? Mine doesn't look the same as the one in that DIY. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1406481739.967111.jpg
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Yeah I've been looking on there and can't find one for my macbook. Mine is a bit different from the DIY. That's a great price on that trackpad though! I just got home from my cottage and documented the problems I'm having.

1. Trackpad touch always works but click intermittently doesn't work if I want to select something, etc.
2. The computer gets hot (not sure if that is normal)
3. The fan is always running and it's pretty loud
4. I receive the beach ball often when trying to open apps, etc.

I just ran a test and don't know if this will help you guys help me but here are the results:
Hardware Information:
MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) (Verified)
MacBook - model: MacBook5,1
1 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU: 2 cores
4 GB RAM

Video Information:
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M - VRAM: 256 MB
Color LCD 1280 x 800

System Software:
OS X 10.9.4 (13E28) - Uptime: 9 days 13:33:31

Disk Information:
Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series disk0 : (128.04 GB)
EFI (disk0s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB
Macintosh HD (disk0s2) / [Startup]: 127.18 GB (45.49 GB free)
Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>: 650 MB

OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5960S

USB Information:
Apple Inc. Built-in iSight
Apple, Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver
Apple Inc. BRCM2046 Hub
Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller

Gatekeeper:
Mac App Store and identified developers

Launch Daemons:
[loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist Support
[loaded] com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist Support
[loaded] com.oracle.java.Helper-Tool.plist Support
[not loaded] com.teamviewer.teamviewer_service.plist Support

Launch Agents:
[loaded] com.oracle.java.Java-Updater.plist Support
[not loaded] com.teamviewer.teamviewer.plist Support
[not loaded] com.teamviewer.teamviewer_desktop.plist Support

User Launch Agents:
[loaded] com.adobe.ARM.[...].plist Support
[loaded] com.google.keystone.agent.plist Support
[running] com.spotify.webhelper.plist Support

User Login Items:
iTunesHelper

Internet Plug-ins:
JavaAppletPlugin: Version: Java 7 Update 45 Check version
FlashPlayer-10.6: Version: 14.0.0.145 - SDK 10.6 Support
Default Browser: Version: 537 - SDK 10.9
AdobePDFViewerNPAPI: Version: 11.0.07 - SDK 10.6 Support

AdobePDFViewer: Version: 11.0.07 - SDK 10.6 Support
Flash Player: Version: 14.0.0.145 - SDK 10.6 Support
QuickTime Plugin: Version: 7.7.3
SharePointBrowserPlugin: Version: 14.4.1 - SDK 10.6 Support
iPhotoPhotocast: Version: 7.0

Safari Extensions:
Searchme: Version: 1.3

Audio Plug-ins:
BluetoothAudioPlugIn: Version: 1.0 - SDK 10.9
AirPlay: Version: 2.0 - SDK 10.9
AppleAVBAudio: Version: 203.2 - SDK 10.9
iSightAudio: Version: 7.7.3 - SDK 10.9

iTunes Plug-ins:
Quartz Composer Visualizer: Version: 1.4 - SDK 10.9

3rd Party Preference Panes:
Flash Player Support
Java Support

Time Machine:
Auto backup: YES
Volumes being backed up:
Macintosh HD: Disk size: 118.44 GB Disk used: 76.08 GB
Destinations:
Patrick Malone's Time Capsu [Network] (Last used)
Total size: 929.51 GB
Total number of backups: 147
Oldest backup: 2010-08-22 20:19:35 +0000
Last backup: 2014-07-27 17:23:30 +0000
Size of backup disk: Excellent
Backup size 929.51 GB > (Disk size 118.44 GB X 3)
Time Machine details may not be accurate.
All volumes being backed up may not be listed.

Top Processes by CPU:
7%
WindowServer
5% com.apple.WebKit.WebContent
5% Finder
1% hidd
0% fontd

Top Processes by Memory:
164 MB com.apple.WebKit.WebContent
127 MB softwareupdated
98 MB com.apple.IconServicesAgent
97 MB Safari
48 MB WindowServer

Virtual Memory Information:
1.62 GB Free RAM
1.37 GB Active RAM
204 MB Inactive RAM
557 MB Wired RAM
2.85 GB Page-ins
8 MB Page-outs
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,526
2,299
Delaware
Just curious - Does your trackpad button work OK while the battery is removed?
It's common for an older battery to swell, sometimes to the point where it puts pressure on the underneath side of the trackpad, making it both intermittent to select items, and cursor movement can be erratic. You'll be able to see if the battery is swelling at all, when you remove it.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Just curious - Does your trackpad button work OK while the battery is removed?

It's common for an older battery to swell, sometimes to the point where it puts pressure on the underneath side of the trackpad, making it both intermittent to select items, and cursor movement can be erratic. You'll be able to see if the battery is swelling at all, when you remove it.

I've been thinking the same thing so I tried it last night and it's about the same both ways. Some days the trackpad will act mostly normal but then others it doesn't work. Today I was just making square selections on my desktop and it just doesn't respond in certain spots
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I've been thinking the same thing so I tried it last night and it's about the same both ways. Some days the trackpad will act mostly normal but then others it doesn't work. Today I was just making square selections on my desktop and it just doesn't respond in certain spots

I have seen this problem on 2009 MacBook Pros that are heavily used. Did you enter your serial number into PB Medic?
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
Trackpad only works in the bottom left

I have seen this problem on 2009 MacBook Pros that are heavily used. Did you enter your serial number into PB Medic?

I found the trackpad on ifixit for $70 but not on PB Medic. With the 2009 MB Pros did a new trackpad solve the issue? Also, do you think more ram would solve my other issues? Thanks!

Edit: it's the same price on PB Medic
 
Last edited:

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I found the trackpad on ifixit for $70 but not on PB Medic. With the 2009 MB Pros did a new trackpad solve the issue? Also, do you think more ram would solve my other issues? Thanks!

Edit: it's the same price on PB Medic
It did indeed solve the problem. Did you try an SMC reset to prevent the high fan speed? Ensure that the MacBook is on a hard surface and not an insulator like a bed or blanket. The thermal paste may also be degrading.
 

malibuboats91

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 30, 2011
223
13
It did indeed solve the problem. Did you try an SMC reset to prevent the high fan speed? Ensure that the MacBook is on a hard surface and not an insulator like a bed or blanket. The thermal paste may also be degrading.

Awesome! Yeah I did PRAM and SMC reset earlier. How would I go about fixing the thermal paste or is that not fixable?