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MacTechTrainer
MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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My daughters MacBook Pro keyboard will not type. What could

Resolved Question:

My daughter's MacBook Pro keyboard will not type. What could be the issue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 2 years ago.

MacTechTrainer :

Hello and thank you for asking your question, with JustAnswer.com/Mac. I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

Customer:

Several things are going on with her MacBook Pro right now. The mouse is acting as if every click is a "right click," when windows are minimized, the animations are very slow. The keyboard will not work in any app or program.

MacTechTrainer :

Has there been any accidental liquid spills or any accidental drops with the Macbook Pro recently, to the best of your knowledge?

Customer:

None

MacTechTrainer :

Good :)

MacTechTrainer :

now how long has your daughter had this Macbook Pro and again, to the best of your knowledge, when did you or your daughter, first notice the issue with the keyboard not typing?

Customer:

She has had the computer for 18 months, and the keyboard first started misfiring today.

MacTechTrainer :

any recent software updates run in the last 24 hours?

Customer:

no

MacTechTrainer :

(thanks for your patience, as I ask these investigative questions, as this is the primary way for me to work with (and for you) in regards XXXXX XXXXX what the root cause of your issue is)

Customer:

I thought that perhaps updating the OS might help, but I can't enter her user name, etc. to buy the upgrade.

MacTechTrainer :

do you still have control of your trackpad

Customer:

somewhat

Customer:

The track pad is working at about 60% I'd say.

MacTechTrainer :

Ok- that is good to know

MacTechTrainer :

can you use your mouse to click on the Black Apple menu icon and select Software Updates

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

I want to see if there are any updates you have to determine if they will be of any use for you in resolving this matter

Customer:

I just did that about 10 minutes ago and updated all software.

Customer:

I just did that about 10 minutes ago. Updated all software and rebooted.

MacTechTrainer :

and still no keyboard functionality at all correct?

Customer:

The delete button works when erasing text from the address bar.

Customer:

The enter button works to submit a web address.

Customer:

I am running software updates again right now.

Customer:

I will let you know if anything changes.

MacTechTrainer :

I believe I have some processes to help you here

Customer:

Good

MacTechTrainer :

let's see if these steps help

MacTechTrainer :

but first:

MacTechTrainer :

As a professional Mac technician, I like to take more of a personable, personal approach, toward helping any valued JustAnswer.com customers, I am fortunate to assist.

MacTechTrainer :

On that note, may I start by asking your first name?

Customer:

TOm

MacTechTrainer :

Well Tom, it is a pleasure to assist you sir. Again, I am Terry, Sr. Mac Support Specialist, at your service

Customer:

Thanks

MacTechTrainer :

If I may ask one more quick question before I start Tom

Customer:

Sure

MacTechTrainer :

is your daughter's Macbook Pro, a 13", 15, or 17" model and does it have a battery you can remove without any tools?

Customer:

13" and no removable battery

MacTechTrainer :

thanks

MacTechTrainer :

ok try this process first:

MacTechTrainer :

Here are some steps you can try to resolve the issue:

MacTechTrainer :

• First, hold in your power button for approximately 10 seconds to do a hard shutdown.

MacTechTrainer :

• Once your Mac is shutdown, you will need to perform what is called a PRAM reset (Parameter RAM)

MacTechTrainer :

• Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously .

MacTechTrainer :

• Turn on the computer.

MacTechTrainer :

• Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.

MacTechTrainer :

• Now, hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the third time.

MacTechTrainer :

• Release the keys and allow the Mac to start up.

MacTechTrainer :

• Please update me to let me know if this works.

MacTechTrainer :

make sure you also bookmark this session before you begin Tom

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

that way you can come back to this session when you try this first procedure I am providing you.

Customer:

The problem with that is her password XXXXX comes up, and I can't enter it

MacTechTrainer :

Is she running Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on her Macbook Pro, Tom? or not sure

Customer:

When I did the command option p r thing, I didn't hear the start up sound, and it didn't appear to reboot three times.

Customer:

Snow leopard

MacTechTrainer :

I know this may be a tall order, but would you by chance, happen to have the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard disc available?

Customer:

no

MacTechTrainer :

Bear with me Tom, got another approach I want to take - be right with you

Customer:

Just another update: The buttons in the top row all work fine (brightness, volume,etc.)

MacTechTrainer :

Hey that is a good sign'

MacTechTrainer :

now to get you into your daughter's Macbook Pro 13"

Customer:

I am in

Customer:

I did a soft restart, and it came up fine.

Customer:

When I have an address in the address bar highlighted the 'b' and 'n' keys move the highlight backwards and forward.

Customer:

Sorry, f key not n

MacTechTrainer :

No worries

MacTechTrainer :

Ok Tom, this is what I was thinking-

MacTechTrainer :

If you cannot access your daughter's Macbook Pro 13" the login route

MacTechTrainer :

what if I provide you a procedure that allows you to get into a new user account

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

so you can at least have access to the main desktop

MacTechTrainer :

just to test all the functions of the keyboard

MacTechTrainer :

I take it this would be ok with you?

Customer:

fine

MacTechTrainer :

Ok let me put this process together for you real quick

Customer:

I already have access to the main desktop. I can get into all programs. I don't know if that changes what you are thinking.

MacTechTrainer :

Oh ok

MacTechTrainer :

I thought you could not get into the main desktop of the Macbook Pro at all

MacTechTrainer :

sorry about that

MacTechTrainer :

that is what I misunderstood

MacTechTrainer :

now having done the PRAM Reset Tom, any changes regarding the keyboard ?

Customer:

no

Customer:

which tells me that the PRAM reset did not recognize that those buttons were being pressed.

MacTechTrainer :

Ok that Tom is not a good sign, because a PRAM reset is a troubleshooting action performed outside of the Mac OSX Snow Leopard environment- therefore if the key functions don't work outside of Snow Leopard's user environment, that means this is a potential hardware issue with the keyboard

MacTechTrainer :

let me check my mac resources if you would for any known issues with the Macbook Pro 13" and its keyboard functionality

MacTechTrainer :

I will be right back with you- thanks for your patience

Customer:

should I try one more time?

MacTechTrainer :

Actually not that process, - I want you to try an SMC Reset- which is a bit more able to affect the deeper processing functions of the Macbook Pro

MacTechTrainer :

Here is that procedure

MacTechTrainer :

SMC Reset (for Macbook Pro models with batteries that should not be removed without professional support)

MacTechTrainer :

  1. Shut down the computer.

  2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.

  3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

  4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.

  5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
    Note
    : The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

MacTechTrainer :

Try this process Tom and let me know if it helps

Customer:

no difference

Customer:

I am wondering why the login screen comes up when I do the PRAM reset, but not the SMC reset.

MacTechTrainer :

Tom it appears that this is in fact a hardware issue -

MacTechTrainer :

there is a strong possibility that the keyboard pad may need to be replaced

Customer:

Could you ballpark how much that is going to cost?

MacTechTrainer :

without being able to check it myself of course, the intermittent function of some of the keys and then the zero functionality of a number of the other keys does indicate that hopefully, just the keyboard pad just needs to be replaced

MacTechTrainer :

can you provide me the SN# XXXXX your Macbook Pro?

MacTechTrainer :

I can resource that info for you

Customer:

Serial number is XXXXX

MacTechTrainer :

by the way Tom, how old again is this Macbook Pro 13"

Customer:

18 months

MacTechTrainer :

ok, bear with me if you would- I will be right back

MacTechTrainer :

I also forgot to ask, do you ever recall purchasing Apple 3 year AppleCare Protection Plan for your daughter's Macbook Pro?

MacTechTrainer :

I need to determine that, because if you did, then any parts that may need to be replaced on the Macbook Pro 13" would be covered under Apple's 3 year extended warranty

Customer:

No, I did not.

MacTechTrainer :

Ok just wanted to check to be sure

MacTechTrainer :

I just finished checking for you Tom in my Mac tech resources and what I have found is that Apple is recommending that an issue like a non-functioning keyboard, should be considered a hardware issue and needs to actually be taken in to a local Apple Retail Store Genius bar or Apple Authorized Service Provider as soon as conveniently possible

MacTechTrainer :

no quotes for replacement built-in keyboards are listed due to the requirement of Mac techs first physically performing a diagnostics on a the Macbook Pro in question first

MacTechTrainer :

in order to determine if it is really the keyboard that is not working or some other part or component on the Macbook Pro that is causing the issue with the keyboard's inability to function. Apple does not consider this a software issue., but a serviceable hardware service issue

MacTechTrainer :

I did check as well as I could Tom, but this is what I was provided

Customer:

Thank you very much.

MacTechTrainer :

within my tech resources

MacTechTrainer :

No,

MacTechTrainer :

thank you for allowing me to assist you

MacTechTrainer :

from what you are describing, it really does appear that your Macbook Pro's keyboard is failing

MacTechTrainer :

and I honestly hope it is that part and no internal parts that are affected in this cases

MacTechTrainer :

"case" or cases like this rather

MacTechTrainer :

Just for your reference, I have taken the liberty to provide the store locator links to your local Apple Retail store as well as a general store locator for locating any local Apple Authorized Service center in your area.

MacTechTrainer :

Apple Retail Store(Genius bar - need to set appointment via this website link, if planning on visiting Apple store of choice in your immediate area)

MacTechTrainer :

http://www.apple.com/retail/

MacTechTrainer :

Apple Authorized Service Provider

MacTechTrainer :

http://www.apple.com/buy/locator/

MacTechTrainer :

it cost you nothing to have at least a diagnostics performed on your daughter's Macbook Pro Tom, especially if you arrange to take the portable to your local Apple Retail Store

MacTechTrainer :

if there are any other questions I can answer for you regarding this matter Tom, please feel free to let me know

MacTechTrainer :

Still with me Tom?

Customer:

Sorry! This is his daughter. He is busy at the moment, but he will be back soon. Thank you for your help.

MacTechTrainer :

Oh you are most welcome

MacTechTrainer :

and I am sorry you are having to experience this issue like this

MacTechTrainer :

but I am hoping it will be resolved with some good hands-on professional Mac tech support

Customer:

It's okay! I should have been more careful. And yes! Hopefully we won't have to replace it.

MacTechTrainer :

What happened if I may ask?

MacTechTrainer :

was it bumped or jolted when you were carrying it? Believe me I do understand in any instance, as these kinds of issues occur with very small portable notebooks like the Macbook Pro 13"

MacTechTrainer :

If so, you will be able I believe to get it fixed, because your Dad has validated that it still works ok

MacTechTrainer :

that is a very good sign honestly

MacTechTrainer :

I see you are offline. When you are back online however, just reply back to this session, I will be alerted, whether I am online or off and will be able to assist you further. Please be sure to respond back - I really would like to help resolve your question!

MacTechTrainer :

Thanks for posting your question, I look forward to assisting you shortly.

MacTechTrainer :

Regards,

MacTechTrainer :

-Terry ("MacTechTrainer")

MacTechTrainer :

again Tom, especially if you have any further questions.

MacTechTrainer :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you and for contacting JustAnswer.com

MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience: Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
MacTechTrainer and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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