MacBook Pro Keyboard Intermittent Problems Solution

The older non-unibody MacBook Pro is a solid computer for a mobile warrior.  Over several years of use though many users have started experiencing an annoying problem where their macbook pro keyboard and trackpad experience intermittent problems where they stop responding.  This problem typically starts with a few seconds of non-responsiveness, but will grow over time to the point where it will not respond at all.  This problems has been isolated to a flex connector that provides power to the keyboard and trackpad logic board located under the removable battery, labelled 1 in the below photo.

There have been a number of remedies proposed for this problem, and I think it’s safe to say that the remedy depends on the severity of damage to this connector.  Some people have put a thin piece of paper underneith this connector to insulate this flex cable from the housing.  My problem was much more severe, and I’m not entirely convinced that is purely the flex cable, which some possible damage to the connector.  People have reported success replacing the whole cable system, which at $25 for the cable is inexpensive, but I’ve found it unnecessary.

Now, the source of this problem is that the power connector to this logic board has a small bend in it that is not reinforced and is subject to repetitive bending when the computer is under stress.  The battery swells during use or because of the design the battery is able to flex in the housing, putting pressure onto these components.  This pressure can be the result of the way a person holds the computer while moving it or putting it in and out of a bag, as well as being in a computer bad where the battery is subject to a lot of stress (think your back while carrying bag and running to catch your bus).

My remedy involved a small amount of painters tape.  Here is what I did.  Warning first: I did this with the computer on so I can make sure the trackpad and keyboard were working, but do this at your own risk!

1. With computer connected to power source and all applications closed remove the battery.

2.  With a knife gently remove the plastic cover that is adhered to the body of the computer protecting the logic board.

3. Using some soft of gentle plastic instrument, flick up the cable connector labelled in 1 and remove the cable.

4. Using a small amount of tape reinforce the back of the cable, reinsert the cable into the connector, make sure the trackpad and keyboard are now working, and flick down the lock on the connector.

5. Replace the plastic protector.

6. Take some more tape and put it on the keyboard housing like illustrated in arrow 2.  The removes the flex of the battery into the housing, and onto the connector.

7. Reinstall the battery and try putting pressure on the battery to see if the trackpad and keyboard keep working.  I recommend this step because you want to ensure this solution works so it doesn’t stop working in a place that isn’t as convenient… like a meeting with a client!

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!

This entry was posted in Apple, Featured and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Jamm
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks man,
    worked perfectly. I’ve used heat resistant kapton tape, so it won’t turn ugly.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>