MacBook Air 13" Mid 2011 Repair

1.6, 1.7, or 1.8 GHz Processor, 64, 128 or 256GB Flash Storage

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Why is my keyboard/trackpad not working?

I bought my macbook air in September of 2011 new from the apple store. My trackpad was replaced by apple in September of 2012 as it gradually began to become unresponsive. Since the repair I haven't experienced any problems with that being the only problem I've run into with this mac.

After some brief surfing around this morning I went to work with my macbook running fine as usual. After coming home my keyboard and trackpad are both unresponsive. What's a bit more unsettling is that in the System Preferences it's not even recognizing a trackpad as being connected.

After doing some searching around I've found that some people ran into this issue with macbook pros and it was because of a ribbon that had become loose underneath the battery. I'm wondering if it's possibly the same problem for me with my macbook air. I hadn't read about anyone with an air with the same problem.

Any help would be appreciated, I would love to get my air working so I don't have to constantly use my external keyboard/mouse.

Thanks!

Edit: The only key that works on the keyboard is the power button.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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having the same problem but the USB is not working also, try almost every still nothing cant log in can move the mouse or use the keyboard and USB unrsponsive

by Nicodemus Robles

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Sounds like you're on the right track. Though usually it would take a fall or rather hard jarring of the laptop to dislodge that cable (it should be locked down).

Another possible cause is battery swelling. If the charge is not holding or if there's strange/unusual charging behavior the battery could be the cause.

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There has been no unusual battery behavior. As far as a ribbon becoming loose, the laptop was sitting on my desk all day. Also I wasn't 100% on if the air had a similar ribbon setup as the pro that people were having the problem with.

by cameronjgraves

I have this issue but with battery swelling, replaced the keyboard though and the cables seem snug and still no connection, any idea?

by greggorywiley

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Most Helpful Answer

HERE IS THE FIX!!! Macbook Air 13 Frozen keyboard and track pad

My mothers MBA 13 suddenly became unresponsive with both the Track Pad and Keyboard. I could get them to work momentarily after a SMC Reset. Then flashing the PRAM made it a bit better...to the degree of a less than a minute. Obviously not acceptable! The best tools for the whole job were a wired external keyboard and a USB wired or wireless mouse, because they allowed me repair to orchestrate the process without freezing. Mostly it allowed me to narrow down the problem and the capability of troubleshooting it.

A side note is that this whole problem seemed to clearly be that the MBA was thinking it had Blue Tooth keyboard and trackpad peripherals nearby. It's never even been near one in it's life. When I'd look at Track Pad in preferences, the on board settings were gone and replaced with the Blue Tooth trackpad hunting window. This was also the case for the keyboard. I used my wireless BT Apple keyboard to see if it would even see it. NOPE. That's when I knew something was up. Usually I try everything before performing a restore but nothing would clean it...not even a Restore! But an upgrade and Presto!

After all I went through I would recommend a possible fix that could save you lots of time. It's the reverse engineering of my fix. I didn't try it because the machine is working perfectly after all I did. JUST TRY THE Mountain Lion Upgrade. There's nothing to lose if it works and the process below will likely work if it does not. Personally I think Apple is avoiding admitting to a fix due to a Mud on the Face reaction. I was furious that a 1.5 year old MBA in perfect condition came up with a false repair that cost more than it did! Shame on APPLE for not addressing this properly!!! The fix was clearly built into ML 8.5 and they have not told us! Everybody should get a free ML 8.5 upgrade!

NOTE: The Power key actually should be working when none else do. This allows you to run the SMC and PRAM functions. Details for doing so below.

Here we go.....

First off...obviously back up all your important files externally using the functionality allowed by the connected keyboard and mouse.

Then...

1. Using external keyboard and mouse, run a full OS restore. (This was LION 7.5)

2. After doing so I still found the same glitch. I then figured the last option was to update to Mountain Lion 8.5. It's only 19.95, and I did it as a last resort instead of throwing it out, as I had seen many comments regarding a $1300 repair for the same exact symptoms.

3. After running the full update she now has her wonderful baby back and it's even running faster.

So Apple owes me a couple six packs of beer after making me pay them 20 bucks to fix their fault. Not holding my breath!

I don't believe for one second that it's a hardware issue as APPLE has told so many. Personally I think it's a firmware glitch somewhere on that particular hardware that is referred to as the Top Case. If it were a hardware issue I would presume that SMC resets and flashing the PRAM would have ZERO results, as opposed to working for ten to twenty seconds.

Glad I know the fix so when mine packs up I won't be so terrified! Her's came VERY close to finding the recycling bin.

'''

Darn lucky they don't sell cars!!! RECALL?'''

'''

HOPE THIS MAKES YOU A HAPPY CAMPER!!!'''

Note: Portable computers that have a battery you should not remove on your own include MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and later, all models of MacBook Air, and MacBook (Late 2009).

Shut down the computer.

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

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

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

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.

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Resetting NVRAM / PRAM

Shut down your Mac.

Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.

Turn on the computer.

Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys.

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Thanks a lot! Upgrading the OS X helped. :)

by Jebin Johny

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So after I tried everything on this page with the PRAM reset and SMC reset for at least 2 hours I eventually gave up and just decided to unplug all the cables from my macbook air and replug them back in to see if it'll work (Just in case), and guess what?! Everything's working now! Holy c***!!! I don't know if anyone will want to give it a try, but I was so done with it and frustrated after I unplugged the cables on the back of the macbook, I wasn't expecting it to work anyway and screwed everything back in and tried turning it on and moved my finger on the touchpad and it all worked! I also unplugged the motherboard, blew on it a couple of times to make sure no dust got caught....I don't know what fixed it. But all that unplugging somehow worked.

*Edit: The charger wasn't plugged in, so the macbook was completely turned off.

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Thank it helps so much .but adter some time the keys doesn't work again

by Linda

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Simon,

Did you reformat the drive and run a clean install of the latest OS? I wiped moms clean and the new one worked fine...to this very day.

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Ok Guys. Here is what I did.

Whenever it worked I configured a fixed ip based wireless connections to only a set or wireless SSIDs that I use. I bought a $20 power bank wireless router to ensure I can carry that small thing around with my MBA. Then I enabled remote access to the machine. System Preferences -> Sharing -> Remote Login and also Remote management. I allowed access only to one id on the machine. In the remote management I also allowed machines to connect using VNC.

Now I have access to the machine even if it freezes. I then gave the machine to a freelance apple repairer who was able to resolve the hardware issue by removing the board and removing the short on the board that was causing the whole thing in the first place.

That has now resolved the process and along with my iPad that I carry with my MBA at all times, I know have a means to get to the machine in case it stalls.

Check it out!

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I had the exact same problem. My MBA was sitting overnight and unresponsive to kybd and trackpad in the morning. Had to reboot using the power key, which ws still working.

Based on above comments, I hooked up an external kybd and mouse, which worked.

I turned bluetooth on and off again, and that restored my kybd and trackpad functionality. I tried it because of the above comment on the MBA thinking a BT mouse was around.

Worked for me with minimal effort.

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Thanks a lot for this man! I splashed some water on my keyboard and wiped it off with a towel and must of somehow turned the bluetooth on and disabled my mouse and keyboard. I started freaking out because I thought I had damaged it with water and would have to replace something on my OUT OF WARRANTY Macbook air. This fixed the problem instantly.

by Joseph Phillips

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Keyboard and trackpad not working.. Macbook Air.. FIXED :-)

I've had the same problem on and off for years even through several system upgrades. About three days ago my keyboard and trackpad were not working and I could not restore them. After trying everything I could read about it I still had the problem. . . Then finally I found out my problem.

I had access to the MBA via an external keyboard and mouse. Same problem as above. My trackpad preferences did not see my onboard trackpad. Only a spinning wheel.

FIX.. Turn off bluetooth.

My MBA was close to my iMac. Both machines had bluetooth on. My iMac preferences showed my MBA and was trying to share it. I think it had the monitor. I had two monitors showing in my upper menu. As soon as I turned off bluetooth on my iMac my MBA came back to me. Totally fine. I assume I could have turned off bluetooth on the MBA and it would have resolved the problem also.

I imagine that if I took the MBA for a walk away from my iMac the problem would have gone away also. The MBA was waiting for the iMac to take over.

I was ready to take my MBA apart to look inside..

All is well now.. Ken E

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I plugged a monitor to my macbook air and also plugged a usb keyboard and mouse. after using this set up for a while. my macbook now thinks the USB keyboard and mouse are its original components at leasts thats what I think. i cant bring them back! i tried resetting and formatting my computer and did try the bluetooth option and nothing worked... can anyone help me!?!?!

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For me it worked with a simple SMC reset whilst the machine was turned on:

shift+control+option+power

This restarted my Mid-2012 15" Macbook Pro and when it had booted the mouse and trackpad worked fine. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason why it stopped in the first place; I was literally just in the middle of typing a se

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Hi there, got also that nasty 'keyboard, mouse and USB not responding' problem. Unplugging what ever was possible didn't help at all. All the resets not working. For a very short time, keyboard and mouse and also usb were reacting again, but only in a strange way, beeping all the time repeating the action of the pressed key untill nothing worked at all again. So, I don't really know if this is a logicboard problem, if the keyboard and touchpad is broken and producing such errors. Have no idea what to do next with my old MacBook Air A1304 (2009).

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I've had to investigate a similar issue on a friend's MacBook Air (13 Inch, Mid 2013). The keyboard and trackpad both stopped working, although they were able to work pre-boot (as in, you could use them for keyboard commands to get into recovery or verbose modes, NVRAM/SMC reset and for use in the boot selection and diagnostics screens). However, a fully new install of OS X Yosemite hasn't fixed anything, and neither have a NVRAM or an SMC reset. When booting into single mode you do see a vast number of error messages, which also crop up in the standard error console when using the machine with a USB keyboard and mouse.

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: AppleIntelLpssGspi1::initFixedDMA: FixedDMA not found in _CRS

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: AppleHSSPIController::start Start Succeeded

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: AppleHSSPIController::_enumerateDeviceOnThreadGated Already attempting to enumerate device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIDevice::_DoDescriptorRequestGated Failed issue request error: 0xe00002eb

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIDevice::getDeviceDescriptor Failed to get descriptor with error 0xe00002eb

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

24/04/2015 16:30:30.000 kernel[0]: Error: AppleHSSPIController::doSPITransfer NAK received from device

... and so on

The System Profiler also says that no SPI devices were detected. The complete reinstall of OS X did make the keyboard backlight activate, but nothing else has changed. Bluetooth status makes no difference either. It appears the device is genuinely dead.

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cameronjgraves will be eternally grateful.

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