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Internal keyboard & trackpad quit working. Please help diagnose!

A few weeks ago my MBP A1260 (2.4GHz) suddenly rebooted out of the blue (never does that) and I subsequently smelled a bit of "burnt silicon" while it was rebooting. It didn't feel particularly hot (and the fans had been idling), but apparently it still had overheated. Then I noticed that neither the trackpad nor internal keyboard would work anymore.

Luckily, external keyboard/mouse do work (USB or bluetooth), and everything else still works fine.

I have googled high and low and unfortunately the one popular easy fix (touching/taping the flex cable under the battery) does nothing.

I have bought a replacement flex cable (the one that connects the main board to the top case and its components, including bluetooth) and tried installing that today, but still no dice.

Since the cable seems fine, I assume the issue is on either end of it: top case ($200-300) or main board ($600+).

The main board was replaced earlier this year (after a faulty nVidia blackout issue) and "looks" fine, as does the top case and trackpad circuitry. (No obvious signs of melting/overheating).

Is there any way I can further diagnose this, before shelling out any further $$?

Thanks for any pointers! Cheers

Answer this question I have this problem too

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r.t.y.u.i.o. not working too any suggestion to repair it ;,thanks

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

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it's a tough question

the only test that doesn't involve money is to test the top case on a different macbook pro.

do you know anyone with the same computer?

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i agree with markus. if you can obtain a known-good top case you can test with, use it to see if it's the logic board or the top case's controller that went out. also, which smells worse, the underside of the top case, or the logic board? primitive method, I know. Is it also safe to assume you don't have AppleCare at this point? You had the logic board replaced for the GPU issue; that work is warrantied for a period of time. Even though the GPU still works now, if the top case connector on the logic board went out, and you're within (I believe 90 days) that part is still covered since it's all one unit.

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Thanks guys for the replies. Yes, a known-good top case would be ideal for further testing, but unfortunately, I don't have one handy at the moment. I will keep my eyes open however. (Anyone in Amsterdam willing to lend me his top case? :) Fortunately, the laptop still works fine with external keyb/mouse, it just sucks to have to haul the extra hardware when travelling.

The failure happened earlier this month while I was on a trip without any tools to pop the case open for a look. So, the smell test doesn't apply anymore... Still, good idea!

Indeed, I am w/o AppleCare (1st Mac, I will know better next time!!) and the logic board repair was done in January this year – I haven't tracked down the receipt yet, but I'm afraid that repair isn't under warranty anymore.

Still, if there are other tools or methods I could try to pinpoint the issue, I'd be happy to hear.

Thanks!!

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This is actually a rather common fault with this line of MBPs. As the power button still works i believe (don't know for sure) that the USB controller on the topcase fails. Keyboard and trackpad are connected via USB internally. Open up system profiler and you'll shure won't find them listed anymore.

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Thanks for confirming the commonness of this issue – unfortunately not common enough to be covered by an extra Apple warranty like my GPU issue was! :) Indeed, I've checked System Profiler and there is no mention of the internal keyb/trackpad anymore. I also tried the tips here involving Hardware Growler, but in my case, the flex cable is not the issue. Also, I didn't have any intermittent disconnects, which were the symptoms suggested there.

Based on your comments I am hoping that I am looking at a defective trackpad/electronics rather than a defective logic board/flex connector, and have posted Swapping the trackpad between top cases: possible, or Ugly Hack? about replacing only the trackpad and its PCB. Thanks!

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@karsten - is the controller fixable? ever had one of those on your table ? @chris - search ebay in germany - it a good marketplace for appleparts

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Thanks markus for the ebay.de tip! Although the only ads I see when searching for "apple 922-8351" are from US vendors. I will ask about this "B grade" stuff, because if it's still functional and in reasonably good shape, I could get a top case for about €60 shipped. Not too bad!

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@Markus - no but i'll investigate that. Have a couple of broken topcases here.

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I would try wiping the system and reloading the os

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Thanks Doe! As a matter of fact, I did that just last week after upgrading the hard drive. Still no dice :(

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Chris will be eternally grateful.
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