Mid 2010 Model A1278 / 2.4 or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Shift key randomly ACTIVATING.

Hello all,

My MBP 7.1 RECENTLY froze after spending time in A VEry humid place(canyon lands of southern Brazil). When I restarted, it would only boot in safe mode. I figured something was wrong with the keyboard, so I replaced it and cleaned the inside, thinking some of 5 years' accumulated dust may have been partially responsible. After successful installation, computer was still slow(it was not so slow before I upgraded to El Capitan, seems i need more ram). Unfortunately, morning come, the same problem with the shift key had returned.

Is there a software fix for this?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I'm seeing the same problem. Shift Key activates and won't let go. At first I replaced the keyboard but then it did it again. It so happens I was trying to render out an After Effects composition both times. The next time I rebooted without a keyboard connected and it went back to normal. Except when letters began to randomly capitalize while I was typing. Should I still attempt an OS reinstall as well? --- iMac Late 2013, maxed out


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If it's booting into Safe Mode but not your regular account it's most likely a software issue.

How well does it run in Safe Mode?

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It runs slowly in safe mode. I have the login screen with guest account and my account icons. I plug in a keyboard to log in, because the shift key randomly switches on. I replaced the keyboard already and still, when using keyboard viewer, I see that the shift keys randomly turn on and off.


Does it just run slowly or are you getting beach balls?


Hi MArley,

so when in safe mode, it is slow, but functioning. When i log in properly(the shift key is not always pushed, only randomly), my computer runs normally, but i only have about 100mb of free ram it seems, therefore slow. The real problem i am facing is the random shift key...


Does it do it with both shift keys?


yes, with both keys at the same time.


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I don't know if your system will accept 16GB RAM, but even if it does I believe 4GB+4GB RAM is more than enough because you'll have bottlenecks elsewhere.

And use the savings, add a bit on top, and get an SSD. That will boost your system performance more evenly. Specially if you want to upgrade to OS 10.9 and newer.

I would get those, install a fresh OS, and transfer the data from the old drive.

That would eliminate all software variables.

And unless required by some software application that you need, I would stick with OS X 10.8.5 as I believe it will run best with your 6 years old configuration.

And I have not yet seen computers ruined by sheer inland moisture. I live by the sea, in a very humid country, and the only humidity that killed the keyboards and boards that I received for repairing comes from lawn sprinklers, water cups, coffee, juice, and kids wanting to clean their parent's dirty computer.

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I agree Rany - 8 GB should be enough RAM for most tasks.

I'm still on the fence on SSD's. The problem is most people buy too small a unit so they encounter problems when they have overloaded them as the costs are still high for the larger units. SSHD hybrid drives are a good 1/2 step if the user plans to carry a lot of stuff on their drive.

This system can support 16GB but it needs to be running the newer system firmware (EFI).


if you decide to buy a ssd Retro Humor must be compatible for 3g, I Vito problems with some Samsung SSD 840 who had 1.5g speed, when the older model Samsung 830 instead managed to go to 3G. the best in my opinion are as compatibility OWC but they are very expensive compared to Samsung and crucial


@smilzo - The Samsung 840 EVO SSD won't have any issues in this system. BTW the Samsung 840 SSD is a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive that also runs at SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) and SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) as it has auto sense technology like the Seagate SSHD drive so it will work in most every system out there as a replacement drive. There is a known issue in MacBook Pro's if you try to use a auto sense drive in a dual drive config as the optical drive SATA port has a problem. Here you will need a fixed SATA II drive for it to work.


hello @danj , the Macbook is israel 2010 and has no problems. I guarantee that the 2009 model 's Samsung 840 SSD replaced lriginale has 3GB HDD speed, but 1.5. It happened to replace it and verify that it does not work, instead of 830 runs at 3BG. unfortunately on this occasion I had to replace the SSD, the problem is known 2009 model motherboard controller anyway thanks very precise answers


@smilzo - We have e a few in this series all running with a Samsung 850 EVO SSD's as their primary drive. All are running @ SATA II (3.0 Gb/s). The only issue with the logic bd is when you try using the dual drive config. In that case you need a fixed SATA II drive otherwise you will have a problem as you describe. I don't recommend dual drive setups in the Unibody systems.

Did you make sure your firmware is unto date and did you replace the SATA cable? Both are known issues that need to be checked.

You'll need this cable: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2012) Hard Drive Cable - Apple P/N 923-0104. We are constantly replacing these cables as they go bad and the first generation of the cable had problems.


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hello if moisture has damaged part of the shift key should be removed, or at least cleaned with a spray cleaner contacts. unless you have the expertise to do this you can use the keyboard viewer Mac OS X.

choose Apple> System Preferences, click Keyboard menu, click Keyboard, and then select "Show Keyboard viewers, and emoji symbols in the menu bar."

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I have replaced the keyboard entirely. When using keyboard viewer, I see the shift keys randomly turning on and off.


so even with the Apple keyboard viewer have the same problem? you have already tried to restore the operating system, or format and install a fresh copy of OS X?

you should free up space in your HD because strange things can happen like this


Don't use any spray cleaners!! All you'll do is make a mess!

You have the right idea here cleaning under the keys. But you'll need to use a high grade isopropyl alcohol (85% or better) as you want it to evaporate not leaving a gummy residue. Most spray cleaners have silicon oil in them which will act as a dust magnet and if you over do it a squishy mess!

You may need to replace the keyboard if a topical cleaning doesn't fix things here. But follow Mayer's lead here you may have other issues.


hello dan when cleaning spray to coat products with dry contacts are specific agents that leave no residues.

Israel I'm glad you've solved freeing up space in your HD, unfortunately the lack of space often causes less known issues .... to me the battery was no good working keyboard and trackpad


The problem you face here is people don't know the difference! Dry only means it has Teflon in it which will also mess up the keyboard.

Even still I find they only push the junk in deeper. Best not to use them on keyboards at all.

Frankly, I have my own pressure can which I can load up with a solvent of my choice. I will either use distilled water or isopropyl alcohol that's it!

I hate to tell you how many sprayed keyboards I end up replacing from spray damage.


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israel will be eternally grateful.
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