Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

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Keyboard backlight does not work


I recently bought a second hand MacBook Pro (mid 2012). It was upgraded by the last owner with a 256G SSD Drive and a total of 16 GB of RAM.

I didn't notice when I bought the computer (in bright day light) that the keyboard backlight didn't work. Only when I got home later that night did I noticed it.

I then proceeded to update the OS to the latest version of El Capitan (10.11.4) to migrate my stuff to the new system. I thought this could also help solve the problem. I read a lot in different forums to see what could be the problem.

Here's what I've tried already :

  • Reset the SMC and PRAM (didn't help)
  • Opened up the Mac and re-plugged in the small keyboard cable near the RAM
  • Changed the keyboard settings in preferences, also in utility
  • Pushing up and down the F5 and F6 keys (I can see the animation on the screen go up and down (it look a little bit like when you turn the sound up or down but it's not the same design.
  • Tried to block the camera with my thumb (the camera works fine by the way)

I am starting to think that it's a hardware problem. I have seen in other post's that some people had keyboard problems after a water spill.

The fuse on the motherboard was toast. Could it be my problem ? The problem is that I don't know if the last user spilled water on the computer and I can't reach him to ask either! If the problem is the hardware, is there a app to find out what part is the problem: the LED light, the fuse, the cable ???

Also, I don't know if this is related, the small lights for the battery checker on the side of the computer does not work either.

Please if someone can help!I don't want to get it repaired as I fear it will cost me the price of the computer again.



Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Let's make sure you enabled the backlight. Review this Apple T/N: Portables: Adjusting the keyboard backlight.

Next, let's review the connectors on the logic board. Looking at this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2012 Logic Board Replacement jump down to Step 12 & Step 13. Make sure the ribbon connector is not damaged and the ribbon cable is fully inserted. I recommend to create a pull tab out of a piece of electrical tape to help you pull in or out the ribbon cable (do make sure your system is off before disconnecting).

Also take the time to check the battery tester ribbon cable and connector which is the next step here in the guide. Unlike the backlight connection this is a plug-in. After unplugging it try see if a slightly moistened cotton swab (Q-Tip) with a high grade isopropyl alcohol (85% or better) around the test button. Let it dry and then reconnect the connector. Once you get things back together see if the battery tester works if not you'll need to replace it. To get to it you'll need to take the battery out. Here's a image of the 15" model which is the same Battery tester

Getting back to the keyboard backlight if the ribbon cable is not damaged and the connector block is likewise not damaged you'll need to live without it or get someone to fix the logic board it shouldn't cost that much to fix if it's just a blown fuse or even the driver chip.

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