Airport, keyboard and trackpad failure. What could it be?


Around christmas 2009 I replaced my internal hard drive and battery, and for the first few months everything was good.

(I did a clean install at the time, and took the time to format the new hard drive with multiple partitions for ease of use, organisation and optimization)

Since about end of may 2010, I noticed that my trackpad was starting to fail to react to any input, unless I applied pressure to the battery.

I started to assume that it might be just the cable that is loose, however I didn't seem to have the time to open up my laptop. Then my keyboard started to fail as well, however, still usable with pressure on the battery. After a while, even with pressure, it was getting hard to register any input. I happened to have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and have resolved to using those all the time since.

I didn't seem to have any major problems with my wireless card except in a few locations and as time passed on, it seemed evident that it was no longer the places where becoming the problem, via some kind of compatibility issue, but my card. (which seemed to be functional but only for networks I didn't have access to.)

It wouldn't detect the closest networks at all and if it did, only for a limited time and be functional for only a limited time.

Since I have bought a D-Link wireless usb card (802.11g) and using it's software thing in my system preferences to continue to have access to the internet.

Since then I have had a fair amount of crashes and kernel panics. I'm assuming it is related to the stability of the d-link software, or lack thereof, as it seems to always revolve around it being connected, or during it's disconnection, or while plugging it in after the computer has been in sleep mode for a while.

Actions taken:

I have now downloaded all the manuals that revolve around these parts, their connections.

Actions about to be taken:

I will be opening up my laptop and will look at all of these connections and maybe clean with compressed air any part that seems worth while.

If I find corrosion, I may brush it with a toothbrush as I have read in another post about the logic board

Looking from the community:

Any insight and or words of advice.

Other past and potentially important information:

- I have changed the hard drive twice personally and once by the store I bought it from since 2006. (the first time via the store was within the first 6 months and I don't know if it was because it came to me that way or if it was a problem I caused)

- In 2007? I added a gig of ram to the original 512mb.

- Shortly before the my first hard drive change in early 2009 (or was it a year earlier?) the laptop suffered from a 3 ft fall at which point the hard drive did have to be replaced. (Thankfully I had already the intention of doing so and had done a carbon copy to another hd and only had to drop it in)

- In mid april 2010, it suffered another fall of about 3ft, this time only creating a dent in the body but no operational difference was observed.

- during the hd replacements I performed, I noticed the latches to which the screws of the upper case attach to the lower case have suffered some damage and now a few of the latches have broken off. On the left hand side only 1 or 2 screws are still functional as far as attaching the two cases together. (Dust could be coming in through one of the screw holes or via the possibility of the two cases being a little apart on the track pad ledge/left ledge corner.)

- On the right hand side I can't remember if any of the latches are broken, I don't believe so, but if it's the case all screws are present. However, it is the side of the dent, right on the lock clip thingy.

I thank any input in advance, this is already quite the read, and a decent problem.

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Looks like

you're good to go. Check the ribbon cable to the track pad for damage or being pulled out of the connector (it's a flip up cam type on the track pad end).

There's an "undiscovered design feature" on many of these machines. The ribbon cable passes through a slot in the wall of the lower case and runs over the battery. The slot acts like a guillotine/pincher either damaging the cable or pulling it out of either or both connectors.

Sometimes wrapping the cable with an insulator like note paper works. Sometimes reattaching the cable. Other times the cable its self is crimped or damaged.

Remember to return and mark accepted the answer that best solves your problem.

Good luck,


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I haven't opened it yet but is the wifi card in anyway related to this cable?



Not really, it's on the side of the machine, and physically distant from the keyboard and track pad connectors. Certain there was no liquid spilled?


No liquids ever spilled on this computer. Light humidity/condensation on the other hand maybe? I have had it travel with me outdoors in the winter and thus, in my backpack, sometimes going from relatively warm indoors to up to -20 degrees outside, and back indoors...


YES condensation can cause this - can act like, or be mistaken for, liquid damage. Try cleaning the logic board & connectors with a soft brush and non-corrosive contact cleaner. Be certain it's completely dry (under logic board too) before attempting to connect power and boot.


Would some Deoxit D5 do the trick? It doesn't mention being corrosive. (Just skin and eye irritant on the safety label)


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