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The March 2015 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display, model A1502, features fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduces the Force Touch trackpad.

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Keyboard and Trackpad won't work but respond to an SMC Reset?

I have a MacBook Pro that won't respond to anything keyboard wise.

  • Won't allow to Safe Boot
  • Won't NVRAM/PRAM Reset
  • Won't let me select a disk in ( 'alt') Startup Disk Mode

But this will respond to an SMC reset.

Trackpad appears to click once but not force click.

Anyone got any ideas?

Also so far I've tried:

  • Disconnected the trackpad cable the keyboard still doesn't appear to get power as the 'Caps' Lock button doesn't go green, but the machine still responds to an SMC reset.
  • If I plug in an external keyboard the machine responds to that, which implies that it is hardware related.
  • Booting to an external operating system the machine then works fine.....
  • I have previously tried re-installing the OS (MacOS Sierra 10.12) but this made no difference.

Anyone got any ideas whatsoever ?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Chosen Solution

Replacement TrackPad solved the issue.

Trackpad was tripping the components out.

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Most Helpful Answer

This series has the trackpad cable reaching over the battery Vs clamped between the upper case and the battery. So luckily it can be replaced quite easily. I would start there as a good bump onto the bottom cover can damage it.

I would also do a good inspection of the trackpad as any spilled liquid can corrode the ribbon cable connections. Remember the keyboards connection is relayed by the trackpad and then on to the logic board. If you see any damage you'll also need to replace the trackpad.

Review this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Early 2015 Trackpad Replacement. Make sure you first disconnect the battery then you can jump to Step7 to remove the cover and disconnect the cable as shown in Step17 thru Step20.

MacBook Pro 13" Retina Trackpad Flex Cable, Early 2015 - Apple P/N 923-00518

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So could the trackpad not working cause the keyboard also not to work?

(What I don't understand though is why the keyboard will still respond to an SMC reset)


They are chained together: Keyboard to Trackpad to Logic board (A to B to C). There are quite a few lines so you could have damaged just a few either from the bump or corrosion.


Did you have a liquid spill into he keyboard at some point?

Also check the About This Mac > System Report > USB Device Tree listing do you see the internal keyboard Trackpad listed?


No liquid damage in the machine

And the fault was occurring before I inspected the machine

On an external OS the fault is not present, implying that the fault is software/OS based

I have already tried re-installing the OS


Sounds like you still have something on the internal drive thats interfering if you can run the system from an external drive with no problems! I wish you had stated that earlier ;-}

You'll first want to backup your drive and then using your external bootable drive with the (OS installer on it) use Disk Utility to fully wipe the drive as you want to create a fresh install Vs reloading. That should fix it then.


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