A1706 / EMC 3071—Released in November 2016, this 13" Macbook Pro introduces the OLED Touch Bar. Features a dual-core "Skylake" Intel Core i5 CPU and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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The keyboard does not work

I have one of these machines with a liquid damage. The keyboard does not work, thinking about replacing it, but can't find any video about it online, just one about tearing apart the machine, by PowerMedic, but they do not remove the battery or the backlight or the keyboard, so I am a bit scared. I have replaced about 200 macbook keyboards, but first time new model... any help? Thanks!

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Hi. Strangely enough I was just about to post a new question on this; I own a A1708 which needed a battery and keyboard replacement. The battery needs to be removed along with a small plate above it, to access the keyboard, but the issue I am having is with the rivets themselves; Apple have designed them on this model to snap and leave a small amount of the rivet inside the hole, preventing a screw from going in (no matter if you pull the rivet, snap it out, whatever).

Going to post a question here when I get a chance to see if anyone has a solution for this, I took a picture of the keyboard removed the other day which I'll include, and I'll give a brief explanation as to how you get to that point :)

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Ok, but all MacBook airs and MacBook retinas are already like that, right? I mean, some rivets leave an empty hole, in which you can put a screw in, sometimes the rivet breaks and the hole is covered, so not possible to put a screw in that location. Right?

Let me know. My issue is with the A1706 and anyways keyboard takes 2-6 weeks to be here, so would be nice to know the actual problems regarding this reparation before attempting it. Thanks!!!!

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The difference here is the older systems used a plastic rivet the newer system now use a metal one.

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@mac010 No; the rivets were coming out properly, but leaving a shallow hole (you sometimes see this on the older Airs, where the rivet snaps off instantly, but leaves a bit in the hole). I removed the rest of these at the weekend and a lot came out and left a deeper hole, but it is far too narrow to fit the normal keyboard screws in, so I will be looking for a narrower screw set for these

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@reecee Thanks for the explanations!! one way or another we will figure it out. I still gotta order the keyboard and wait for it to arrive... I wonder if it would be such a big of a deal not to put all the screws. Will not be perfect, but I wonder if it will be just good enough. These keybaords already have a very short travel, and the machine is very stuffed inside. I do not think they will sink too much. It may even improve the behaviour, maybe... Haven't tried myself yet @reece we need you!!!

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hi @reecee and @mac010

I've not as of yet, had to replace just the keyboard on its own for the A1706, as we haven't seen very many of them come through yet with just keyboard damage.

But as of yet, i've never done a keyboard replacement on a retina MacBook pro with more than 3 snap rivets left over.

In my opinion, if you have more than 5 left in with no space for a screw to go, the responsiveness of the keyboard is too compromised to be considered an adequate repair. When you press hard on a key without screws behind it, the keyboard sinks in.

The average user may not notice it, but i dont sign off on any repairs that 'sponge' in this way.

The secret to getting the left over snap rivets out after you've carefully peeled the faulty keyboard out, is to use a small blunt flat head screwdriver and a mallet. At a very low angle, gently tap the rivets on their side and they will pop out.

If you hit it too hard, or use a chisel, it will just cut the rivet and leave a flat stump. if only one or two are left like this, then use a very small dab of metal aroldite. Just enough to cover the screw hole.

you then need to leave it to set upside down, which will delay the repair. but its as strong as if it were screwed. Using just a small dab also means the keyboard will still be easy to remove if you have to do a repair again on the same machine down the line. (Don't over do it, otherwise it'll never come out again)

But if you are replacing the battery and the keyboard, most find it easier and cheaper to replace the service spare that Apple uses, which is the complete top case unit (including battery, trackpad, keyboard, top case)

I've stripped out the batteries on this model, and it is the same process as the earlier retina ranges.

With health and safety in mind, i train my engineers to ensure no stress is put on the battery cells while stripping. if the cell gets folded, its integrity is altered, and it can become volatile. if the black casing on the battery gets punctured, its an immediate fire risk. Most assume that because the battery is encased there is no risk, so are quite rough with the removal process, but they dont realise how close to setting off a firework they are. always resist the urge to pull up on the battery cells to get better access to the tape.

Most of the batteries my guys take out barely have a ruffle on the outer casing because of the methods we use.

a small amount of label remover carefully aimed on the tape underneath, leave to soak for a few minutes, then go at it with a credit card sized piece of plastic, or in our case, a 6 inch long guitar pick. making sure to only aim at the tape strips and not the batter cell. take your time and be patient. it'll take you less time than you think if done carefully, and will be a far better result.

i hope this helps.

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A lot of good points, thanks Jon. With this model, none of the rivets will come out when removing the keyboard from the palmrest (unlike older models). They have a bigger head holding the keyboard in, and they are a lot stronger. This, in combination with the fact that the keyboard uses a PCB backing material (which breaks apart when you try and pull the keyboard out, unlike the metal backing of old keyboards), means you cannot put enough pressure on the rivets to pull them out with the keyboard. You have to push the keyboard out from the key side.

Knocking the rivets does not work on this model like the older ones, you have to pull these with wire cutters (up and to the side, at the right angle) otherwise the end of the rivet snaps and stays in the hole, not coming out with the rest of it, making the hole too shallow (they are designed to break like this).

Regarding the battery, it is a lot easier to remove than the older Retinas, I agree. They use a similar tape but it takes a lot less time to remove.

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I own a A1708 which needs a keyboard (have a question open about this), and will update it once the keyboard is replaced and I find narrow screws to fit in the holes, or another solution to this. These keyboards have a number of screws and hex nuts across it (where the board screws in), so it looks like it may be quite stable, even without any screws (although this is my unit to experiment and check this on obviously). Unfortunately the keyboard from my supplier had one faulty key, so I will be ordering a few in my next shipment and update on my question and here

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Thats a shame that apple have made it so much less repairable. It was a bit of a bodge having to pull out the keyboard from the earlier 2012-2015 retina ranges, but this new level of fitting will be a pain from a supply and repair point of view.

I have also seen that the backing sheet is much more complex, but if that breaks down when the keyboard is removed, thats not great either.

I hope you get it all sorted. Let me know how you get on with the final results, as i'd be interested to see how well it turns out after being rebuilt.

All the best

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