13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

576 Questions View all

Can I repair my broken keyboard ribbon retaining flap?

First off, I'm an idiot. I pulled up on the keyboard retaining flap, rather than just flipping it up, and it broke. Now, my MacBook 2.4 unibody won't boot. I suspect, because the logic board isn't getting any input from the keyboard. Is there a way to get a replacement retaining flap? Does someone know a way to power on a MacBook from USB or something? Thanks in advance!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 4

Comments:

Hey JSBECKER:

Did the Kapton tape and shim solution work for you? I have broken the same flap on the same MacBook Pro but have different symptoms: some of my keys work and some don't. However, my baby powers up fine and EVERYTHING ELSE seems OK (I was doing a mag relay replacement).

If I go in and fiddle with the keyboard ribbon and re-insert it, etc. there will be a new combination of keys that work and don't work.

Am thinking to try BOTH the kapton tape with a blister-pack shim as suggested above.

Thanks ahead to anyone who has any further ideas/comments on my Macbook Pro's symptoms.

Off to find some Kapton tape – cheers!

by

I cut a piece of plastic from a blister pack and used it to shim the cable in the slot and it actually worked. I am amazed. Was about to give up. Thanks for the tip.

by

Add a comment

12 Answers

Chosen Solution

Kapton low-static tape should be used to hold that connector in place. Kapton tape is used by Apple in many products to insulate possible shorting points and to keep connectors in place.

Here are the Google shopping results for the proper tape: http://www.google.com/products?client=sa...

If you are near an Apple Store with sympathetic Geniuses, perhaps they can hook you up with the small piece you need :)

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2
Add a comment
Most Helpful Answer

In addition to tape (or instead of it) I once used a small, thin shim of polyethylene plastic (cut from a blister package) to hold a flat cable in place. Cut the shim to just under the width of the connector and about twice as long.

First insert the cable and slide the shim on top into the connector as tightly as you can. (This is assuming the connection points of the cable are down toward the pcboard, of course.)

In most cases there is a bit of space above the cable that the shim can wedge into. It doesn't hurt to try this as it makes a better physical connection than tape.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3
Add a comment

So you basically have broken the ribbon cable from the keyboard to the logicboard of which power is on the same array?

The only way to power it up without using the powerbutton would be to take the macbook apart and find the PWR BUTTON | | on the logicboard and short these two tiny connections together and it will boot.

And then use a USB keyboard or something? You might think this is mental but as a "laptop" computer it is f*cked until you replace the keyboard anyway.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2
Add a comment

I don't know that I broke the connection, but I definitely pulled off that little plastic flap that you flip up with the spudger. That's the little piece that I know is broken. It seems useless, but must pull something tight, or something. Thoughts? New Logic Board the only option? It's about 1/10 of a cent worth of plastic. Very annoying.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

If you are sure the cable and connector are good you can try taping the cable with nonconducting tape. Not elegant but might work IF the cable and connector are good. Ralph

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

If you broke that connection you would need to replace the logic board. The power button cabling is shared with the keyboards connection. Most of the newer laptops don't have the PWR area.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I'd have to agree and try the kapton tape but it's not a guaranteed fix.

Ultimately these are all great suggestions but in reality you have an almost new Macbook. If you ever need any kind of warranty service on the computer you are going to have a tough time. You are looking at $749 for the part alone. If it in in fact the logic board.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I am in a similar predicament, however, I was replacing my screen with a friend and he clumsily broke off the ribbon cable from the keyboard. I'm about to order a new keyboard to just replace that but as mjuergens is saying, would I need a whole new logic board or would simply replacing the keyboard with the ribbon cable suffice? Thanks guys.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

The flap that clamps down the keyboard ribbon cable on my MBP crumbled, as well, while replacing the keyboard. I tried gently lift up the clamp and it went BLA. Tape, regardless of type, does not secure the cable tightly enough to provide a connection for the keyboard. Any ideas, besides tape alone, would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I discovered why the flap was so difficult to lift up. The ifixit guides leave our one very important detail. The back side (opposite the side the ribbon cable is inserted) of the connector is the only moving part and the only part that needs to be lifted up. The guides need to be very specific about this. Perhaps these instructions were clear in the ifixit guide, and I just missed it. Either way, it is a problematic scenario for those of us who have damaged our ribbon cable connectors.

Apologies for posting under "answer." This is my first time at this forum and could not figure out how to specify that I am adding to the question, rather than providing an answer.

Thanks!!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

I had the same issue happen to me. I brought it to a Mac repair shop and they made the cheap fix for me by taping it down in place. The keyboard works fine now but God knows for how long. Atleast i know the issue and they did say the correct fix would be to replace the logic board. I can't see how someone can't figure out how to take just the clamp from an old top case and insert it in it's place. This would be the best and cheapest adn most secure fix but not sure if the clamp is really attached to the cable insert from the manufacturer. Suggestions or comments about reinserting the clamp if you have one?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

Just a FYI in case you have future problems with this. On most Apple Laptops the connectors are made by Foxconn and can be found at various places such as Digikey, Mouser, Newark, etc... The local tv repair shop has the skills to solder a new one in place if you don't. Unfortunately most PC & Mac repair shops are just parts peddlers and have no idea how to fix anything that doesn't involve replacing a part.

by

Add a comment

Hi i have a mcbook pro 13 the keyboard backlit doesnt work as the ribbon retainer has come of and lost.

where can i get a new retaiiner to solder on it

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Where can you buy a new ribbon connector? And is there any good source to let you know what riboon connector you would need? Thanks!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

jsbecker will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 29

Past 7 Days: 171

Past 30 Days: 803

All Time: 40,299