My left shift, control and option keys stopped working

Hey, really hoping one of you could help me with my problem..

I have a 15" Mid 2009 MacBook Pro. The laptop suffered from a spillage and the result was the left shift key was always on. So I ordered a new keyboard/backlight and fitted it to the top case. Last night after putting it all back together it booted on and I swear the left shift key worked as did everything else.

This morning when I turned it on I noticed that the left shift, left control and left option keys are all unresponsive (checked with the onscreen keyboard).

I have tried the following:

- re-installing Lion from scratch.

- resetting the PRAM with right option, control, P + R. (rebooted 3 times to make sure)

- resetting the SMC - as I cannot do this with the keys, I removed the battery and held down the power button for 5 seconds. The clock reset so I assume this worked?

- re-seating the keyboard ribbon cable.

Does anyone have any ideas or solutions?

Does anyone know if one of the connectors on the ribbon cable signify these three buttons? (i.e. are the buttons grouped together on one pin which I could attempt to clean etc)

Any help, info or suggestions would be VERY much appreciated!!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I've had the exact same problem while fixing a friend's spill damaged Macbook Pro 13 inch. After the spillage, left shift key seemed to be always on. I replaced the keyboard with a new one and tested it last night, everything worked fine. Today, the left side shift, option, and command key do not work. Looking at Keyboard Character Viewer showed nothing when depressing those keys. I haven't tried trashing the com.apple.keyboardtype.plist file yet, though.

Richard, have you had your issue resolved? I, too, was thinking this is a hardware issue, like you said, maybe a contact on the keyboard ribbon cable/socket is faulty, the one that controls those keys (if they are, in fact, grouped together.)

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So strange. Left speaker and subwoofer were not plugged in. Fixed that and now shift control option all work. How is this even possibles?

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Turns out speaker was not it. Issue came back the next day. Ideas? Tried a new keyboard again. No luck

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Hello, I have the same problem. Had you solve it?

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i have the problem with my macbook

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4 Answers

Chosen Solution

Delete Library->Preferences:com.apple.keyboardtype.plist file. Restart or log out. Often strange behavior can be attributed to damaged or corrupt files.

If this Answer is helpful please remember to return and mark it Accepted.

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That file doesnt exist on my macbook. I installed a fresh copy of Lion today from scratch so that could be why.

Thanks for the help. Any other ideas?

Kind Regards,

Richard

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You're looking in Library/Preferences, not User/Library/Preferences?

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you were right but still doesn't work. Think this is a hardware fault. Any ideas?

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Read about someone using "Keyboard Character Viewer" and that it "reset/solved" a somewhat similar problem... don't recall where that was. Give it a shot. Use it, open it. press the keys and see what it shows. - Seems strange that the new keyboard doesn't work, you're positive it wasn't damaged? TRY A USB keyboard if it does the same thing maybe the keyboard controller chip is damaged?

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I have the same problem you need to hold the key option during the chime, then you need to download this software, https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/

karabiner is the name

for some people the option key doesn't work try the space bar instead.

good luck..

this fix my problem in the OS X no in the boot

cause this happen for a problem in the logic board, how I know this ? cause is the second keyboard replacement. and the shift don't work either.

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Hi Richard, i have the same problem, Could you solve this problem and you did? thanks

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I have the problem on a a 2011 Macbook pro. deleted the file, restarted. It then said the keyboard could not be identified and told me to press a key to the right of the left shift key. I did. It then told me that i was pressing the key on my macbook pro... which of course i was, but it seemed to be expecting some other / external keyboard and wouldn't go further with me pressing the key on my main keyboard. Any suggestions?

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I have the same problem on a 2011 macbook pro after removing andplacing the internal keyboard back. Does anyone has any other suggestion? It is 5 years after the initial post

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Samuel if you spilled liquid on you keyboard and it stopped working, your best bet is to replace the keyboard. Just the keyboard, not the whole assembly. It is a bit lengthy but perfectly doable as a DIY repair. Just need to be careful not to pry anything off when removing the board from the housing then during reassembly. Don't use metal tools near the logic board except the screw driver to remove screws. Disconnect the battery first before you touch anything else inside.

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My keyboard is working unless the left shift,ctrl and option key. As more people encounter the same problem it seems not an issue with the keyboard itself.

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I too have these 3 keys not working, even after replacing with a brand new keyboard. An external USB keyboard will work, but any internal keyboard (connected via the flat ribbon cable to the logic board) will not.

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hello Richard,

do you have any concept, how to resolve this?

I got same issue and it's really drivin me insane. Thanks for info!

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It's very strange that many people are relating exactly the same problem with the same three keys on the last two months on a post of 2012. I have a early 2011 macbook pro and the same problem started yesterday. Left shift, control and option doesn't working. :(

I already tried deleting com.apple.keyboardtype.plist without success. If anyone find out how to manage this issue, please report us!

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Richard Hodgett will be eternally grateful.
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