Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

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Rows of keys not working since little water spill

My coworker accidentally spilled about a bottle capful of water on to my MacBook 13" Aluminum Unibody Late 2008 (A1278) keyboard. He immediately wiped it up and told me about it. About 5 minutes later, I realized my keys "A" through "L" and keys "Z" through ,"M" weren't working. I shut down my computer, took out the battery, and let it sit open and upside down (like a tent) for the remainder of the day.

The next day I put everything back together and tried the keys again and they still didn't work. Everything else on the computer works fine except those 2 rows of keys.

I've been around a lot of forums trying to read up and find out what my next step should be but am not sure. I took the back piece off to reveal the logic board and dusted everything off - I didn't see any water or visible damage. A lot of people recommend completely taking apart the Macbook (eek!) and blow drying everything. I just need to know:

1. If the keys aren't working now, would they even work if I tried that?

2. If it doesn't work, what needs to be replaced? I hear some people replacing logic boards and others replacing keyboards. Are they connected to each other or separate pieces of the laptop?

Sorry if this sounds confusing, but I need to figure out what to do next because I'm really dreading going to Apple with this issue and paying a ridiculous amount for repair (especially if I might be able to handle this myself).

Thanks for any help!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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If the keys aren't working after you've completely dried it out, and an external keyboard works and runs the machine, your keys have shorted out. Unfortunately this requires an upper case replacement and entails tearing the whole machine down. Here's the part needed: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody (Mid 2009/Mid 2010) Upper Case Labor costs will run about $200 normally as this is a difficult repair and it's very easy to damage the connectors on the logic board. Here's the guide on doing it: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Upper Case Replacement

So your total cost for repair is just under $500. Frankly I would have this done by a professional because if you pop a connector off the logic board, guess who has to pay for that repair?

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Also get the recommended tools. Having all the right tools makes any job easier.

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send it to Mayer to fix. Hes xpert.

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I have a similar problem, but, I see on ebay some keyboards being sold (for around 35 USD), which is much cheaper than buying all the top case.

Any reason for not buying just the keyboard, when this is the only part that is damaged?

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This is weird, mayer I respect you and your work but stop telling people to buy the whole upper part when its possible to change only the keyboard. What are your intereses here?? Are your seriously trying to help people or making them send their laptops to you?

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I agree with Carles

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My sister-in-law had the same problem...spilled Fabuloso on the keyboard and the whole thing went out. To top it off...the Keyboard on an A1278 MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2010) model is connected to the power button so the system didn't start up. I had disconnect and reconnect the keyboard ribbon to get it to start up and use an external keyboard.

RESOLVED:

Bought a keyboard (NO UPPER CASE) from ebay...when it arrived...I removed the bottom case and the logic board, speakers, cd drive, HDD and then the keyboard...(all 52 TINY screws on that keyboard)! It was a long process...about 1 hour...but for $30 USD...it was well worth it rather than 200 from Apple or other computer store. I am an IT so this was easy for me. It might be a bit of a challenge for non-technical people. BUT it is do-able!

GOOD LUCK!

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I've got pictures of the disassembled MacBook if anyone wants to see what it looks like!

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@Dionisio,

I can post the pictures for you or email them if you want. The process is fairly easy, it just takes a bit of time and patience since your dealing with delicate parts. Apparently iFixit has a guide that can get you to the keyboard here: MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Upper Case Replacement - stop at step 29. You will then see the black sheet on the keyboard. Remove the black bar and gently lift the black sheet and white sticky frame. this will reveal the keyboard and you will then see the tiny screws. Once you work all 52 (as I recall) of them out you can put the new one in. Then follow the iFixit guide in reverse to put it back together.

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Very interested in this... I bought a replacement keyboard after a few keys stopped working/seemed to be triggering the wrong action after a liquid spill. Everything else worked fine.

I took my time with the replacement and watched a step by step youtube video... a few of the screw holes were not matched up with the keyboard. Not sure if this makes a difference. I used the model number from my computer to buy the replacement keyboard... but it was ebay so I suppose they could have sent me the wrong one.

When I connected everything and pressed the power button, nothing happened. It almost felt like the power button didn't depress correctly. Should I go back in and try to take apart/reconnect everything again? Should I get a new replacemet keyboard, assuming this was the wrong one? Should I give up and go to a pro?

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@sbpait2408 any chance you still have these pictures? I am afraid that I will have to do the same. Thanks for this post

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The same happened to me - someone spilled an alcoholic drink on my Macbook Pro. The whole thing died and I thought that was the end of my laptop. However, I left it for maybe 2 months and tried it again, not expecting anything to happen. It came back to life, albeit with the keys not working and no backlight on the keyboard.

So I bought a replacement keyboard and backlight off ebay (about £25.00) and then had a local repair guy fit it and clean it up (£40.00)

It's been fine ever since!!

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This is weird, Mayer I respect you and your work but stop telling people to buy the whole upper part when its possible to change only the keyboard.

What are your interests here? Are your seriously trying to help people or making them send their laptops to you?

500$ compared to 30$ is ridicolous

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The upper top cost almost as much as the keyboard alone. With the upper top you get the tracpad and less work. It's a delicate job that you might want an expert to do if you are not one yourself. You could loose thousand dollars or more trying to save $100. ☺

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If you buy a geniune keyboard yes. But there are a lot of cheaper keyboards working really well. And I dont agree, its not that difficult to change a keyboard internally. There are a lot of videos out there. Only patience and will. It's up to you 300$ vs 30$

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Same thing happened to me. Since I almost always used my Apple Bluetooth keyboard ANYWAY, I probably won't ever bother fixing it. If you can't find a cheap way to fix the built-in keyboard, look on eBay or Craigslist or just go to your local Best Buy or whatever and I'd recommend the actual Apple Bluetooth (wireless) keyboard. It's fantastic! But you could also pick up a cheap ($5-$15) USB-connected auxiliary keyboard at various discount stores, which you can usually just plug in and it should work immediately.

These solutions aren't ideal, but they're very quick, cheaper, and if you're like me, you'll prefer the Apple Bluetooth keyboard over the built-in keyboard ANYWAY...jst not quite as convenient to carry around with you, but it IS very slimline...not bulky or heavy AT ALL.

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I need help my keyboard has the same issue except my keys work. The difference is my keys activate other keys. For example, space activates the =/+, the delete button raises the volume and was wondering if anyone knew how to fix this issue?

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Your Mouse Keys may be activated.

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How do you fix these problem with the mouse keys? I dont want to buy a new keyboard

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Open your keyboard preferences and at the bottom check off Show Keyboard, Emoji & Symbol viewers in menu bar Once done you will see the icon in the top right next to the clock. Click on it to open the view of the keyboard and now you can click on the icon of the key you want.

Frankly, I would just get a USB or wireless keyboard as it would be just easier to use.

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I have this problem too. My solution is to have an USB keyboard and mouse plus an external monitor and use my MacBook Pro merely as a desktop computer. This worked nicely for more than a year, but somehow my problem got worse recently! At startup and login, I am no longer able to enter my password because keys are being typed in by it self ...

When I do get in somehow (after numerous retries...) I run the following command to disable my keyboard:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTCKeyboard.kext/

After this, the internal keyboard is disabled and I am able to use the system using the USB keyboard :-)

Now, I am looking for a way to have this shell command run automatically, at startup, BEFORE login.

Does anyone have an idea on how to do that? Should I use crontab?

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This is quite easy with Automator You'll find it in your Apps folder

Also you might want to fix your system. When this Q was first posted we didn't have the keyboard sub assemblies available. While it's a bit of work to replace I think you'll find a laptop more useful being a laptop Vs quasi desktop ;-}

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Can Automator run my command at the end of the boot-sequence, before a user can login?

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No & Yes!

The trick here is to alter your default user account so it automatically boots up under it. To set this go to the Users & Groups Control Panel. Click on the little house icon under your users listing.

OK so I don't want 'My' User account to be automatic so how can I make this work. Just create a guest account (if you took is out) limit it to least amount of access so it boots up with no access or function to anything. After you've set the script with it.

As you can see its No, but also Yes! Its all in how you see the glass half full or half empty.

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That sounds like a good solution for me, thanks! I will look into it.

As an alternative I was looking into http://launchd.info/ but that seemed complicated. I could not yet find a good example for that

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I have it working now.

Here are some details:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/38895...

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Maybe I need to post in new thread , but I have similar problem, where my asd keys work intermittently. With no obvious correlation to temperature, battery/power plug, pressure, repetition, other keys...

I have tried mac help & they suggested "sticky keys" which was not the solution.

I tried adding another "input source" through keyboard settings in system, which was not the solution.

I can plug in a usb keyboard & it works fine.

It acts like a software issue in how it is intermittent: on & fine, off & nothing, or off unless I type it 5 or 10 times.

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