[Noisebridge-discuss] Mac Book Pro + Water = Sad Mac Keyboard

Jared Dunne jareddunne at gmail.com
Sat Mar 3 22:31:36 UTC 2012


My gf spilled a decent amount of water on my old 17" MBP's keyboard the
other day.  I was wondering if people with experience with similar
incidents with A1212 17" MBPs could share some tips.

I immediately turned it off, unplugged, and removed the battery.  I
inverted it and wiped down as much of the water as possible.  I left it
inverted overnight.

The next day I put back in the battery and powered it up.  It worked fine
except some of the keys were "stuck", meaning it was acting like they were
held down, namely some combination of shift, control, and command.  The
behavior was that when I typed everything was in all CAPS and numbers were
punctuation, etc.  Also when I clicked links in the web browser they opened
in new windows.

I found some helpful videos on http://www.powerbookmedic.com and used them
to dissemble the MBP and remove the keyboard.  Once removed, I was better
able to remove various crud that had found its way under the keys over the
last 4-5 years.  I then ran it under fresh water (didn't submerge) then
allowed it to dry for 36 hours.

The following evening I tried reassembling the machine.  I had some trouble
getting the keyboard's ribbon cable back snugly into it's slot, so I'm not
sure that it made a good connection.  I continued anyways and powered it
on.  The "stuck" key problem had gone away.  While most keys now worked, a
seemingly random subset of them didn't do anything on key press, including
T, G, B, left shift, tab, command, etc.

I've removed the keyboard again and removed the keys that were still having
issues.  There isn't anything obviously afoul with them, aside from there
being some dusty/cloudy appearance between the layers of transparent
plastic housing the connections to/from the nubs that get depressed, which
isn't dramatic different than the appearance surrounding the working keys.

- Could the behavior be caused by a incomplete connection of the ribbon
cable?  Or would that cause boot errors or all-or-none behavior?  Tips on
getting that ribbon cable in snugly despite the lack of slack in the cable?
- Did I screw up by rinsing it off?  Alternatively, did I not go far enough
in my rinse?
- Any other tips on what I should do next?  Clearly I can buy a
replacement, but I'd like to eliminate the possibility of repair before
doing so.

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