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  1. #1
    Field Marshal DashKT's Avatar
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    Fixing a broken Macbook key

    Hey guys, so a few months ago I let my girlfriend listen to music on my Mac laptop while she showered, the laptop sitting on the bathroom counter. She told me one day she went to turn the volume up and got a couple drops of water on the keyboard, and a result the "i" and "8" key don't work. I've been copy and pasting them whenever needed, but I'm moving away soon, and am unable to take my PC. I'm taking a class online so it'd be great if I could get this keyboard working properly. I'm just hoping I can buy just the 2 keys and not a whole new keyboard?

    I know a little bit about computers, but not overly much. So go easy

    TL;DR: "i" and "8" key don't work on Macbook due to water, want them fixed.

  2. #2
    Notebook keyboards are almost never "fixable" as they do not take well to being disassembled. Your best bet is to look on ebay for a replacement keyboard and swap in the whole unit (costs around $30). More or less the same with any notebook.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.

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  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Kathandira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kujako View Post
    Notebook keyboards are almost never "fixable" as they do not take well to being disassembled. Your best bet is to look on ebay for a replacement keyboard and swap in the whole unit (costs around $30). More or less the same with any notebook.

    True Statement. this is all you need to do. Posting to second the notion.

  4. #4
    The problem will lie in trying to replace the keys: not hugely familiar with macs but I think they use the standard "scissor" type switch that laptop keys have. To be brief I suspect you will have to replace the whole keyboard, assuming this is possible on Macs. Essentially the top part of the key works as a plate to work the actual mechanism which is fixed into the circuitboard.

    I have to say I am a bit dubious about it being "a couple of drops" by the way :P

    ---------- Post added 2011-11-07 at 11:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kujako View Post
    Notebook keyboards are almost never "fixable" as they do not take well to being disassembled. Your best bet is to look on ebay for a replacement keyboard and swap in the whole unit (costs around $30). More or less the same with any notebook.
    Yes agreed. Most of these sort of tasks have plenty of how to videos on youtube so it is generally relatively easy once you have the part.

  5. #5
    Field Marshal Emmry's Avatar
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    Lost a few of my keys on my macbook a few months ago. I contacted Apple about it, and they told me to replace a broken key they need to completely replace the keyboard set, and disassemble the laptop itself. Took around 2 weeks from mailing it to and from before I had my macbook home and fixed. Your situation is more likely a hardware issue but you should contact Apple first before trying any crazy glue online quick-fix guides.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmry View Post
    Lost a few of my keys on my macbook a few months ago. I contacted Apple about it, and they told me to replace a broken key they need to completely replace the keyboard set, and disassemble the laptop itself. Took around 2 weeks from mailing it to and from before I had my macbook home and fixed. Your situation is more likely a hardware issue but you should contact Apple first before trying any crazy glue online quick-fix guides.

    Good luck.
    At a guess you had an older model, perhaps a G3/G4 based MacBook? On most models the keyboard lifts up and out of the case with ease to expose the RAM slots. Just one ribbon cable to disconnect and its out.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.

    -Kujako-

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Emmry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kujako View Post
    At a guess you had an older model, perhaps a G3/G4 based MacBook? On most models the keyboard lifts up and out of the case with ease to expose the RAM slots. Just one ribbon cable to disconnect and its out.
    Don't believe so, I got my Macbook Pro late 2010.

  8. #8
    Epic!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DashKT View Post
    Hey guys, so a few months ago I let my girlfriend listen to music on my Mac laptop while she showered, the laptop sitting on the bathroom counter. She told me one day she went to turn the volume up and got a couple drops of water on the keyboard, and a result the "i" and "8" key don't work. I've been copy and pasting them whenever needed, but I'm moving away soon, and am unable to take my PC. I'm taking a class online so it'd be great if I could get this keyboard working properly. I'm just hoping I can buy just the 2 keys and not a whole new keyboard?

    I know a little bit about computers, but not overly much. So go easy

    TL;DR: "i" and "8" key don't work on Macbook due to water, want them fixed.
    Take to a genius bar, they'll replace the two keys free of charge.

    edit: I retract that, water damage wouldn't be fixed by replacing the cap.
    Last edited by Tyrianth; 2011-11-08 at 12:39 AM.
    (This signature was removed for violation of the Avatar & Signature Guidelines)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmry View Post
    Don't believe so, I got my Macbook Pro late 2010.
    True enough, the 2010 models with the black keys needed to have the entire top replaced as it is a single part including the keyboard. That can be a bit of a PITA.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.

    -Kujako-

  10. #10
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    2010 model should still be in warranty, and Apple offers a "derp moment" replacement on the iPad/iPhone, i don't see why they wouldn't fix your macbook, just don't say anything about water

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kujako View Post
    Notebook keyboards are almost never "fixable" as they do not take well to being disassembled. Your best bet is to look on ebay for a replacement keyboard and swap in the whole unit (costs around $30). More or less the same with any notebook.
    Replacing the keyboard would be technically fixing it considering it is one solid unit on most laptops more like a calculator than a physical keyboard in the button sense even so that would only refer to mechanical keyboards. All laptop manufacturers have replacement parts available and installation.

  12. #12
    Scarab Lord Robinhoodexe's Avatar
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    I'd take it to the apple store, and don't say much about the water
    Congratulations on graduating to expert level trolling, I would stick around but I'm busy getting gay married in 13 states and performing roadside abortions while passing bills that take away people's guns while i sip superior european wine and cheese i bought with european style socialist money, arrivaderci!

  13. #13
    Getting to the keyboard is a very messy task indeed. Replacing it even messier. Anyway, look at http://www.ifixit.com/

    ---------- Post added 2011-11-08 at 02:51 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanotical View Post
    2010 model should still be in warranty, and Apple offers a "derp moment" replacement on the iPad/iPhone, i don't see why they wouldn't fix your macbook, just don't say anything about water
    They have humidity sensors installed for cases like these, so they'll probably know anyway

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathandira View Post
    True Statement. this is all you need to do. Posting to second the notion.
    He is posting the second notion of the emotion, feeling like he can't be controlling!

    Yeah...

    I .. have no idea what that is, but it just came into my head...

    But its true, keyboards are not very fixable once they break down. That indeed, is your (only) option.
    https://itunes.apple.com/nl/book/the...10289246?mt=11 <3 My book; The Light of Dawn. forever in my heart, never forgotten.

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  15. #15
    Not so true, this web shop http://www.laptop-keys.com sells replacement macbook keys for less than $5 a piece.

  16. #16
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Yea, those are key caps, not the actual "workings" of the buttons themselves. Won't do the OP any good buying those
    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Bananarepublic's Avatar
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    Feed your MacBook a BigMac to cheer it up and make it work again.

    OT: just contact Apple about it.

  18. #18
    Don't contact Apple. Don't pay someone else to fix it. Order the keyboard online. (It helps to remove the current keyboard and get an exact part number.) YouTube a how-to video. Keyboards are one of the easiest hardware repairs on any notebook, Mac included.
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    Oh would you now? It truly is amazing how many heroic people we have wasting their time on internet.

  19. #19
    Have you tried just letting it dry out if it was only water?
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  20. #20
    The Patient
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    I replaced a laptop keyboard a few years ago after knocking a drink into it - it wasn't that difficult, once I got the laptop opened up - that was the hardest part! If you're technically proficient and have installed ram or changed hard drives before, do it yourself. Otherwise, get a local business small service shop to do it (They'll be insured/be able to gaurentee the fix - your mate who will give it a go won't be).

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