MacBook (#4): Keyboard suddenly stops working; Still more on irritating noises; more

MacBook (#4): Keyboard suddenly stops working; Still more on irritating noises; more

Keyboard suddenly stops working A handful of readers have begun reporting an issue where the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad suddenly stop being responsive, forcing the user to reboot (after first shutting down by holding the power key) in order to regain control.

MacFixIt reader Michael Kuntscher writes:

"Recently I started having a problem with my MacBook's Keyboard and Trackpad where they will just suddenly stop working. The trackpad won't move the mouse, and none of the keys on the Keyboard will work. Pressing the caps lock or num lock keys won't turn on their little lights even.

"The only recourse when this has happened is to reboot or, strangely, use this developer tool called USB Prober, which upon opening, causes both the keyboard and trackpad to begin working again.

"The Power button still operates during this time (it being independent of the USB device that is the keyboard/trackpad) and pressing it will bring up the shutdown options dialog. However, the inability to _press_ any of those buttons leaves you only with the option of holding down the power button until the computer turns off.

  • Plugging in a USB mouse and keyboard still works fine.
  • Apple System Profiler still shows the keyboard/trackpad as present
  • Problem has occurred both immediately after opening the lid on waking as well as just suddenly occurring during normal usage.
  • Seems to be very random. It didn't happen at all yesterday but was the first thing that occurred upon waking this morning.

"I have custom installed 2GB of Corsair Ram and an Hitachi 100GB 7200RPM hard drive."

As noted by Michael, the tool USB Prober (part of Apple's USB debugging kit for developers) has been successful in reviving keyboard/trackpad responsiveness in some cases. Unfortunately, launching the application requires connection of an external keyboard (via USB).

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know, including information about any add-ons (such as a 7200 RPM hard drive) you've installed.

Still more on irritating noises Meanwhile, users continue to comment on two distinct, irritating noises generated by the MacBook: a "mooing" noise that occurs when a specific fan spins up then down repeatedly (similar to the one exhibited by the MacBook Pro), and a high-pitched noise emanating from the power supply.

One reader writes:

"I recently bought a MacBook from Amazon and I am currently experiencing the same problem as your users are. I have a (1.83Ghz, 100GB HD (7200rpm) and, 2GB RAM) both upgrades were made after the purchase. I did have the 'mooings' sound prior to upgrading those two components. The Moooing sound comes only when I plug in the AC adpater. I have discharged my unit twice. If I put it on 'Better battery life' setting, I still get the mooing sound, but not as often as 'Better performance'"

MacFixIt reader Garrison adds:

"Two days after purchasing a new 1.83GHz Macbook, the power supply has begun to gurgle and hiss. We've tried it in different outlets, but as long as the laptop is being used while it charges, the sound is constant: a low-pitched electric hiss that is plainly audible in a quiet room with the brick 5' away. When the laptop is powered down, the hiss disappears, even though the red light on the magnetic connector indicates that the unit is charging."

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

Previous coverage:

Resources
  • Apple's USB debugging kit
  • let us know
  • exhibited by the MacBook P...
  • Late-breakers@macfixit.com
  • MacBook (#3): Sudden shutd...
  • MacBook (#2): Irritating fan noises reminiscent of MacBook Pro ("mooing"); Matched RAM pairs can come from different manufacturers; more
  • Apple releases MacBook: 13...
  • More from Late-Breakers
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