(Macbook Air) Keyboard, trackpad and bluetooth went suddenly dead

jaimetg

Registered
I was using my laptop as usual and the keyboard just stopped working, tried the trackpad and it was also gone. Used an USB mouse to get to preferences and no trackpad is being recognized by the laptop. I wanted to activate bluetooth to use an external keyboard but no bluetooth device is recognized inside neither.

Rebooted, powered off & on, plugged the MagSafe connector, tried without power and then used the three-prong power cable plugged it into a grounded outlet. No change, keyboard, trackpad and bluetooth are dead.

Last thing I tried was to reset PRAM and NVRAM but when I power it on with the corresponding key combinations nothing changes, it just boots and that's it. I have also noticed that the USB port on the right side of the laptop is dead, the one on the left is still working.

My laptop has never showed any software or hardware issues before and it has always been carefully stored, handled and charged. There was nothing different in the way I was working with it today, as a matter of fact I was typing when everything went dead.

This laptop never showed any issues at all and, as I mentioned, I was working as usual with it. Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

Thanks,
JT
 

DeltaMac

Tech
The USB ports connect through the internal USB bus (which sounds logical :D )
The keyboard and trackpad ALSO connect to that USB bus (internally)
AND, the bluetooth - also the built-in camera - all connect to the USB bus.
The interesting info is that your right-side USB port still works?
Be sure that there's no SD card in the slot (and that also uses the USB bus!)
So, you can see that the USB bus is has a lot of connections.
You can't reset that bus, unless the keyboard is working. The keyboard connects to that bus, so it's just another device that stopped working.
So, you need to reset the USB bus. Try this:
If you have one working USB port, plug a USB wired keyboard into that working USB port. Restart with a PRAM reset (holding Alt(option)-Command-P and R)
This should work from a Windows keyboard, if you don't have an Apple-layout keyboard to use. On a Windows keyboard, you would hold the Windows key-Alt-P and R.
You should get a startup boot chime. Keep holding the same 4 keys until you hear the boot chime two more times, then release the keys to let the system start normally.
Does your trackpad start working then?
If so, then you likely have a good reset - try the built-in keyboard and bluetooth.
 

jaimetg

Registered
Thanks Delta,

I used an external keyboard and did the PRAM reset, no changes. This looks like a hardware issue, my hopes are low now.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Did the PRAM reset actually work (so you get boot chimes every few seconds while you continue to hold the 4 keys) - or did the PRAM reset still not complete (no chimes after the first one)
Be sure to also try a power manager reset....
Shut the MBAir off. Make sure the power adapter is connected.
Press and hold the (LEFT side only) Shift, Control and Option/Alt, then press and release the power button. You won't notice anything happen, unless the battery is charging (the adapter plug will briefly change from orange, to green, then back to orange (meaning that it continues to charge)

If those ports and the internal keyboard still aren't working, then you COULD try taking the bottom cover off, checking for possible corrosion (often green or blue powder that may accumulate around connections, and doesn't look like it should be there). You could also try disconnecting the internal battery cable, unplug the power adapter (should already be unplugged if you have the bottom open), then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. Again, you won't see anything happen, but it is another type of reset. Re-attach the battery connector, put the bottom back on, plug in the adapter, and try the power up again - check your USB connections.
You are less than a couple of years old, so it's possible that an Apple repair shop, or a Genius - might have other testing, or other options that you can't do yourself.
 

jaimetg

Registered
PRAM reset worked fine, no changes with the trackpad/keyboard...

I will try each of the alternatives you wrote about. I was wondering if removing the cover would void warranty.

Last option I was thinking about was to take it to the Apple store when I get back to the US (currently working overseas).

Thanks.
 

vishnu Raj

Registered
The USB ports connect through the internal USB bus (which sounds logical :D )
The keyboard and trackpad ALSO connect to that USB bus (internally)
AND, the bluetooth - also the built-in camera - all connect to the USB bus.
The interesting info is that your right-side USB port still works?
Be sure that there's no SD card in the slot (and that also uses the USB bus!)
So, you can see that the USB bus is has a lot of connections.
You can't reset that bus, unless the keyboard is working. The keyboard connects to that bus, so it's just another device that stopped working.
So, you need to reset the USB bus. Try this:
If you have one working USB port, plug a USB wired keyboard into that working USB port. Restart with a PRAM reset (holding Alt(option)-Command-P and R)
This should work from a Windows keyboard, if you don't have an Apple-layout keyboard to use. On a Windows keyboard, you would hold the Windows key-Alt-P and R.
You should get a startup boot chime. Keep holding the same 4 keys until you hear the boot chime two more times, then release the keys to let the system start normally.
Does your trackpad start working then?
If so, then you likely have a good reset - try the built-in keyboard and bluetooth.
....................................................................................................................................................

This is the same issue am facing with my macbook a1369. It works when the PRAM is reseted but most cases the keyboard doesn't work on booting time so PRAM cant be reseted. I saw many post for macbook pro that there is a loose connection for the cable, Is there anything i can do with my MACBOOK AIR to fix this permanently. without changing the HARDWARE parts.

Thank you
 

DeltaMac

Tech
....................................................................................................................................................

This is the same issue am facing with my macbook a1369. It works when the PRAM is reseted but most cases the keyboard doesn't work on booting time so PRAM cant be reseted. I saw many post for macbook pro that there is a loose connection for the cable, Is there anything i can do with my MACBOOK AIR to fix this permanently. without changing the HARDWARE parts.
...
When the keyboard does not appear to function - Do you get a caps lock light if you press the caps lock key? If no, then likely you will need to replace the logic board.

Try an SMC reset, if the PRAM reset does not work. Scroll down on that linked page for Mac notebooks with non-removable battery...

If you have a USB keyboard available, try that out for some of the things that don't work from the built-in keyboard.

If the external keyboard doesn't function either, then likely the logic board is the fault.

DO TRY reseating the IPD flex cable, which connects the trackpad to the keyboard. iFixit should have a repair guide that will guide you to that task. It's not difficult, but a little finicky.
This one - https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+13-Inch+Mid+2011+Trackpad+Replacement/9302
There's no need to go beyond step 7 - you don't need to take out the trackpad, just disconnect (then reconnect) the cables.
 
Top