Jag's World Header




Mad With Macintosh


Fixing Mac Keyboards






Lost Keys

Do you have a key that does not strike when pressed? You may have a bad switch or just a dirty key. Try this; With a small screwdriver carefully pry up and problem key cap. Using WD40 with the thin spray wand that usually comes with it spray a tiny squirt along the edge of the key shaft. Work the key up and down a few times. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the key works. If it doesn't, then you will need a new switch. Talk to your Apple dealer about obtaining one (a solder job), or having one installed.



Spilled coffee If you spilled a lot of your favorite drink into your keyboard and the obviously gummy keys are working only some of the time, you can take drastic measures before you throw it away for a new one. Gather your courage. Remove any cords you can from the keyboard. Take the keyboard apart and remove the circuit board and if possible the keyboard from the plastic shell. wrinse them under warm water, a bit hotter if the stuff you spilled is dry and gummy and needs to be disolved. Dry the board thoroughly with a hair dryer on moderate heat. Let it finish air-drying for a couple of days. When you are sure it is dry you can reassemble the unit. If you want you can lubricate the keys a bit with (very) slight amounts of WD40 into each key plunger after removing the caps (see Keyboards "lost keys"). If it doesn't work, I take no responsibility for your culinary inability.


Last Resort So your kid spilled something sweet in your apple keyboard and wiped it off and decided not to tell you about it for fear you might be angry (good guess). It has dried over time and they keys have gone wacko! Some don't work others give you characters that they shouldn't. The mouse cursor may freeze or the entire computer may lock up. Here is a last resort thing to do i all others fail and you are ready to throw the keyboard out anyway.

A small hand held electric screwdriver with small phillips bit will be a great help when you get inside. I have used this procedure a few times on allegedly "dead" keyboards with great success. My own kids Performa 400 keyboard has had this procedure done to it with only a finicky "r" key as a side effect. Remember you may further damage the keyboard if luck is not on your side today. Read all before attempting.


Step 1. Take the keyboard apart by removing the bottom screws and

prying it apart.


Step 2. Remove the keypad by removing what ever screws hold it in. and slip the little ribbon cables off by unlocking the connectors and sliding the ribbon out. Don't worry it will reassemble properl later.


Step 3. Turn the keypad over and remove the millions of small screws holding it on. If you don't have a keyboard with a metal plate with lots of screws you have a switch type keyboard and reading furthe won't help. This is only for the mylar lamanate keyboards. Remove the black rubber overlay and make a mental note of its orientatio for later replacement.


Step 4. Attached to the metal plate is a plastic film with what appear to be circuit traces and small round areas on it. You have liquid imbedded inside the mylar laminate that is shorting out your key connections.


Step 5. Here comes the tricky part. Lift the entire right hand edge of the mylar from the metal plate about 1/2 inch with a table knife. Grab the edge with your fingers and peel the mylar, which i glued on to the plate, off. Try to lift with as little bending of the mylar as possible. Don't crease it or lift it at too much of an angle.


Step 6. Tricky part #2. Starting at the bottom edge of the mylar you will notice that it is made of two pieces stuck together. Split it apart. It is glued together but is thick and will not tear if you do it with care. The two halves are really connected at the top edge and will open like a book.


Step 7. Carefully wipe the mylae with a paper towel. Be sure to spend some time so that you get all the gooey stuff off. Wipe off any other wet or sticky areas on the keypad or case.


Step 8. Reassembly: Press the mylar back together and replace it (exactly) as it was on the metal plate. The glue will still stick nicely. Then reassemble the black rubber overlay and finish the reassembly by reversing the disassembly procedure.


Plug the keyboard in, power up your Mac and keep your fingers crossed. Try out the mouse and each key. If you were lucky it will work. If you were just fortunate most keys will work without pressing them hard. (Not good for touch typists but okay for the kids). If you were'nt lucky you still have problems but you were ready to throw it out anyway so what the hey!

©1996-04 JagWerks Media