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The April 2014 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Air features refreshed dual-core i5 and i7 processors, plus slightly increased battery performance.

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MacBook Air (A1466) keyboard and trackpad not recognized

Hi, thanks for reading and trying to help.

I have a MacBook Air (A1466, early 2014), which may have a very minor water damage (few drops of water may have went into the trackpad/space bar area. I immediately followed some of the youtube video and tried to save it. I did open it up to examine it, and it looks like the keyboard cable is fine. However, the keyboard and trackpad is not being recognized if I boot into normal mode.

Here is a VERY helpful video:

Here are the weird things:

  • If I boot it up by pressing the D key, then the keyboard and the trackpad would work perfectly.
  • If I boot it up by pressing the Option key, again the keyboard and the trackpad would work as well.

However, if I let the system boot into normal mode. The build-in trackpad and the keyboard will NOT work. Another weird thing is that if I connect the Macbook Air (via USB port) with a regular Dell PC USB keyboard, then the external keyboard will work. However, if I connect it with an Apple A1243 USB keyboard (which works perfectly with my 2nd Macbook Pro), then the external usb keyboard will NOT work.

Any idea how I can get this weird issue resolved?

Would spray some Hosa D5S CAIG DeoxIT "Spray Contact Cleaner" help in some way? Thanks!

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The video describes what often happens when liquid gets into the system. As to it being the connector and the cable as in his case is a possibility. I would open the system up and inspect the trackpad connections. more often I find the solder joints corroded or caked with junk. I rarely use ‘Spray Contact Cleaners’ of any kind. Most have oil in them which you really don’t want to spray all over the place! Some also have chemicals which can over time damage things as well.

I use distilled water (100% H2O and nothing else in solution) as well as reagent quality 85% or better isopropyl alcohol. I would take the trackpad out clean the trackpad on a paper towel so the solution doesn’t ender into the layers of the trackpad and used a soft toothbrush clean the areas effected with the distilled water - The Universal Solvent! I then rinse the areas with isopropyl alcohol as it will help in getting the last bit of water out.

If that fails I would replace the trackpad and the cable.

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Hello, I have a MacBook Air 2017 A1466, EMC 3178, that has had some water damage. I replaced the keyboard and sticky buttons was solved. However, the left SHIFT, CTRL and ALT keys still do not work as was the case with the old keyboard.

The trackpad works fine and the connectors look fine as well. I have cleaned the board of the trackpad and connectors as it showed sign of liquid. I have confirmed continuity between the connector at the trackpad and the logic board with ribbon cable installed and it is fine.

As the keyboard on this machine is connected to the trackpad which then is connected to the logic board could the trackpad likely still be the issue of these three keys not working despite the trackpad functions are normal?

Have you experienced something similar and what could be the cause of this please?

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Yes replaced the trackpad and it all worked.


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Hello, I'm facing the same escenario here. Could you find any solution? Thanks.

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@marcoromulo - If cleaning doesn’t help then you’ll need to replace the trackpad. Here’s the needed part MacBook Air 13" (Mid 2013-2017) Trackpad and the guide MacBook Air 13" Early 2014 Trackpad Replacement


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