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Ceoltoir

Need some advice on a powerbook keyboard issue

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i'll try to keep the description brief. Early in June i started having issues with the keyboard on my two year old Powerbook. Specifically six keys would intermittently stop working for random periods of time. i still have the AppleCare coverage i took it to the Apple Store and had them work on it. Following is a list of what was done and when:

 

 

Repair 1: Replaced keyboard and display (the display was unrealted to the keyboard, the Genius noticed a few "blotches" and told me i might as well get that done too.

 

 

Repair 2: A week later the problem with the keyboard resurfaced so i took it in again. This time they replaced the keyboard, and the HD (again the HD crash was seemingly unrelated, and happened to crash while i was backing up my home folder). They had planned to also replace the logic board, but when the tech called me to say it was ready he said he tested the board, and it passed with flying colors so they didn't.

 

Repair 3: Four days (yes four) later the problem came back again. At this point i was pretty upset so i drove back to the Apple Store, and had it sent out again. Unfortunately the problem was still very intermittent, and the Depot in Texas was unable reproduce the problem. The Genius (without being asked) told them to replace the keyboard and logic board (which they did) and i got it back two weeks ago.

 

Everything was working fine for that time period until two days ago when the problem resurfaced again. i'm affraid to take it back for two reasons, first because the problem is intermittent and the Depot might not be able to reproduce it again. Second because if the keyboard AND logic board have already been replaced i'm at a loss what else it could be.

 

i have noticed the following:

 

The behavior does not seem to be heat related. It goes out hot or cold (to the touch).

The behavior does not seem to be processor load related. Doesn't matter how much or how little i have running.

The behavior will continue after a restart.

The oddest part is that when the keys stop responding i can get them to work again by tapping the trackpad or running my finger over it (i discovered this by accident yesterday).

 

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this and when i should do to correct the issue? i am completely dependent on my Powerbook for work, and will need it full time come the end of August.

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Take it back again. This time ask them if there is anything else that can be done since it has been sent in 3 times already and it still has the same problem. I believe that there is some sort of "lemon law" thing that you might be able to take advantage of. Tell them how you were able to "fix" it and do your best to get it fixed before August. You are kind of stuck so I would do now while you are able.

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Thanks joshr, i decided to wait until this coming Monday (6 Aug) to take it in so that it has a chance to degrade further (no sense having them be unable to reproduce the problem), and also gather a little more information on when it happens. The trackpad fix is really strange, but is less effective the hotter the unit is. We'll see what happens on Monday.

 

In the meantime, if i can ask a related question...how much experience does anyone here have with "lemon" or "looper" problems with Apple products. Would they be able to replace at two year old Powerbook? How much trouble are they likely to give me? Thanks for any replies in advance.

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Thanks joshr, i decided to wait until this coming Monday (6 Aug) to take it in so that it has a chance to degrade further (no sense having them be unable to reproduce the problem), and also gather a little more information on when it happens. The trackpad fix is really strange, but is less effective the hotter the unit is. We'll see what happens on Monday.

 

In the meantime, if i can ask a related question...how much experience does anyone here have with "lemon" or "looper" problems with Apple products. Would they be able to replace at two year old Powerbook? How much trouble are they likely to give me? Thanks for any replies in advance.

 

 

I've heard of people with Logic Board problems getting offered replacement machines of equal machine from the new line. Example, a buddy of mine had a 15" PowerBook that had 5 Logic Boards replaced, adn they finally just traded him a MacBook Pro on the 6th time in.

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Thanks for all the ideas. Forgive my ingnorance, but what is the top case?

 

i had planned to take the powerbook into the store this past Monday, but it has not had any real failures of the keyboard all week. Once or twice during hte whole , and the problem immediately went away. Rather than have them tell me they can't replicate the error i think i'm going to let it play out and see if it fails more consistantly first.

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Try to get your case escalated to a higher level of tech support or to the executive relations people. If they've repeatedly tried to fix something under warranty and can't fix it at some point they may have to replace your machine. Also, check your state laws, as Apple may have to extend your warranty by the number of days they've had it in for repairs. That also helps motivate companies to find the problem, pdq. Good luck.

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