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I have two dead keys on my Apple thin aluminum keyboard. My AppleCare has expired, I'm in the fourth year.

I changed the mouse, no help. I logged onto Main IP, Charter, and used their email rather than my current Gmail. No help. I checked Keyboard, Mouse, Universal, USA in System Preferences.

Does anyone have a detailed checklist of what to do to make these two keys work again?

I use OS X Snow Leopard with the latest updates.

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier:   iMac7,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed:    2 GHz
Number Of Processors:   1
Total Number Of Cores:  2
L2 Cache:   4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed:  800 MHz
Boot ROM Version:   IM71.007A.B03
SMC Version (system):   1.20f4
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> I logged onto Main IP, Charter, and used their email rather than my current Gmail — what is that supposed to mean? Also, has it occurred to you that mechanical stuff like keyboards eventually break, especially after years of usage, and that you can't just magically fix them? The best bet would be to buy a new one. –  slhck Dec 26 '11 at 21:23
Which two keys? –  Journeyman Geek Dec 27 '11 at 0:02

2 Answers 2

It is likely that the actual hardware mechanism that makes the key send an electrical signal to the computer hardware is damaged/broken. In this case, your only solution is to replace the keyboard. Doing this yourself will void the warranty for sure. Alternatively, you could pay Apple to service your machine or use an external keyboard (USB/Bluetooth). As an alternative to the alternative, you could just buy a new one.

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Replacing the keyboard wouldn't void the warranty –  Journeyman Geek Dec 27 '11 at 0:02

Its out of warranty - perfect excuse to crack it open and check for physical damage. If its some kind of mystery substance gumming up the keys, clean it with distilled water and dry it out. If there's damage to a trace you might be able to bypass it, though this is far too much work - if you're really serious, you can follow each and every contact back to the source and test it for continuity with a multimeter.

Since its USB, we can rule out the USB connector, and likely the keyboard controller.

And of course, if you find nothing wrong or damage the keyboard beyond repair, its a good excuse to replace the keyboard ;)

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