Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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
share|improve this question
> 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

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.

share|improve this answer
Replacing the keyboard wouldn't void the warranty – Journeyman Geek Dec 27 '11 at 0:02

This is how I made mine work again

  • Remove all the keys carefully (they are just clipped in)
  • Preheat your oven to 60 celsius
  • Wash the keyboard under flowing hot water for several minutes from all sides - so that all water-soluble dirt inside is washed out
  • Shake the water out of your wet keyboard
  • Place your keyboard in the oven for at least several hours or a whole night
  • Test the keyboard
  • If some keys still don't work, repeat and leave it in the oven for even longer
  • Put the keys back in

Nice, clean, working again

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .