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The March 2015 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display, model A1502, features fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduces the Force Touch trackpad.

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Really strange trackpad and keyboard problem. MacBook Pro Early 2015

Hi there,

I have a very strange problem with my MacBook Pro that I can't find reports of anywhere else online. I would really appreciate any ideas, because I am running out of them for sure!

The core problem is: the keyboard and trackpad don't work. But there are many weird things about it, as follows:

-when the problem started, it was fixed with a simple restart for a couple of days. Then an NVRAM reset was needed at every boot to fix it - strangely enough, the combination (CMD-ALT-P-R) worked on the in-built keyboard. The SMC reset combination also worked (SHIFT-CTRL-ALT), but nothing else did. The P and R keys, used for the NVRAM reset, didn't work for typing either.

-This worked for a week or two. Then the resets stopped working too, leaving it in its current state of needing an external keyboard and mouse to operate. A short while after the resets stopped working, the NVRAM reset combination stopped registering on the in-built keyboard.

-Reverting to an older OS, reinstalling the OS, and factory resetting the Mac did nothing to help. At this point, I thought, must be a loose ribbon cable...

-...then I discovered that they work absolutely fine when booting Linux from a USB stick, and on a Linux partition on my SSD! I added this partition when I found that they work on a USB stick, so I could use the laptop portably for some things.

-And a final point... the keyboard and trackpad can wake the Mac from sleep when on macOS, but cannot do anything else!

This makes no sense to me. I can't seem to think of a logical explanation. The fact that they work on Ubuntu proves that it can't be hardware, right?

Thank you so much for your time!

EDIT: I have now looked inside the laptop.

Am I right in thinking that this is the trackpad cable, running over the top of the battery and connecting to the trackpad here?

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There's no water damage anywhere and I gave it a good clean out. One thing I forgot to mention before was this error in verbose mode (I think it was that - might have been single-user). Does this give any clues as to what the problem is?

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It would help knowing which model you have as there are quite a few in Apple's line up. Locate your systems S/N and paste it here: EveryMac - Lookup. Then paste your systems URL here for us to review.

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Ah yes, I should have posted that. Here you go: MacBook Pro 13" i5 2.7 GHz i5 (Early 2015)

Thanks!

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@alex1878 to answer your questions in edit;

1. Yes that is the trackpad cable. Try a new one, I have seen a lot of 2015 13" models where the cable goes bad for no reason and causes the keyboard/trackpad to be intermittent.

2. Not sure exactly what the errors in verbose means, but the trackpad cable deals with SPI_CLK signals, so it sounds like the cable is causing this.

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This is sounding promising! I have just done some searching on that verbose error code (0xe00002ed) and other people also relate it to the trackpad. Pretty sure it's that cable that has gone wrong :) I'll definitely replace it next week no matter what Apple say tomorrow. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction! I'll keep you updated.

Oh yeah, and one more thing I forgot to mention, my system preferences state "no trackpad found" under the trackpad heading.

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Ok so, the guy at the Genius Bar said that he was 85% sure it was the trackpad cable. He mentioned what you said Reece straight away, that the keyboard won't work without it. I got quoted £92 for it but I'm going to try and do it myself - I've ordered a new one from eBay.

Do you know of any good guides for doing this? I can't find any on youtube for my model, but did find a guide on iFixit for an entire trackpad replacement. I could just follow the cable bits.

It says on there that it's secured to the battery with adhesive - once I've taken the old one out, will I need to replace this with my own adhesive when I put the new one in? Or will the new one have some kind of sticky backing? Also, in the interests of being careful, is it ok to use a flathead screwdriver instead of a spudger, to lift the connectors up?

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Open it first, and check for any obvious liquid damage.

The trackpad on the 2015 13" MacBook Pro (assuming it is a 13") must be recognised by the MacBook in order for the keyboard to work. If the trackpad is unplugged, or there is an intermittent fault with the cable, both the trackpad and cable will not work. I have never tried booting into another OS when I come across one with this issue, but I imagine Mac OS uses some signals transferred through the trackpad cable Ubuntu does not, which is why it may work fine on another OS.

There is a common fault with the trackpad cable on this model, which is easy to replace. If there is no liquid damage inside the Mac, I would recommend trying this first since the cable costs around £10. This issue can be very intermittent, so ones which I see will sometimes work fine, then stop working when put to sleep, or vice versa.

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Thanks for your quick response. I have a screwdriver coming tomorrow so I'll open the case then. I can't imagine it's water damaged but I'll take a look, and give it a clean inside too.

After the NVRAM resets stopped working, the trackpad and keyboard would decide to work once every few days on their own, like the intermittent problem you describe. Now they haven't worked for about 3 weeks.

I have a genius bar appointment on Sunday to see what they make of it and to get a quote. How much do you think Apple would charge for a trackpad cable replacement? I'm worried that they'll say I need a top case replacement, which I have seen many reports of online!

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I remember someone else on here from Europe was quoted around 90-150 euros (can't remember the exact amount). The cable is easily replaced, it is not underneath the battery like older models, it goes along the top of the battery and one side plugs into the trackpad, the other to the logic board.

I would recommend seeing what Apple say. Make sure they test just the cable, since the technician may not be aware the keyboard will not work if the trackpad is faulty, and they will quote you for the palmrest as well (knowing Apple).

If they say it is the cable, I would recommend getting it back and doing this yourself. Takes 10 minutes and no risks whatsoever, as long as you unplug the battery whilst working on it :)

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Ok great, I will ask them to check that cable out. I hope that is the problem!

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I had the exact same problem with an Early 2015 13" MBP. It showed up right after upgrading to OSX 10.13 from 10.11. Replacing the trackpad cable seems to have fixed the problem. It seems the Sierra/High Sierra keyboard/mouse drivers are not as tolerant to timeout communications errors with the trackpad as the other OS's are.

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Hello, I am having exactly the same problem. Can someone explain me how to swap the trackpad cable and link me the specific cable on eBay?

MacBook Pro 13’’ early 2015 as well.

Thank you

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