Does a touchpad button malfunction require top case replacement?

Clicking the button on my mac registers as multiple clicks instead of a single click. Also, clicking the button makes the pointer get stuck in "drag" mode. When in "drag" mode, the pointer is unresponsive to taps on the touchpad even though "clicking" is turned on in preferences. If I reboot and don't touch the button, the touchpad (including taps etc) works perfectly. External mice (both wired and wireless) also work; however if the button is ever clicked the pointer becomes unresponsive to external mouse clicks (but not mouse movement). Apple geniuses tell me the entire top case needs replacement. Are there any alternatives? Is there an independent hardware connector for the button (not the pad) that can be replaced?

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thanks, ralph. I did something similar in the interim -- opened the case and cleaned around the button ( hard to get under since its sealed) but it seems fiddling with the cables for the touchpad and button connectors has worked. I still see multiple clicks sometimes, but the problem is vastly reduced. I found some helpful hints here http://theappleblog.com/2009/04/06/the-c...

I can only conjecture that it has something to do with (1) an accumulation of debris or (2) battery expansion and contraction with temperature that affects the way the cables are working.

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From everything I see you would have to replace the top case. Before I did that however I would remove the top cover and using compressed air to attempt cleaning the button switch. You might also use contact cleaner on but make sure its completely dry before powering up. Ralph

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I had a different kind of trackpad button failure (mine was stuck as permanently clicked, which prevented booting), but was able to get around it by snipping the cable to the button only (under the battery). The keyboard and trackpad work as usual, and I turned on trackpad-tap-clicking, which takes some getting used to but works just fine. The one caveat is if you do a reinstall, you'll need to borrow a USB mouse, because the OSX installer doesn't default to tap-clicking.

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It's nearly impossible to fix a broken trackpad on a MBP - the mechanism is spot soldered/welded in place and there is no way to remove the button without damaging the unit, let alone the trackpad itself.

You need a new top case. Sorry.

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I have the exact same problem. Cleaning around the edges fixed the problem for about a week, then it came back with a vengence and cleaning again didn't help. I didn't even realize that tapping the trackpad could often substitute for clicking the button/bar, and figuring that out of course helped - but there are still times that one has to click.

I also discovered, however, that simply resting my plam or pressing on the topcase anywhere to the right of the trackpad activates the clickbar/trackpad button as if it had been pushed. It doesn't take much pressure either. This seemed to be the cause of some of my worst "stuck clickbar/button" episodes.

It's almost second nature to rest my right palm just to the side of the trackpad while using it - but being sure I'm NOT doing so has really reduced this problem. When it still seems stuck, sometimes just using a fingernail with a little pressure on the edge of the click bar/button closest to you and flicking upwards (like you're trying to move the button upwards) once or even a few times if necessary will unstick it.

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