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Apple iMac Wireless keyboard.. some keys don't work...

Posted on 2014-04-22
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Last Modified: 2014-05-03
The keys that don't work are all located at the RHS of the keyb.  The disk eject, the return, the backspace, the rh bracket, the slash, the " key.  All the others seem to be ok.  Could this be a crack in the pc board?
I don;t recall anything being spilt on the keyboard...

Tks…

Nichollette
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Question by:stokesydel
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8 Comments
 
LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40017632
Liquid or a static zap are the most likely culprits and the only real fix is a new keyboard which doesn't have to be wireless.
Wired $35: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rarely-Used-Apple-Ultra-Thin-Wired-Aluminum-Keyboard-with-Numeric-Keypad-A1243-/301162269312?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item461eab8a80#ht_526wt_1182

For wireless, I would need the model of your iMac or the vintage (i.e. 2010, late 2009, etc)
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Author Comment

by:stokesydel
ID: 40018059
thanks for the reply… it's a 21.5 inch, late 2009.

I have a wired keyboard, but the wireless one frees up one of the USB ports, of which there are only 4, as you may know.

Regards,

Nichollette
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 40018435
You can add a USB hub if you need more USB ports.  The wired keyboards were usually also usb hubs with 2 USB ports on them.  The older full sized white ones had them behind the keyboard.  The thin ones have them hidden underneath, one on each side of the keyboard.  One port should be just under the eject key in the mini keyboard or f19 in the full sized, and the other should be just under the escape key.

You'll end up with an extra USB port with the wired keyboard.
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40018781
Nichollette,
Your iMac came with bluetooth; but it is unclear whether that keyboard is bluetooth, or not.  Is there a part number or model on the bottom of the keyboard?
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Author Comment

by:stokesydel
ID: 40018852
Davis.. there is a model number -  A1255.

Serailband - Thanks for that!  Never realized there were two USB ports on the keyb.

Never had any luck with those hubs..even the powered ones..they always seemed unreliable.
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
serialband earned 250 total points
ID: 40019167
Well, I guess the older ones were better made.  The made in China hubs are super cheap, so you should get several to have replacements, because they will break down eventually.

The built in keyboard hub will last the life of the keyboard.  The keyboard will usually wear out before the hub does.

Here's a teardown of the Model A1255 keyboard.  It looks like the bluetooth 2 AA battery keyboard.  There's another one that uses 3 AA batteries instead.  If you somehow did spill something in it, you could open it up to wipe down and dry off.
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+Wireless+Keyboard+%28A1255%29+Teardown/5239

If you've had the keyboard since 2009, that's already a pretty good run for many modern keyboards, especially if they've been heavily used.  It may just be worn out now.  Lots of super cheap PC keyboards wear out after a year.  Only the really early keyboard from before the early 90s would last longer.  I still have a few of those heavy duty keyboards.  Most keyboards from the late 90s onward were junk.

You can find them on ebay and elsewhere.
https://www.google.com/search?q=A1255+usb+keyboard&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb
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LVL 43

Assisted Solution

by:Davis McCarn
Davis McCarn earned 250 total points
ID: 40019764
Here you go; $39 and brand new: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Bluetooth-Keyboard-Model-a1255-brand-new-/131157160694?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e899372f6#ht_24wt_1182

The trick with USB hubs is they can be finicky about what devices are plugged into them.  I have a court reporter for a client that has a USB floppy drive that is flakey as h*ll unless it is plugged into one of the PC's USB ports.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 40040007
Some USB devices need more power, so they either need a powered hub or direct connection to the on-board USB port.  The unpowered hubs sap some power and may not be sufficient for an external drive.  Some USB disk drives actually need 2 USB connectors to get enough power.
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