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Non-functioning Shift key on wired Apple keyboard

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Non-functioning Shift key on wired Apple keyboard
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Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
2020-11-16, 16:27

My Mom's iMac, as of this afternoon, no longer has functioning Shift keys.

It's a mid-2010 iMac, still running El Capitan.

She uses it quite a bit, as recently as yesterday. She shut it down last night and, after restarting today, she can no longer access any of the symbols that require the Shift key: !, @, #, $, %, ^ and all the others (left/right brackets, parentheses, question park, plus symbol, long dash, double-quote, colon, straight slash...the top symbol on any key that has two functions. She can access capital letters via the caps lock, if that matters.

I Googled and did the PRAM and SMC thing (wasn't hopeful for either).

When I bring up the onscreen keyboard and push the various other modifier keys (Option, Control, Command and even Caps Lock), everything lights up/changes on the onscreen keyboard to to reflect their usage).

So, long story short, it's just her Shift keys...both the left and right side.

That makes me think it's software-related? If it was hardware - something broke, or food/liquid got in, it would just affect the one that took the hit (or others around it would also be messed up).

Literally her keyboard works just fine, every key/every function, EXCEPT the two Shift keys.

Any thoughts?

I've Googled and Googled, but people talk about other issues not exactly matching this one. The support forums are all over the place.

Any idea why just the two Shift keys would go bad, but none of the others? She doesn't eat or drink near it, so it's not that. The keyboard itself is clean and everything else works perfectly.

I did the things that are found in the first, initial level of Googling (making sure no crazy modifiers are set in Accessibility, etc.).

I'm asking here only because I've exhausted the 4-6 things that I kept seeing pop up via my searching.

Just can't figure out why both Shift keys, 12" or so apart, both went back, but everything else around them is fine.
The Ban Hammer
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
2020-11-16, 17:02

Next step would be to connect a different keyboard. If it works, it's not software.

But, yeah, it's weird either way.
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
2020-11-17, 10:55

That is odd for both to go bad. I would head to the office supply store and buy the cheapest keyboard they offer. Just keep in mind that the Option/Command keys will be swapped on them by default. At least you'd know if it was the keyboard.

Having never taken apart a keyboard beyond thrashing it on the floor in rage, I'm guessing the shift keys interact at the same point on the logic board and that is where the failure occurred.

Then you could get her a new Mac (Apple branded or third party) keyboard if it is the keyboard.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
Mr. Farmiga
Join Date: May 2004
2020-11-17, 11:31

Yeah. Actually, I remembered last night that I have a Bluetooth short board (the older, non-Magic style, but still with the two batteries vs. three) in my closet that I told her I'd bring over and set up. I may do that. She uses her MacBook Air 90% of the time (not sure why she has this iMac at this point), so she kept stressing it wasn't a huge deal. But it kinda is.*

Yeah, we'll get a cheaper third-party Mac keyboard or she can use my old Apple Bluetooth one if she wants.

It is odd that just those two keys, on opposite sides of the board, went belly-up. But you're right...if they're part of the same circuit or whatever, that makes sense. A shame, because everything else works just fine. It would be a little easier to take/less aggravating had the entire keyboard just stopped working.

I've done all I know to try, and I think something in the keyboard itself has gone bad. But, after 10 solid years, that's a pretty good run. No sticky keys or any other issues, so, in the big scheme of things, it lasted a pretty long time.

I looked online and saw where Apple no longer offers the wired longboard (no surprise...they envision a wireless world). Just the two wireless/Bluetooth models, long and short. She wasn't nuts about the $129 price, and that's when I suggested a third-party Mac-friendly one from Logitech or whoever, for less than half the price, should it come to that.

*Actually, I'm trying to get her to think about selling her current MacBook Air (2013?) and this barely-used iMac (2010), for whatever she can get for them, and then get one of these new M1-based Airs in the coming months and just have the one new, modern and fast Mac. I'd recommend she upgrade to the 16GB RAM, since it'll likely be her "forever" Mac that she'll do everything on. But the 256GB is plenty. I think she's currently using just under 80GB on her current MacBook Air, so I see no reason to upgrade the storage. She seemed halfway open to the idea, but it would be after the new year.
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