I have a mid-2009, Macbook Pro. Half a year ago, I spilled a bit of coffee, and suffered some damage (option keys not working, and constant shutting down/restarting if a button/mouse isn't pushed within 5-10 seconds). As the option keys aren't working, I can't do any of the usual start-up tricks (ie, SMC reset, etc).

These same problems seem to be outlined here and here, but no real solution is offered. My trick is to use a clothing pin to keep the shift key pressed at all times. I enter Sleep mode at the log-in screen (if I close the computer, it will enter a constant loop of restarting itself over and over within seconds) - this lets me turn off the computer for the night.

If the computer is connected to a power source, this will last through the night. If I disconnect the power source, it will immediately enter the restart loop.

I managed to load Bootcamp, and the computer works fine, as long as I disable the Power Button, and set it to never go to sleep (Sleep mode in both OS's trips the restart issue). It also won't enter the restart loop if I boot in Firewire mode. I've used these two methods to transport my laptop, though each time it's unfortunately ended in a quickly drained battery and me needing to manually start the computer by pushing a pin on the logic board.

I live in Japan so Macs and parts are a bit expensive here. I am thinking of buying the parts to the keyboard and replacing that, as I think it might be an issue with the Shutdown button (considering it works fine in Windows if disabled). Before I spend the money though, does this seem like a smart idea, or a waste of resources? I'm opting out of replacing the unibody as that wouldn't be cost efficient.

  • You couldn't bring this to a Japanese Apple Store? – William T Froggard Jun 16 '15 at 9:24
  • The closest Apple Store is in Tokyo, pretty far away. The fee for consultation on top of train fare would add up to quite a bit. – cas Jun 16 '15 at 13:51
  • I wonder what you were able to do with the mouse and keyboard hardware after the damage? In the intervening months, small pieces of dried up coffee may have moved about. If you're thinking of replacing the hardware yourself, why not try one more disassembly and clean? – D A Vincent Jun 18 '15 at 4:26
  • Thanks for the reply; I did a wipe with isopropyl alcohol, if I remember correctly. More keys were initially broken (the whole right side was wonky for a month), but it slowly improved. As of now, only the option keys and the left Shift button are affected. Is it possible to even clean the Power button? I feel/hope that is the only issue, and replacing that could solve everything. – cas Jun 18 '15 at 15:20

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