I bought a used Macbook pro mid 2010. The previous owner sold it to me because the computer would not power on. It turned out the magsafe charger was broken and it had run out of battery.

After replacing the magsafe charger, the computer now charges and after a minute or so it powered itself on. I have also replaced the internal hard drive with a brand new SSD.

Now, it "boots" up and says no bootable device - insert boot disk and press any key which is exactly what I exptected it to do.

The thing is, both the keyboard and the power button is not responding. So I can't press on any key and I can't turn the computer off.

  1. Is the keyboard and power button issue related? In other words, is it the same "cable" on the inside powering them both? Or is this two separate issues?
  2. Will it work if I connect an external keyboard via USB?


I ordered a replacement keyboard from Ebay, but when I was in the process of taking the laptop apart, I noticed that the keyboard "connector cable" that sits on the logic board was loose. After refitting the cable I decided to put it back together again - leaving the original keyboard inside.

Now it responds to the power button (keyboard and power button is connected to the same cable), but the keyboard still won't work.

So I connected an external USB keyboard (that I have confirmed works on a PC), but that will not work either.

It powers on, and after a few seconds it just says no bootable device... bla bla even though I have the original OS X DVD in the tray (and I can hear it working on boot).

  • I downloaded and burned OS X to a USB-drive, put it in the laptop and pressed "alt" a long time during boot... and bang! I was able to boot from the USB and the keyboard was working. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 18:29

2 Answers 2


Would it boot with the old (original) hard drive? If so, you need to either clone the HDD to the SSD via Disk Utility (hold Cmd+R at boot), or install OS X anew on the SSD. You can use DiskMaker X to prep a USB installer, or use a OS X install DVD, assuming you can find one and the MacBook has an optical drive (fairly sure a '10 model does).

Just sounds like a mechanical issue with the keyboard, but hard to know without OS X installed. I would simply plug in a USB keyboard (any keyboard will work) and try that.

  • ...and to answer your questions: 1. Not positive (I've mostly done hardware work on Windows laptops), but I doubt the two issues are related. Typically laptop keyboards are connected via a ribbon cable and the power button has a dedicated cable. The power button acts like a light switch and toggles between on/off when pressed. Opening up the MacBook to work on the power button is pretty major surgery. I wouldn't attempt it if you're not 100% comfortable with it. A local Mac repair shop should be able to get you a quote on what it'd cost to fix it. I'd go that route. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 15:17
  • Thanks for your reply. I mounted the original harddrive and gave it a go, but that also results in no bootable device... message. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:31
  1. It will work if you connect an external keyboard via USB.

PS: If you boot the macbook, hold down the option (alt) button to get the boot menu and install Mac OS X.

  • Which button... Cmd or Option?? [Hint: it's neither... it's Cmd/R to get to Internet Recovery from a blank drive, or Cmd/Opt/R from a working drive]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 17:01
  • That's even faster, nice @Tetsujin , BUT .. you can always use cmd to get the boot menu and select internet recovery ;)
    – rwzdoorn
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 7:31
  • It's Option to get the boot menu, not Cmd ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:03
  • .. That was pretty stupid, lol. Editted =). Thanks
    – rwzdoorn
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 20:37
  • Thanks for your reply. Please see my updated question. An external USB keyboard doesn't work either. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:17

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