1 1/2 weeks ago I had the glorious idea to clean the keyboard of my white MacBook Mid2010 with a wet cloth. Now, several keys are not working anymore, and I guess there might be a close-circuit hardware issue.

When the MacBook is open, I cannot enter the sleep mode, since it awakes itself immediately. So, I am using my MacBook for almost 2 weeks as a home computer now: keeping it closed, hooked up to a screen with bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Right now I cannot afford it to send it to Apple, because I am authoring a book that is due end of April. But immediately after this is done, I might want to send in my MacBook to Apple to get it fixed.

Now, I am wondering if someone had similar issues and sent it to Apple? It would be interesting how long such a repair might take (within a week?) and how much it approx. would cost? Because maybe it's not worth repairing this Mid 2010 MacBook, and maybe I should get a used MacBookPro instead?


Most repairs in retail stores are for less than 5 days - and more than half the repairs are done in less than 24 hours.

There are some bad signs in the symptoms you mention. Sleep sensor failing is often liquid damage. Keyboard keys failing is also often liquid damage. Even if it's not liquid damage, the logic board or keyboard and some other parts would need to be exchanged and the keyboard is part of the unibody frame, so basically it's like taking a car in for a new frame. All the old seats, engine, power train, etc… get hand removed, inspected and re-assembled in the new chassis. It's not that bad, but it's a lot more time consuming than just putting in a fan or a battery or hard drive in. Those take 20 minutes tops.

So, as you mention - finish your work, keep good backups and then send it in knowing it's likely to be $150 to $320 to fix (in the USA presumably) and if there is liquid, you should probably sell it for parts, since the repair cost will jump to $800 or so.

  • Thanks for the thorough answer. Yes, I also think that it might be a liquid damage that it is quite a deal to fix the MacBook. But now I have an idea with what price range we are dealing here. I also think now that maybe I will just keep the MacBook. Most of the time I use it at home hooked up to a monitor anyway. At work I have a Linux desktop that I use, and for the private stuff (emails etc) in between I have an iPad. Apr 4 '13 at 22:11
  • My suspicion is that the key board is turned off as long as the lid is closed!? So as long I keep it closed it should be fine and no further damage should occur? The only problem is when I want to shut it on or off, then I would have to open the lid, but when it is on. But this usually doesn't happen, my MacBook is always on (or in sleep mode). Apr 4 '13 at 22:13
  • And for the worse case scenario: I have always a time machine backup hooked up to the macbook. Apr 4 '13 at 22:14
  • 1 Question: Could I send it to Apple and ask them that they should ask me if I want the repair once they figured out what the problem is? But I assume this figuring out might also cost something in the range of ~100 bucks just to tell me that everything has to be replaced Apr 4 '13 at 22:26
  • 1
    Yes - call and arrange mail in service. Get the quote for how much it will be and if the service ends up being more than they quoted, you get a call and can cancel the repair. Technically, you'd be out of pocket the diagnostic fee and shipping, but I haven't heard of anyone that actually had to pay for that.
    – bmike
    Apr 5 '13 at 2:23

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