Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MacBookPro TrackPad acting crazy

Original discussion about this problem was going on in this page

So I am using the Mid-2009 MacBookPro running on OSX Lion

The Problem:

The trackpad of a macbook is like the BRILLIANT piece of the macbook and it's no fun using a macbook without the multi-touch gestures of the trackpad. But that day, suddenly, the trackpad was showing issues:
  • without me even touching the trackpad, 
    • the mouse cursor started juggling here and there
    • it kept producing click events on random stuff here and and there
  • when i was trying to operate the trackpad with my fingers, it was not being responsive accordingly
    • it was getting stuck ever other second,
    • scroll swipes were getting stuck in the middle
    • multi-touch was out of the question
  • even after pluggin in a USB mouse, the haunting behaviors on my built-in trackpad did not stop

What everyone around me suggested:

  • Show it to the authorized apple agents - God knows how much they would charge for the mid2009 macbookpro
  • Perform hardware test by pressing on 'D' upon starting the macbook pro before reaching the grey screen at boot-time - but mine was a macbook pro of mid 2009 and apparently i didn't have that kind of hardware test on my machine.
  • The battery might have swelled up and interfering with the trackpad which is right above the battery. Try taking off the battery and running the MBP off the power supply. If it works, then it indicates battery swelling up is the issue
  • It's moisture trapped inside the trackpad capacitors (or something like that)

The temporary solution:

With my mouse cursor on drugs, I struggled my way through (OSX Lion) to the System Settings > Universal Access > Mouse > Trackpad Options > Check "Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present"

What I tried:

My friend tamzid suggested that the trackpad must have caught some moisture inside in between the  and that the trackpad is VERY much prone to malfunction with even the slightest of moisture being trapped inside.

Last sunday, I unscrewed the MBP back cover, unmounted the battery from its screws (but did not disconnect the cord connecting the battery) and left the MBP upside down under the ceiling fan while i slept. [WARNING: you are asked not to remove the battery via a sticker on the battery]

After I woke up and reassembled everything I found that the trackpad is working fine. But that last for just an hour. It started misbehaving again after about an hour or so.

But yesterday (tuesday), when i opened it in office, it was working PERFECTLY FINE and PERFECTLY SMOOTH. God Knows what happened.




  1. Had the same issue of a "possessed trackpad". Read a bit and found Bluetooth can cause issues. I turned mine off and the demons mostly left. A site called Thomas' Tech Corner had this recommendation among others. I am starting to think that this is a compound issue from many sources. My pad is clean but I would also hop on the computer after a run or a bike ride while cooling down. With sophistication such as "coupling capacitance" as the brains behind the smart trackpad, I question about salty fingers (conductors) from sweat creating permanent issues. Is the skin of the trackpad pourous? I am surprised Apple has not admitted their flaw and announce their intent to investigate this phenomenon.

  2. trackpad should not pourous...... probably some conduction diode or something...... not entirely sure about the mechanism here