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MacBook Air Trackpad Malfunctions

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I was just as excited as everyone about the macbook Air. Yesterday I went to the Apple Store to check it out. Wow, that looks amazing, I thought as I approached it. However, after using it for a few minutes, I realized that the trackpad was acting up and not following the movements of my finger accurately. In short, the curser was moving around the screen in a very choppy manner. I asked the Apple Specialist what the deal was, and she shrugged her shoulders and told me that all of the macbook Airs they had were acting this way when plugged in to their power source. Sure enough, I unplugged the power source, and the trackpad began to work perfectly.
Anyone else experience this?
I'd watch out if your planning on buying the Air, it seems to be a pretty big problem...
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDaMacMan View Post

I love how people blow up a small problem and get over excited about it and then call it a big problem.

People like you in my eyes are just plain idiots, and did these kinds of problems are easily fixed with something like a firmware update or even just software update. And I'm apple are working on the problem.

Oh you are so bloody right!!! EricJ5 has no right to post his observations or perspectives..
How dare he come to AI and post a concern of his....
If he were a true lemming like you and me, he would just shut up and follow the Mactard in front of him without asking any questions or causing any problems...


"People like you in my eyes are just plain idiots".....
Classic!!!
post #3 of 32
Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...

It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdotdubz View Post

Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...

It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!

Ditto to the above. Trackpad works awesome, plugged in or otherwise..not a single malfunction or abnormality.

I LOVE my Air!!

(FYI, the so called mac "geniuses" are usually not much more intelligent than your average BestBuy employee..take what they say with a grain of salt)
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianb View Post

Ditto to the above. Trackpad works awesome, plugged in or otherwise..not a single malfunction or abnormality.

I LOVE my Air!!

(FYI, the so called mac "geniuses" are usually not much more intelligent than your average BestBuy employee..take what they say with a grain of salt)

Hehe, I dunno... I think the Geniuses are maybe a tad smarter than the Best Buy kids. The BB kids imho are total idiots...and i'm saying this because I know at least of a half a dozen kids who work there. complete idiots.
post #6 of 32
If it happened to you, it would be a BIG problem.

That exact problem is happening to me--and life sucks--and Applecare is clueless so far

It's okay to be an Apple fan, but don't be so blind.

Thanks Eric, yours was the best post describing the subject I could find
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdotdubz View Post

Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...

It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!

Ditto. Trackpad works fine, plugged in or on battery. Never a single hiccup in several months of daily use.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgm1@cornell.edu View Post

If it happened to you, it would be a BIG problem.

That exact problem is happening to me--and life sucks--and Applecare is clueless so far

It's okay to be an Apple fan, but don't be so blind.

Thanks Eric, yours was the best post describing the subject I could find

Both you and the original poster are new here... welcome.

I have had a couple of problems with my Air when they were first released which I have detailed elsewhere, but my current machine works flawlessly.

If this is truly a problem, then hopefully Apple will get on it right away. I wonder if this problem is just cropping up? Somebody has to be the first one, though others will deny it is a problem until it hits their machine.

I will stay on the lookout for this problem.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #9 of 32
I have the same malfunctions simptoms with my MBA trackpad, and I can see it happened after my EFI Firmware Upgrade. Can this be related? do you know how to downgrade it?
Thanks,
Leo.
post #10 of 32
Hi
I Googled and found this thread. I'm using my Macbook Air on a boat and without thinking had plugged it into an inverter (12V DC to 240V AC) and discovered the trackpad wasn't working. Boy was I peeved as I'd just loaded some software and thought it was that. Even after I Trashed it still no trackpad. I found ericJ5's post, unplugged the inverter and everything's OK, so thanks for the connection ericJ5
Amon
post #11 of 32
i have had my macbook air for over 1.5 years. today on airplane flight ran into track pad problem. i am plugged into airplane power with surge protector in between and suffered the sames problems noted in the threads. i unplugged and i am good to go. i have never had a problem before and wonder if this has something to do with how 'clean' the power is
post #12 of 32
I have exactly the same issue. My trackpad works prefectly when the MBAIR is on battery, but as soon as it is power plugged its behaviour becomes erratic.
Anybody made some progress?
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by obertaud View Post

I have exactly the same issue. My trackpad works prefectly when the MBAIR is on battery, but as soon as it is power plugged its behaviour becomes erratic.
Anybody made some progress?

Pls try this: Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact, move the cursor with your right finger on the trackpad. Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.
Enjoy your mba!
appler
post #14 of 32
Hello everybody,

I am new to this forum. I got here googling for "macbook air touchpad malfunction". I got my MBA, 1st series, 2 days ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appler View Post

Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact ... Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.

Yes, I can confirm that - wow

When power is plugged in, and my left hand is NOT in touch w. the MBA, the trackpad behaves wiredly, no 3- or 4-finger scrolling, 2-Finger scrolling often ONLY w. index and middle finger, while I usually use middle and ring-fingers for scrolling.

Everything is fine, when the MBA is running on battery...

This seems like an electrical problem, nothing software-related?

Cheers,
FB



P.S. I use a freshly installed Snow Leopard, updated to 10.6.1, hence I cannot tell wether or not MBA behaves correctly/differently under 10.5.x Leopard
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by appler View Post

Pls try this: Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact, move the cursor with your right finger on the trackpad. Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.
Enjoy your mba!
appler

I was having touchpad problems and discovered this "solution" too. Since I know it's bad practice to lean on your keyboard (can cause nasty wrist problems, nevermind damage to whatever is under that part of the keyboard bezel), I'm going to take this Air in to a Genius Bar and see what they say. Sadly it's a Rev A unit, way out of warranty, but you never know...
post #16 of 32
Hi guys,

Thanks for your posts so far. I just wanted to say I have experienced this issue on my MBA 2nd Ed, 2GB RAM, 128GB SDD under Snow Leopard 10.6.2 when plugged-in AND when using battery. Unfortunately, though, after driving from Surrey to London to Apple in Regents St, I couldn't replicate the problem They were even speaking to me as if I was making it up, saying there was "obviously" nothing to repair!

If there is a firmware version that must be rolled-back or that I need to fix it, I would be eternally grateful for its name as my machine is just unusable until this is resolved. I'm just unable to move the pointer around accurately without it jumping around and frequently triggering my configured 'hot corner' which blanks the screen and requires a password to return to my work..... frustrating!

Cheers,

cjd1
post #17 of 32
Hi people, Im new and I just registered here just to post my findings after experimenting with the problem. Basically you can do a couple things:

Remedy 1: (From appler) placing 3-5 fingers or your other hand on the macbooks surface beside your trackpad does in fact work. This is subjective since it can also work with other parts / surfaces of the macbook. This neutralizes the jerky response time as well as any unwanted clicks.

Logic / Cause (Note: this is pretty much theoretical) From what I can remember in my highschool electronics class, this problem can be attributed to electrical impulses or probably static caused by the power source or your finger on the trackpad. Keeping your other fingers on another surface may be causing a ground effect which balances it out (you can ask an electrician about this problem for a more detailed explanation)

Remedy 2: Just unplug or plug in a different socket. I was experimenting and plugging in wall sockets seem to be more effective than transformers or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) the ones with surge protectors anyway. Take note I have been using the same UPS for the past few months everyday, then suddenly today it caused the problem stated here. Not sure what triggers it.

Logic / Cause (Note: yet again this is pretty much theoretical) The UPS I have been using is an APC. And the problem is the power source itself is somewhat different from plain old wall sockets. Probably from the battery storage and surge protector within the unit is causing variances in the electricities voltage, amps, or wherever ask an electrician . So whatever triggers this problem I'm not sure... hope apple figures it out... its their job after all.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjd1 View Post

Hi guys,

Thanks for your posts so far. I just wanted to say I have experienced this issue on my MBA 2nd Ed, 2GB RAM, 128GB SDD under Snow Leopard 10.6.2 when plugged-in AND when using battery. Unfortunately, though, after driving from Surrey to London to Apple in Regents St, I couldn't replicate the problem They were even speaking to me as if I was making it up, saying there was "obviously" nothing to repair!

If there is a firmware version that must be rolled-back or that I need to fix it, I would be eternally grateful for its name as my machine is just unusable until this is resolved. I'm just unable to move the pointer around accurately without it jumping around and frequently triggering my configured 'hot corner' which blanks the screen and requires a password to return to my work..... frustrating!

Cheers,

cjd1

Hey cjd1,

If you want to replicate it and show it to Apple, just find bring a UPS (you plug into) that causes the problem. Like what I mentioned in my previous post. I plan to bring mine and replicate the problem right in front of them, so they can report it and hopefully release a full solution.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ5 View Post

I was just as excited as everyone about the macbook Air. Yesterday I went to the Apple Store to check it out. Wow, that looks amazing, I thought as I approached it. However, after using it for a few minutes, I realized that the trackpad was acting up and not following the movements of my finger accurately. In short, the curser was moving around the screen in a very choppy manner. I asked the Apple Specialist what the deal was, and she shrugged her shoulders and told me that all of the macbook Airs they had were acting this way when plugged in to their power source. Sure enough, I unplugged the power source, and the trackpad began to work perfectly.
Anyone else experience this?
I'd watch out if your planning on buying the Air, it seems to be a pretty big problem...

Absolutely.. I have been trying to figure out if there was a firmware fix, other solutions, etc., till I came across this thread. I have confirmed that the MBA works fine on battery power but the moment it is plugged in, the trackpad becomes very erratic. Hopefully Apple will come up with a solution soon!
post #20 of 32
I have been experiencing a similar problem..I believe, in my case, I have found the problem. I have both an Apple power supply and an after-market power supply. When I use the Apple power supply, there is no problem. The problem shows up consistently with the after-market unit. Hope this helps. In my opinion, the problem may not be with the MBA but with the power supply.
post #21 of 32
Hi,
I'm experiencing the same problem on my new 11" MacBook Air. In my case, though, the malfunction persists when the MBA is not connected to a power source. Putting a finger by left side of the trackpad does help when not connected to the PS, but not when charging.

Since there have been some people with this issue here, I wonder if anybody already went to let it be repaired at an Apple Store?
post #22 of 32
Unrelated to Eric's comments about power.

I was experiencing a very hyperactive trackpad ... while using BootCamp and Windows 7

The cursor was flying around to different spots on the screen even at the slightest touch. I think I have resolved the issue by the following:

1) Installing the firmware update (on the Apple side of BootCamp)
2) Reducing the sensitivity by changing all three trackpad sensitivity sliders to the lower third of the scale
3) Restarting into BootCamp - Windows 7 side ... now the trackpad appears to have normal sensitivity.
post #23 of 32
I started having jittery trackpad problem yesterday after having had a flawlessly working machine for several months (the new small macbook air). When I read the posts, I unplugged the power cord. Problem went away. Then plugged in a different power cord. No problem Power cord #1, the problematic one, is an older model, with square head attaching computer. Power cord #2 is the one that came with the computer.

Cheers!
post #24 of 32
I got a macbook air about a month ago. The track pad went from mildly irritating to completely unusable. At first it just seemed sluggish but then it would move around the cursor erratically. I took it into the apple store and they replaced it on the spot. They said that even though it was past the 14 day return that they make exceptions for new products. They even reset the date on my apple care.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdotdubz View Post

Ok, I own an MBA and can confirm NO trackpad malfuntions what-so-ever...

It actually works better than I thought, and is WHISPER quiet!

I've had mine for nearly three weeks. I find the trackpad frustrating/ For gaming I find instead of clicking normally it creates a drop down menu offering to go back or reload the page! This is ruining my gaming experience. Any suggestions?
post #26 of 32
i was experiencing exactly the same problems with my macbook air -- touchpad so jumpy that it was useless. unplugging the power cord solved the problem so i tried replacing the power cord. that solved the problem, too. i threw the old power cord away.
post #27 of 32
I am on my second MacBook Air in 4 weeks. They replaced mine after 2 weeks because of the trackpad problems, no questions asked. My replacement was working fine until today. ULGH!!!! My wrist is killing me trying to do basic functions like sending emails. It's so painful I won't even attempt to work on spreadsheets. The problem for me happens weather it's plugged in to a power source or running on battery. The pain it causes in my wrist makes me not want to use my computer at all. It sounds like a minor problem, but if there is no fix for it, there is no way I'm keeping this laptop.

Has anyone found a fix for this yet?
post #28 of 32
@ all, I have the same problem with the power plugged in and trackpad on a MBP being a bit on the dodgy side... have a wireless trackpad that works a treat at all times bit of a hassle. but till a fix is found will keep me going.. just an idea for those a little stuck...

"patience is a virtue"
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by appler View Post

Pls try this: Put your left hand finger(s) beside the trackpad on the mba-cover to get in metallic contact, move the cursor with your right finger on the trackpad. Now, the cursor will function correctly, but it's no real problem-solution.
Enjoy your mba!
appler

That's def helping for me, though I have the problem with or without power - brand new 13"MBA
post #30 of 32
"Trackpadgate"

No problems here.
post #31 of 32

Thank you!

 

I've had a macbook air for a little over a year and this has always bothered me.  It doesn't always do it but when it does, it's so frustrating.  It will highlight things randomly and basically stick or go a little crazy.  I was almost frustrated enough to go to the apple store, but went to google first.  I just tried unplugging and continued with my work.  No problems!

 

Anyone who things this isn't a big problem hasn't tried to work on a presentation while this was happening.  THE WORST!

 

Thanks for fixing my problem!  And hey, however big a problem it is, it will never have the amount of issues that PCs do! lol.

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdogg007 View Post

i have had my macbook air for over 1.5 years. today on airplane flight ran into track pad problem. i am plugged into airplane power with surge protector in between and suffered the sames problems noted in the threads. i unplugged and i am good to go. i have never had a problem before and wonder if this has something to do with how 'clean' the power is


My 5th gen iPod Touch does the exact same thing for what it's worth. Yes I know it's not a Macbook but I thought I would throw that in there since there may some co-relation. If it is 100% fully charged and I play around with the touch screen for a bit eventually the cursor movements will become really bizarre and un-usable. Only after I unplug it will the touch screen then behave normally.

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