Question How to make a SMC reset on a Macbook Air with non-functioning left alt key?


Nov 15, 2009
A friend of mine has a Macbook Air a1369 that was virtually never used (he gave it as a gift for his wife but she didn't adapt to it), and it sat without use for 2 years.

The batteries discharged below minimum and won't charge again. It needs an SMC reset, but, its left alt does not work.

Why it doesn't work is a mystery. It's absolutely clean, no sign of dust, there was never any spill on it. I checked it on the keyboard monitor and literally every key but the left alt work normally.

First I checked the flat cables, took them out and put back again, nothing.

Then I tried cleaning it firstly just by lightly shaking, then disassembled the key and used light compressed air, but then again, it was absolutely clean form the start, not a grain of dust in sight. Nothing makes it work again.

And the left alt specifically is necessary for both SMC and NVRAM reset, the right alt does not work for that (the right alt does work to enter startup menu, because it's not as hardwired as those resets).

There's also a method that works for older Macbooks with removeable batteries where you take out the battery, press the power button for 5 seconds and put it back again.

That does not work here, I tried it (obviously, always closing the lid before pressing the button) but it had no effect.

So what else can I do?

Other options I thought of are: Using the keyboard of another Macbook or putting this battery in another Macbook and make an SMC reset on that other Macbook for it to charge.

Recharging the li-ion cells directly doesn't seem like a viable option, due to the fact the package is glued shut, otherwise it would be really easy to get them above the undervoltage threshold for it to resume charging normally.
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