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#53214 - 12/26/19 01:44 AM "F" keys not working
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Out of the blue, my F7, 8, and 9 keys, have stopped working while all others continue to work as expected.

I've toggled the Fn key checkbox in System Prefs > Keyboard and reset NVRAM with no joy, but I can't even begin to guess where to look next.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53215 - 12/26/19 01:49 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Restart? That often solves vexing problems. At least it's harmless to try.
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macOS 10.15.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#53217 - 12/26/19 05:50 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks, Jon, but I've restarted countless times already...no joy.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53218 - 12/26/19 07:19 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
A guess resulted in a neat workaround...

On the chance that Music might have become corrupted, I called on Pacifist, but it was unable to reinstall it (because Apps are read only in Catalina), so I extracted it to my desktop, and that incarnation responds to the F keys! grin

I'll live with the issue until 10.15.3, and if that doesn't correct it...reinstall time. (Hmmm... joemike recently posted that apps are writeable in 10.15.3...we'll see what happens.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53219 - 12/27/19 03:49 PM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Strange it would be three keys and just those three. An old fashioned fix for similar type problems would suggest removing com.apple.keyboard.plist and com.apple.keyboardservicesd.plist from ~/Library/Preferences
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joemikeb • moderator

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#53220 - 12/27/19 03:59 PM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Under ordinary circumstances, your old-fashioned fix probably would have been right on the mark (and I"m embarrassed that I didn't think of at least the first plist), but since my desktop Music installation is fully functional, I think it's a pretty fair assumption that the problem was a corrupt /Apps/Music, which would explain why my problem was with only the three keys that directly impact it.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53225 - 12/28/19 03:16 PM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Some Twilight Zone music, please!

I decided that I didn't want my second Music installation on my desktop, so
  • I moved it to ~/Library/Apps, and the F keys stopped working.
  • I moved it back to my desktop, and the keys still didn't work.
  • I decided to try trashing the two plists that joemike mentioned...and I haven't got either in my Catalina installation. (The closest I come is ~/Library/Caches/CloudKit/com.apple.textinput.KeyboardServices/com.apple.keyboardservicesd, and, as I expected, clearing it didn't accomplish anything.)
  • I then booted into my two onboard clones which predated the F key reversion, intending to clone back, and the keys didn't work in either.
  • And finally, I booted into my external clone which I thought, but wouldn't bet, predated the initial F key failure, and once again, the keys didn't work.
I'm now running BarTunes, waiting for 10.15.3, and facing a reinstall if it doesn't fix things. (Without going into the crazy details, I don't want to reinstall, because hacks I use which disappeared when I upgraded to Catalina have somehow been resurrected, and I don't want to risk losing them again...although I fear that the the next update will result in just that.)

And in case anybody's wondering, the non-default functionality of the three recalcitrant F keys is unimpaired.
crazy
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53227 - 12/29/19 07:02 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Just a reminder of some tried and true old school debugging steps that you may or may not have already tried…
  • Have you tried using a different keyboard? (Unlikely problem, but stranger things have happened.)
  • Have you tested from a clean test account?
  • Have you tested while in a Safe Boot condition?
  • You have tested from "onboard clones" but have you tested from a clean (no hacks) install of Catalina?
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joemikeb • moderator

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#53233 - 12/29/19 05:20 PM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I've literally forgotten troubleshooting, and anyhow, it's sooo yesterday and mundane (and it's sooo much easier to just panic). tongue

But it sometimes works.

I haven't got another keyboard to try, I"m trying to avoid a reinstall, and the fn-F key combos failed to work in a safe boot.

But the problem did NOT occur in my test user account.

I guess I'll now trash every iTunes and Music plist, and if that doesn't help, I'll cross my fingers for, hopefully, a better guess.

More later.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53234 - 12/30/19 01:14 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
So after all of that, trashing the plists, don't know which particular one was the culprit, restored my lost functionality .crazy blush

On the other hand, doesn't it seem bizarre that built-in key functionality is susceptible to a corrupted plist?
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#53237 - 12/30/19 09:36 AM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It says something that we have to be reminded of those old school debugging techniques that used to be part of our every day repertoire. MacOS has become VERY stable.
Originally Posted By: artie505
On the other hand, doesn't it seem bizarre that built-in key functionality is susceptible to a corrupted plist?

Keyboard actions are not hard-wired or at least what their effect is is not hard-wired. When you press a any key that action sends a code corresponding to the the position of the key on the keyboard to the host computer or device. That code is an index into a software table that determines what that particular key is and what should happen when it is activated. In Catalina System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources there are fourteen different keyboard layouts for the English language alone much less all the other language keyboards. Once you get into Shortcuts the sky is pretty much the limit. While the non-character keys do have a particular function by convention they are still interpreted in the same software table and they can be reassigned to do something entirely different.

OUT OF CURIOSITY You said you did not have com.apple.keyboard.plist or com.apple.keyboardservicesd.plist, do you remember what plists you ended up deleting?
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joemikeb • moderator

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#53244 - 12/30/19 05:41 PM Re: "F" keys not working [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
It says something that we have to be reminded of those old school debugging techniques that used to be part of our every day repertoire. MacOS has become VERY stable.

I've lamented the memory loss in more than one post. macOS has, indeed, become very stable.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
On the other hand, doesn't it seem bizarre that built-in key functionality is susceptible to a corrupted plist?

While the non-character keys do have a particular function by convention they are still interpreted in the same software table and they can be reassigned to do something entirely different.

Thanks for the clarification. I thought the default behavior of the F keys was in firmware or some-such.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
OUT OF CURIOSITY You said you did not have com.apple.keyboard.plist or com.apple.keyboardservicesd.plist, do you remember what plists you ended up deleting?

I deleted every iTunes and Music plist (6 of 'em); the ones that grew back are:
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.itunesstored.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Music.eq.plist
  • ~Library/Preferences/com.apple.Music.plist
One of the two that didn't regenerate was ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes.eq.plist, and I'm pretty sure the other was ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ituneshelper.plist.

More: I trashed them while booted into a clone to ensure that they were really gone.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb