SOLVED Apple Bluetooth Keyboard Suddenly Half Dead


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I have a 2010 iMac running Mojave (yeah, it's not supported -- I installed it with DosDude's patches), with an Apple A1314 bluetooth keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse. I had been running Catalina, another unsupported OS version. Due to performance issues with the Photos App and frequently getting low memory messages, I decided to back-step to Mojave by restoring a previous backup I'd made with Carbon Copy Cloner.

My iMac has 16GB of RAM and a Mercury 6G internal SSD -- for whatever that's worth.

After thinking everything was back to peace and happiness, I suddenly discovered a lot of the right hand keys on the keyboard were now dead. So I ordered a brand new one from Other World Computing, and it was delivered an hour ago. Only this keyboard is also exhibiting the same behavior. It's mainly the alphabet keys. the colon/semicolon, bracket keys, \| keys work, as do the right hand Command and Option keys, as well as the directional arrow keys.

I paired the old 1314 keyboard to my iPhone XR, and it works perfectly, so I didn't need to replace the keyboard after all.

I've been forced to bring an old keyboard from my PowerMac G4 tower back into service, and I hate that thing. I can't believe I used to love this noisy, hard-to-key keyboard.

I've already reinstalled all of DosDude's Mojave patches, to no avail, but I suspect that Mojave is somehow to blame. I'll be tickled if I'm wrong.

I've never had this issue before. The 1314 keyboard has been kept pristine, with a keypad protector the entire time I've owned it.

In the meantime, I'm desperate for help. Any advice at all is deeply appreciated.
 
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I wasn't aware that might be a factor, but it was on, and I shut it down -- no help.

I also reset the PRAM twice -- still no good. Then I reset the System Management Controller (SMC), and that didn't work either.

I will add that I had to disconnect everything from the back of my iMac except the keyboard to get the PRAM to reset

I wonder if I should run that Onyx utility. I know a lot of people tout its ability to fix a lot of buggy things. I'll just have to make sure the version I have is compatible with the version of the macOS I'm running.

I don't have an installer set for High Sierra, which was the last OS that Apple supported on my 2010 iMac. How would I go about just wiping this whole machine -- I mean going DefCon 1 and nuking the internal drive and doing a naked restart and doing whatever install I can online without a system on my internal drive. I'm about ready to do anything at this point to get this thing back with a wireless keyboard. This clunker I'm using now is enough to drive me to drink.

I appreciate the help, though!
 
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Doing some more playing around, I've mapped the exact keys that aren't working with either my brand spanking new Magic Keyboard, or the Apple A1314 keyboard. They are:

789
uio
jkl

I typed them here by the row on the keyboard on which they appear. Don't know if that matters.

I've disabled Mouse Keys -- I toggled it a few times, restarted, it was back on again. At this point, I'm ready to go nuclear.

I've restarted numerous times from the different bootable CCC backups I have as external drives. Two of them are over the USB 2 bus, the other one, the startup drive I'm working from at the moment is a 1TB external HDD on my Firewire 800 bus. Again, no clue if that matters.

Another odd thing: my internal drive now shows up as two distinct drive icons. One with the drive's name, "iMac 6G," and the other one "iMac 6G Data." But they're mirrors of one another, save for the Data drive being non-bootable, despite the fact it has a System and Library Folder, as well as the User Folder, but the contents of my Home folder aren't the same, some apps are on one drive, others are on the Data drive.

At this point, I'd just love to wipe everything on the internal drive, reformat it properly for a clean install of High Sierra, the last supported OS for this 2010 iMac.
 

Cory Cooper

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Hi,

Those are the exact keys used by Mouse Keys. If the settings isn't sticking, change it in both places:
-System Preferences... > Accessibility > General > uncheck Mouse Keys
-System Preferences... > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad > uncheck Enable Mouse Keys

Catalina split the OS and User data into separate volumes. The system volume is read-only and separated for security purposes:
About the read-only system volume in macOS Catalina

C
 
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Hi,

Those are the exact keys used by Mouse Keys. If the settings isn't sticking, change it in both places:
-System Preferences... > Accessibility > General > uncheck Mouse Keys
-System Preferences... > Accessibility > Mouse & Trackpad > uncheck Enable Mouse Keys

Catalina split the OS and User data into separate volumes. The system volume is read-only and separated for security purposes:
About the read-only system volume in macOS Catalina

C
Yes, two volumes... I was laboring under the gross superstition that Mojave did that, too. Live and learn. The two volume thing is ingenious, and don't know why they didn't think of that years ago. But it sure was a hurdle to overcome in getting the drive reformatted properly.

Thanks to keeping multiple backups (though not up-to-the-hour), I finally nuked my internal SSD and reformatted it to HFS+ Journaled, and did a Network reinstall, which took my iMac back to High Sierra. Then I spent the following two days getting my machine reconfigured exactly to my liking. Because of the nature of the Mac platform, it's just so amazing how very personalized one can make their machines, and you'll probably never see two Macs that are ever alike (I know Windoz can be, too, but not like the Mac can).

I will say that I'm going to use the DosDude patches again and put Mojave back on this Mac. I know it's unsupported, yada yada, but I ran Mojave on this Mac for a little more than a year, and it was the best, fastest, most rock solid (and beautiful) OS I've used since I began using a Mac back in 1985!

It was only when I took it a step too far and went with Catalina that I began having problems, although I didn't recognize them for a few months. I know I was pressing my luck installing Mojave on an unsupported Mac, but it worked out perfectly for me. I just think going to Catalina was taking things too far. You can only squeeze so much blood out of a turnip, after all.

After installing Catalina, I knew almost off the bat things weren't quite right and probably would work out well. Photos wasn't working quite right. About 7/10 times, when double-clicking a thumbnail to see a full size of a picture, it would be scrambled. And I couldn't do any editing on this machine, either. I had to use my MBP for that, but I was willing to live with that.

It wasn't until I began getting "your computer is low on memory" did I realize things were more awry than I previously thought. I'd have to dismiss that annoying little box a dozen or more times to get rid of it. And rebooting didn't help, although that's what I'd do most of the time anyway. Surely to God, 16GB of RAM is sufficient to run Safari and Mail alone!

When I ran CCC to restore my documents, I discovered that my Adobe Creative Suite software had suddenly reappeared in my Applications Folder, too! An unexpected bonus, although I'd since learned to live without Photoshop, but was quite happy to have Illustrator and InDesign back (Apple's Pages suck. It's like trying to get Tiny Tim to run a marathon.)

In the meantime, I purchased a new Apple Magic Keyboard, this one has the internal battery and charges with a Lightning cable, rather than using two AA cells. So now I have two keyboards, and I'm going to pair and use the old one with my iPhone!

This has been one helluva learning experience. Painful, but educational. I can't believe how far behind the curve I've gotten on my Mac knowledge.

Thanks, Cory. You DA MAN, as always. I may not frequently need help when I run into a glitch, but I can always count on you to come through to lend me a hand! The Mouse Keys thing was helpful!
 
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Cory Cooper

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No worries...glad you are in a good place! ;)

Speaking of DosDude - I wonder if you might have needed to update the patcher before moving from Mojave to Catalina? I believe there are slight differences between them, because of the underlying changes in macOS. I have actually used the High Sierra version to allow an old 2009 Mac mini server to run High Sierra as a test. It does work well.

Stay healthy and safe!

C
 
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No worries...glad you are in a good place! ;)

Speaking of DosDude - I wonder if you might have needed to update the patcher before moving from Mojave to Catalina? I believe there are slight differences between them, because of the underlying changes in macOS. I have actually used the High Sierra version to allow an old 2009 Mac mini server to run High Sierra as a test. It does work well.

Stay healthy and safe!

C
I really appreciate your follow-up.

As I remember, there was a new set of patches I got when I moved this 2010 iMac from Mojave up to Catalina, but I might be mistaken; there may have just been a couple of them that required updating.

Those "underlying changes in macOS" were pretty drastic in my opinion -- but I thought the two container thing began with Mojave, not Catalina. I guess I was mistaken.

At any rate, Catalina seemed good to go at first, with the lone exception of Photos not behaving. At first, I thought it was just viewing pictures at the full size after double-clicking a thumbnail. But there were times that pictures would display just fine, then stop later, all very inexplicably. I could never determine a pattern, like if it would work if I started Photos up right after booting up or something. There was never any rhyme or reason to it. Then I noticed I was unable to do any editing in Photos. No biggie for me since I still had my iPhone, or better, my 2012 MacBook Pro.

Over time, I began getting random "computer is low on memory" pop ups, and I'd have to dismiss it a dozen times or more to get rid of it. I'd usually just reboot and move on, but holy cow, having DuckDuckGo open in Safari and using the Mail app alone shouldn't consume all 16 GB of RAM! When the "out of" or "low on" memory messages became a pain, I decided to get shed of Catalina and go back to Mojave.

I'd run Mojave on this Mac for more than a year, and as operating systems go, this one was a dream. And I loved the Dark Mode and the sand dune changing during the course of the day and night. But the overall speed and stability was what I loved most. But going back to Mojave wasn't in the cards, either. I'd known about the separate containers for the System and Data, and what I got was everything crowded into the System container, minus most of my third-party applications, and another User/Home folder in the Data container, as well as a System and Library Folder. It was not only confusing, it wasn't stable at all. I was crashing whenever the dog barked.

I was able to reboot from any of my CCC backup disks, but in the few short months I'd been using Catalina, I transitioned them as well. Fortunately, I found a little 2.5" HDD in a desk drawer I'd forgotten all about, and it had a working Mojave system, along with the DosDude patches, etc. included. It also contained a partition with a bootable High Sierra system, but the only thing I was capable of doing then was to reformat my internal SSD to HFS+ (Journaled). From that point, I booted using Command-Option-R, and got a reinstall of High Sierra, I suppose the last supported system for my iMac model. It installed rather quickly, too. It took no more than 40-45 minutes, without restoring my data, which I wanted to do manually anyway.

I'm sitting here now wanting to pop that little laptop HDD into my dock and reinstall Mojave. But I'm hesitant for some reason. Once bitten, twice shy I suppose. It worked well before, so it should work just as well again. I guess I'm either lazy or wondering if I was just lucky the first time. I know for sure I'm creating bootable backups with both High Sierra and Mojave so that I don't run into this problem, or another like it, any time in the future.
 

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