14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2009 6:35 PM by Kenichi Watanabe
Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My Hardware:
iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz
3GB RAM
Snow Leopard 10.6.2

The Bluetooth functionality of this computer stopped working. It doesn't recognize my previously paired wireless Mighty Mouse. Nor any other BT devices.

When I tried to change some settings with the BT icon up at the top edge of the screen, it does show that BT is "on". When I tried to manually connect my wireless mouse with the BT option screen it will not connect. I've also noticed something very unusual. If I got to run "System Preferences", I can access all of the various things I have in System Preferences, EXCEPT for Bluetooth. If I click on "Bluetooth" in System Preferences, I get the spinning beach ball and sys pref "hangs".

If I go to the top of my screen and click on the BT icon at the top edge, one of the option is to "Turn Bluetooth Off". (I thought I could click BT off and then back on again to see if it resets.) Yet despite clicking that, the BT status doesn't change. In other words, I can't turn it off, change settings or "do anything with it"! I have tried to use the "minus sign" to delete the previously paired Mighty Mouse and then to re-add it but the command (delete device) does not register.

I've never had problems with BT on this 3 year old iMac. However, what precipitated this problem was me trying to run Techtool Pro on the internal HD to "defrag" and optimize it. After running Techtool Pro, the computer wouldn't boot. Fortunately, I had a clone of my iMac's HD on a FireWire drive and cloned it back to the internal drive. However, since getting everything back up and running, BT has stopped working!!!

I've tried rebooting the machine, rebooting the machine after a 1 min power down, doing a PRAM(?) reset boot, etc. All to no avail.

Anyone with any ideas as to how to "reset" or troubleshoot this BT problem?

I have included below what "System Profiler" says about my current BT status:

Apple Bluetooth Software Version: 2.2.1f7
Hardware Settings:
CSR-bc4:
Address: 00-17-f2-a5-92-c0
Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio
Firmware Version: 1965
Bluetooth Power: On
Discoverable: Yes
HCI Version: 3 ($3)
HCI Revision: 1965 ($7ad)
LMP Version: 3 ($3)
LMP Subversion: 1965 ($7ad)
Device Type (Major): Miscellaneous
Device Type (Complete): Miscellaneous
Composite Class Of Device: 0 ($0)
Device Class (Major): 0 ($0)
Device Class (Minor): 0 ($0)
Service Class: 0 ($0)
Requires Authentication: No
Services:
Bluetooth File Transfer:
Folder other devices can browse: ~/Public
Requires Authentication: Yes
State: Enabled
Bluetooth File Exchange:
Folder for accepted items: ~/Documents
Requires Authentication: No
When receiving items: Prompt for each file
State: Enabled
Devices (Paired, Favorites, etc):
00-07-e0-42-9c-27:
Name: 00-07-e0-42-9c-27
Address: 00-07-e0-42-9c-27
Type: Unknown
Services:
Paired: No
Favorite: Yes
Connected: No
00-0f-86-0b-5c-7b:
Name: 00-0f-86-0b-5c-7b
Address: 00-0f-86-0b-5c-7b
Type: Unknown
Services:
Paired: No
Favorite: Yes
Connected: No
00-14-51-c3-6e-06:
Name: 00-14-51-c3-6e-06
Address: 00-14-51-c3-6e-06
Type: Unknown
Services:
Paired: Yes
Favorite: No
Connected: No
00-14-51-c4-73-93:
Name: 00-14-51-c4-73-93
Address: 00-14-51-c4-73-93
Type: Unknown
Services:
Paired: Yes
Favorite: No
Connected: No
Ken’s mouse #1:
Name: Ken’s mouse #1
Address: 00-14-51-c6-44-70
Type: Mouse
Firmware Version: 512
Services: Mighty Mouse
Paired: Yes
Favorite: No
Connected: No
Manufacturer: Broadcom ($2, $314)
KC’s keyboard:
Name: KC’s keyboard
Address: 00-0a-95-4a-c9-fe
Type: Keyboard
Firmware Version: 272
Services: Apple Wireless Keyboard
Paired: Yes
Favorite: No
Connected: No
Manufacturer: Broadcom ($1, $7b00)
Incoming Serial Ports:
Serial Port 1:
Name: Bluetooth-PDA-Sync
RFCOMM Channel: 3
Requires Authentication: No
Outgoing Serial Ports:
Serial Port 1:
Address:
Name: Bluetooth-Modem
RFCOMM Channel: 0
Requires Authentication: No

iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.6.2), 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    If you have not already, be sure to reset PRAM

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

    and if that does not help, also reset SMC

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1543

    which is basically disconnecting the iMac from all cables and power, and the reconnecting using a precise procedure.

    If the problem remains, one more thing you can try is go to System Preferences Network pane. Bluetooth is also a networking service. On that pane, if Bluetooth is shown in the sidebar, select it and click on the minus sign to remove it. I'm assuming you are not using Bluetooth for networking, only for device connectivity. You can easily add it back later (with the plus sign) if it's ever needed. The idea here is that the networking functionality is interfering somehow.
  • Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the quick reply, Kenichi.

    I've tried the PRAM reset. I've also tried the SMC reset that you suggested. Hasn't solved the problem.

    I've also looked in the "network" pane in System Preferences. Bluetooth is NOT shown in the sidebar.

    I don't know if this is a software or hardware issue.

    Now when I access "Bluetooth" in System Preferences, I get the various BT devices on the left hand side of the window. For instance, my Mighty Mouse shows up there. However, it shows it is not connected. The strange thing is when I highlight it on the left and click on the "minus" sign at the bottom of the window to remove it. Nothing happen. I click on the minus and it opens up a second window to ask me if I am sure I want to remove the device. I click "remove" and nothing happens. The mouse is still there.

    Any further ideas or tips?

    Thanks
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Well, it's good that the mouse is actually showing up there, which probably means the hardware is OK and it's some odd software issue.

    The other thing I often suggest, when the exact cause is not known, is to do a test by creating a new admin user account in System Preferences Accounts pane.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.6/en/8235.html

    Log out and log in to the new account. See if Bluetooth is working properly in the new account.

    If it is working properly, the cause is probably something in your normal user account. It might be a corrupt user preference file, or perhaps some process that runs automatically when you log in (check System Preferences Accounts pane +Login Items+ tab).

    If it still does not work, even in the new account, then the cause is probably at the system level. It might be some hardware issue, but in this case, since the mouse does appear in the Bluetooth pane, probably not.

    Since iMacs now come with Bluetooth mice and keyboards by default, they should work when booted up from the Mac OS X installation disc. You should try inserting your Snow Leopard disc and restarting with the C key held down (hopefully you have a wired keyboard). When you get to the Installer screen, see if the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard are working or not.
  • Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, the mouse is "showing up there" but I can't seem to do any changes in that Bluetooth System Preference window. Like I said, I wonder why I can't even do something simple like deleting or removing a previously paired device?

    I just tried setting up a new Admin account. Bluetooth behaves the same in this test Admin account. So this is a "system level" problem as you suggested?

    I guess my next step will be to try the OS installation disc to see if the BT mouse shows up or not. If I understand you correctly, I will know once the OS install disc boots up and not have to actually go into re-installing the OS (at this time).

    I assume if the BT mouse doesn't show up after the system boots off the OS install disc, this might suggest the iMac's BT hardware is faulty and might need replacement?

    And what if I the BT mouse is functional after I boot up with the OS install disc? What might you suggest as the next step, if that's the case?

    Thanks so much.

    p.s. Fortunately, I had purchased a wired Apple keyboard last week!!!
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Yes, starting up from the Mac OS X installation is just a test. Don't go past Installer's first screen, although you can go up to the menu bar and run Disk Utility from under Utilities. That will give you more things to do with the mouse than just moving it around the screen.

    Also, while you are in Disk Utility, you should go to the +First Aid+ tab and run +Repair Disk+ on your internal drive.

    Then you can quit Disk Utility and Installer, and restart normally. Just to be thorough, once you are started up again normally, run Disk Utility and use +Repair Disk Permissions+. It probably won't help with this problem, but you never know... I would restart and try the Bluetooth one more time.

    I assume if the BT mouse doesn't show up after the system boots off the OS install disc, this might suggest the iMac's BT hardware is faulty and might need replacement?


    Possibly. I'm assuming an Apple Bluetooth mouse works when booted from the installation disc, since many Macs now only come with Bluetooth mice. But I'm not 100% sure.

    Also, do you also use a Bluetooth keyboard? If that mouse is your only Bluetooth device, it is possible that the iMac is fine, and the mouse is malfunctioning. The batteries are not getting low? Even if they are strong, did you try taking the batteries out for a few minutes and putting them back in?

    And what if I the BT mouse is functional after I boot up with the OS install disc? What might you suggest as the next step


    If you have an external drive that can be erased, you can install a test system on that drive. Set the iMac to boot from that fresh system. See of Bluetooth is working properly. Otherwise, you will need to back up your data, then reinstall a fresh system on your internal drive.
  • Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Kenichi,

    So....I used my Leopard Install Disc and booted off that. Bluetooth worked immediately and I can use the mouse to run Disk Utility and whatever else. So, the hardware works.

    Sounds like there is no easy way to "reinstall" just the BT software in OS X. I will probably have to reinstall the entire OS.

    If you have any other ideas, please let me know.

    Otherwise, thank you very much for your help.

    Ken
  • lokigk Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    try deleting your bluetooth plist
  • Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    How do I delete my "bluetooth plist". I know it's a file but where is it and what is its exact name?

    Thanks.

    As well....In terms of reinstalling the OS....

    I have a clone of my system (using Carbon Copy Cloner) on an external Firewire drive. I plan to format my iMac's internal drive. Then install a fresh copy of Snow Leopard onto the the internal drive. After which, I plan to use Migration Assistant to transfer back my files/applications/settings, etc back to my iMac.

    Is there a chance that whatever "bad" Bluetooth corrupted file will be transferred back to my fresh OS install? As an aside, when people do a fresh OS install and use Migration Assistant to re-set-up their fresh OS install, what is actually transferred and maybe more importantly, what is NOT transferred?

    Ken
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    So you've basically eliminated a problem that is specific to your user account, and eliminated a hardware issue, so the problem must be in the overall system.

    Sometimes, installing the latest Combo system update using the stand-alone updater can resolve system-related issues. This is the download for 10.6.2 Combo.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL959

    There is an utility called Pacifist, that allows you to re-install individual system components off the Mac OS X installation disc.

    http://www.charlessoft.com/

    However, I'm don't know what specific components you should re-install in this case. I don't think it would be as simple as finding a component called "Bluetooth." But you could take a look.

    You don't have any third-party device drivers (particularly one for another wireless mouse) installed, do you? That would probably be something installed at the system level. Such drivers are often located at

    <startup volume>/Library/Extensions/

    or

    <startup volume>/System/Library/Extensions/
  • lokigk Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    from finder click on users library then preferences and scrool till you find com.apple.bluetooth plist
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Since you already tried creating a brand new user account, that goes beyond deleting just one preference file. You are basically using a whole new set of user preference files when you are logged into that new account. And since the Bluetooth issue did not go away in the new account, removing one preference file in your current account is probably not going to fix this issue.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    Is there a chance that whatever "bad" Bluetooth corrupted file will be transferred back to my fresh OS install?


    I don't think the problem is related to something you will migrate, because it does not seem to isolated to just one user account.

    First, use the new installation and make sure Bluetooth is working. Then use Software Update to apply recent updates, and make sure Bluetooth is still working. The, install your third-party apps, and make sure Bluetooth is still working. After you are satisfied everything is working properly, transfer your personal data.

    When you use Migration Assistant, there will be a screen where you select what to migrate. I would only check the box for Users. Do not check Settings, Applications, or "Other...". That will limit the data transfer to only your user account data, which you have proven in your tests was not the cause if this issue (because it happened in the brand new user account).
  • Ken Cheung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sometimes, installing the latest Combo system update using the stand-alone updater can resolve system-related issues. This is the download for 10.6.2 Combo.

    Kenichi. I did what you suggested with (re) installing the Combo Update 10.6.2. It worked!!! My Bluetooth is back!!!

    Thanks for your great and prompt help.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    It's nice when the eventual solution turns out to be easy, although it took a while to get there.