Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2015 9:45 AM by Mr. Galindo
Spongeman1022 Level 1 (10 points)

I need to do a clean install of Lion on my iMac and I'm using the Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. But on Start-up using the Command-R function, it still takes me to the Login screen. I've tried it with another bluetooth keyboard, but still no solution. Is there any way to fix this? Or do I need to go out and purchase a Wired Keyboard?

Mid 2010 iMac 21.5 in. 3.2 Ghz i3, Mac OS X (10.6.5), iPhone 8GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPod touch 2G 8GB
  • quicksilver8 Level 2 (315 points)

    Starting process is very long, I can tell this that I've tried... keep Mac starting up, finally you'll see it loading...

  • Spongeman1022 Level 1 (10 points)

    I've tried many times. Before the Mac chime, at the chime, after the chime. I hold Command-R the entire time, and then it shows the Login Screen. It's killing me!

  • babowa Level 7 (29,960 points)

    Working with a bluetooth keyboard, you have to look at the keyboard during startup - as soon as you see the small green light come on and off, press the keys you need (in this case Command + R). The keyboard needs to turn on first before it will recognize a keyboard command; the green light is the indicator and it usually flashes on/off towards the end of the startup sound. In any case, holding down any key before it turns on or before the startup sound is not at all useful - it does nothing. So, try it - be ready to hit the keys as soon as the light comes on.

  • frenchy108 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem with trying to use Command-R at startup with a wireless keyboard.  I tried waiting for the green light on the keyboard and then press Command and r keys but still comes to the login screen without entering the Lion Recovery mode.  It seems that the keyboard becomes available too late in the startup proces to trigger the recovery mode. Has anyone had any success using a wireless keyboard ?

  • MichelX Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello all,


    this solution has worked for me:


    1. Switch off your Mac

    2. Press the switch on the wireless keyboard

    3. immediately switch on your Mac

    4. press and hold the option key or the desired key-combination

    5. wait (in my case it took maybe 30-40 secs until the Boot-menu appeared)


    Hope this will work for others too!

  • babowa Level 7 (29,960 points)

    Yes, I have - it works for me. I follow the instructions in this article as well as waiting until the keyboard is actually recognized by the computer (after the green light flashes on/off):



    It is also sometimes easier to achieve this when booting up rather than restarting.


    @MichelX - not sure why your method works for you; I've tried that many times (before following Apple's instructions) and it never worked. Powering/pairing up a wireless keyboard before it can be recognized because the computer is powered off seems to be to no avail, but as long as it works for you, that's great.

  • Spongeman1022 Level 1 (10 points)

    So after trying all these solutions, it still didn't work. I went out and bought a Wired Keyboard from Apple and did Command-R. And to my surprise, it still didn't work! I contacted Apple Support and they finally told me it was because I didn't have the Lion Recovery partition when I installed Lion. I finally just put in the OS disc that came with my iMac, booted from it, and I was able to access Disk Utility and erase my Macintosh HD. Reinstalled Snow Leopard, then installed Lion. Took a long process but clean install was successful!

  • babowa Level 7 (29,960 points)

    Glad you got that figured out and thanks for the feedback!

  • MichelX Level 1 (0 points)

    @ babowa: on my system, I noticed the light on the keyboard goes on very late during the startup process, seemingly too late for any key presses to take effect. In fact, the LED comes on only short before the login-screen in my case. So Apple's solution won't work, at least for me. (I tried it several times to no avail)


    My idea was to force the keyboard to be on and pair with the computer early enough to take the desired keypresses.


    I assume as soon as the keyboard is on, it takes the keypresses and passes them on as soon as the pairing took place.


    At least it works and I am glad.

  • babowa Level 7 (29,960 points)

    I realize it's tricky at best - frankly, I'm surprised it works at all (when it does): how can you send a keyboard command when the computer hasn't even recognized the keyboard and when the keyboard only wakes up when it gets a command from the computer - sounds like a vicious circle to me. I've noticed it works most reliably when booting up rather than restarting (why I don't know). And I also have a USB keyboard nearby just in case........

  • MichelX Level 1 (0 points)

    I can only guess what happens.

    When booting normally, the Mac tells the keyboard to wake up and pair at a certain point.

    But the time the Mac tells my keyboard to wake up seems to be too late for any keypresses to take effect.


    Switching on the keyboard before the Mac somehow forces the pairing to take place earlier and the key combinations work.

    Of course, as you point out, pressing keys as long as the computer is still off doesn't work.


    Maybe someone else has more knowledge about this matter...

  • markinaz Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, I struggled with this for an hour thinking something was wrong with my recovery partition.  Your solution worked right away.   I am relatively new to Mac and am finding things like this make it a difficult transition from Windows...

  • Lovin It Level 1 (0 points)

    HI, I totally agree with MicheleX and Babowa:


    Go to


    Do your commands as it states in the article. I have an iMac i7 purchased after July 2011 and it WORKS. Finally. Sheesh. You'd think Apple would have come up with a MUCH smoother way since the iMac ships with wireless...


    Anyway, hope this helped.



  • softwater Level 5 (5,370 points)

    That wasn't the problem. The problem was the lack of recovery disk. For reference should others stumble on this thread, you can determine if the recovery disk is installed by using this command in


    diskutil list


    You should see something like this


    diskutil list.png

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