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Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Any advice/thoughts/suggestions appreciated:


All 3 USB ports at the back of my iMac have stopped working.  This means I can't use either a keyboard or mouse, so have no way of logging in.  I turn my iMac on, it boots up as usual, but when it gets to the login screen, the mouse and keyboard don't work and I get a message about bluetooth set-up. (Both my mouse and keyboard are wired, not bluetooth). 


I have tried an SMC reset (by turning the iMac off, unplugging all USB devices and the power cable, leaving the iMac for a few minutes and then plugging the cable back in a turning it on again).  This didn't work.


I've also tried a different version of the SMC reset where I hold down the power button whilst all the cables are unplugged and also as I plug the power cable back in.  After doing this, the fan turns on at full speed (v loud), but the mouse and keyboard still don't work.


I've also checked my mouse on a different computer and it works fine.


Has anyone got any other suggestions / workarounds?


Note I can't do a PRAM reset because my keyboard doesn't work.


Is it probably that the USB hardwear has failed?  If so, is it possible to repair this?  It is worth repairing given it is a 5/6 year old iMac (the white plastic one) which is probably on its last legs anyway?


many thanks!



iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,235 points)

    Have you tried just a normal startup with no devices attached, then once started tried to plugin either a keyboard or a mouse one at a time into your iMac?

  • Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I tried both starting up with the keyboard & mouse plugged in and without, but neither worked

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,565 points)

    Do you have a second Mac that you can connect to it using Firewire Target Disk mode, log in and then turn off Bluetooth, in System preferences, assuming Bluetooth is the problem.


    How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,395 points)

    Try the SMC reset again, only this time wait 5 minutes in set 3 instead of fifteen seconds.


    1. Shut down the computer.

    2. Unplug the computer's power cord.

    3. Wait fifteen seconds. 5 minutes.

    4. Attach the computer's power cord.

    5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.



  • Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No, unfortunely my other computer is a PC laptop (gasp!). 


    I might be able to borrow a mate's Mac, although I don't think bluetooth is actually the problem - I think the bluetooth assistant window comes up because it doesn't detect my wired mouse & keyboard and I've never used bluetooth.


    However, if I bought a bluetooth mouse & keyboard, do you think they would work?

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,565 points)

    I bought a bluetooth mouse & keyboard, do you think they would work?

    Absolutely, go for it.


    Edit: oops I thought you already had one. Now i am not so eager in case you waste your money. Hmmm.


    Message was edited by: roam

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,565 points)

    jez - i thought you already owned a bluetooth KB - my mistake. That leaves me still keen on the Firewire target mode, sorry to have no better suggestion for you.

  • Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks - I did try this already, although for good measure I unplugged the cable last night and will try again this afternoon.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,395 points)

    5 minutes should be long enough to drain off any residual power and allow the port overload protection to reset.


    It not, then you probably have a more serious hardware failure.

  • Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I'm pretty much resigned to it being a hardware failure as you say.  I was just hoping that there might be some other fix.


    Assuming that it is a hardware failure, is it a big job to repair?   My iMac is probably in need of replacement soon anyway (its over 5 years old, the HD has failed once and the CD doesn't work) and I'm not sure if its worth repairing.

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    It could be the Logic Board $$$ or the Power Supply $$ but you probably should consider a new or refurbished one. Both carry the same 1 year warranty and you can/should get AppleCare as IMHO the newer ones are running hotter and may not have as long a lifespan as the older ones.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (10,235 points)


    I sort of knew there was a chance it was a Logic Board failure, but I didn't want to be the first poster to make that snap decision until you had gotten some more advice/suggestions.

    Sorry that your iMac has died.

    It will be too much money to repair that old a Mac.

    If you can't afford a new or even refurb iMac from Apple, you can always look at the used Mac/iMac market.

    If still interested in iMacs look to mid- 2007 to 2010 models.

    You maybe able to find something a lot more recent with specs you are leaning toward for a modest/reasonable price.

    Look for a new/used Mac reseller, first, before looking to online places like eBay.  Try to find one who offers a decent warranty time period for a used Mac.

    At least a 30 day warranty and even better, a 90 day to six month warranty.

    The Mac reseller I bought my 2009 27 inch iMac from 4 months ago, has a 6-month warranty at minimal cost.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,395 points)

    It's not really worth it. All the ports including the USB ports and USB controller are integrated into the logic board. So it would mean a complete disassembly, plus a new logic board that cost more than the iMac is worth..


    As suggested your only options are and if everything else is working, a wireless Keyboard and Mouse, then a FireWire external HD for backup.

  • Jez2007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks everyone for all the useful replies.  It is, as I suspected, a hardware failure that its not really worth repairing.  Looks like I'll be looking for a new iMac then...


    thanks again.

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