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After I changed the batteries of my wireless keyboard of my iMac i5 the keyboard does not connect anymore.

I want to log on to my system, but of course I need to provide a password.

I tried several on/off methods, reboots, exchanging batteries again and so forth. Nothing did work.

Now I thought of hacking into my own system. This is a real challenge. The following services are running on my iMac:

-SSH is off
-telnetd is off
+apache listens on port 80
+SMB sharing is activated with access to the Users folder

I thought of activating auto-login or the soft-keyboard (onscreen keyboard) somewhere in my Users folder. But I bet most of the files (.bashrc for instance) are getting invoked AFTER the login has happened. There is a folder in the Users folder called .ssh where a file known_hosts resides. I added the Windows notebook from where I am trying to connect but since sshd is not running I am out of luck. Help!

Please don't recommend to buy a corded keyboard, that's cheating and furthermore stores don't open in the next 9 hours and I need to gain access now.

Another idea that just crossed my mind is to boot into Linux and access the Mac filesystem from there. That would work. Unfortunately I need a Linux on an USB drive since the Mac OS X CD is stuck inside the Superdrive. Of course you can only eject that with the not working wireless keyboard. It's a mess.

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how is obtaining another keyboard cheating? If you need access then you need access.. why does it matter? If stores aren't open, steal one from a neighbor / friend :) – JT.WK Oct 6 '10 at 0:05
You can eject the Mac OS X disk by holding down the mouse button and rebooting the machine, continuing to hold the mouse button until the disk ejects. – Darth Android Oct 6 '10 at 0:20
try other batteries – stib Oct 6 '10 at 0:28
thanks for your suggestions. I will try the eject method and the other battery method. buying a keyboard feels like giving up. I will definetly do it though. Only 6 hours left. – Stephan Kristyn Oct 6 '10 at 0:33
Holding the right mouse button down during restart did eject the CD. Great tip! Exchanging Batteries does not help. The keyboard pairs perfectly with my Windows machine, batteries are 100% and DID pair already with my iMac but after a reboot: Nada. – Stephan Kristyn Oct 6 '10 at 0:39
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In an emergency, you can always ask a neighbour/friend/relative of yours to lend you a corded keyboard no matter how late in the night it is -- everyone with just a little technical background will perfectly understand the situation at hand and gladly help you out.

Besides, you should always have a fail safe keyboard, mouse, graphics card and network adapter plus cabling in stock for exactly this kind of disaster, it should be as natural to you as maintaining a good backup for your files.

The question itself feels of rather limited use to the general public. Of those who can't access their mac and who don't have a corded keyboard around and who are tightly time constrained, how many will be able to search the web for a solution? Of these few, how many will come to I doubt that this topic will ever be looked up again.

MacOSX as a BSD derivative is rather hard to hack, too, especially if all ports open include a web server and file sharing. Teaching the necessary skills here would take you far longer than ringing up the guy next door and asking for his keyboard.

Anyhow, how did things work out in the end? From what I read, your time is well up by now.

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What good would a graphics card or a network adapter do with an iMac. Sorry bro can't follow your logic. – Stephan Kristyn Oct 6 '10 at 14:11
;-) Got carried away by my PC heritage here, but the general message of "for an important system, always have a backup for everything that might break" should carry over even if in your specific case these two specific items wouldn't be of much help. – Olfan Oct 6 '10 at 14:27
No worries mate. Let me just add that I do see the value of this question. Superuser shows up on Google Search after all. When I was in the business of building PCs I had many spare parts. Now I chose Apple with their minimalistic philosophy. Apple should address this problem because if you shell out 2000 bucks you shouldn't need to buy a keyboard just because you want to exchange batteries. – Stephan Kristyn Oct 6 '10 at 14:50

your keyboard is paired with your PC ? Can it be paired with 2 machines ?

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Good point, some keyboards and mice can only be paired with one system at a time. In case the Windows pairing silently replaced the Mac pairing, the pairing problem itself could be fixed easily, as soon as the system could be unlocked. – Olfan Oct 6 '10 at 14:06
I only paired the Keyboard with Windows to see if it still works. Until I did that measure of last resort, I tried multiple times with the Mac of course. – Stephan Kristyn Oct 6 '10 at 14:08
Can you try to reboot while pressing c or Command s to see if without any pairing but the firmware the mac recognise your keyboard. With c it should try to boot on the cd and command s is the single user mode. – Louis Oct 6 '10 at 14:54

Just when I wanted to go out and buy a corded keyboard I tried a suggestion I read earlier that suggested you should tap your Mac and congratulate him how great he is. Because I want to believe I tried that and during boot up the keyboard paired beautifully.

Sometimes Computers have a soul of themselves. ..and removing that Logitech bluetooth dongle might have helped a bit, but who knows (imagine X-Files music)

On a serious footnote: If the wireless bluetooth keyboard of an iMac does not pair anymore you are out of luck. That is a serious issue which Apple should adress.

There is no way to get into the EFI or press the alt key to choose between boot devices.

These are the possible precautions (which will cost security)

  • Keep sshd or telnetd running

  • enable Desktop sharing

  • enable a pre-login onscreen keyboard

  • enable automatic login

And for the sake of completness one could also have a wired keyboard lying around.

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Or for anything wireless - have a wired backup... – Chealion Oct 6 '10 at 23:01

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