Bluetooth peripherals problem - I'm desperate.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xTRIGGER092x, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. xTRIGGER092x macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    *wall of text ahead*

    About this time last year, I noticed a very odd problem began to occur in my iMac; at startup, my Magic Trackpad and Apple Wireless Keyboard would not instantly turn on (as indicated by the green power lights). The times varied (with sometimes being instant, or close to it, and sometimes a full minute or so), but often took 5-30 seconds. So, I delved into various troubleshooting attempts:

    - turned Bluetooth on/off
    - deleted Bluetooth and peripheral plist files
    - added peripherals as favorites
    - changing the batteries
    - re-paired the devices
    - changed the batteries
    - reset SMC and PRAM
    - restored to earlier Time Machine backup
    - standard reinstall of Snow Leopard

    After doing all that to no avail, I turned to the Genius Bar. They used different trackpads and keyboards and booted from an external hard drive to come to the conclusion that it was a hardware problem, that the Bluetooth chip was defective. So, they replaced it. It seemed to work for a day or two, then the issue came back again. I ignored it and installed Lion not long after, and the problem, while not eliminated, was improved after that (though, I did notice that it would be a little worse after every 10.7.x update, but would get better in time).

    Flash forward to now, Mountain Lion, and after doing an upgrade install, the problem was still there. Due to other problems with ML, I decided to do a clean install of it, hoping it would solve all of my problems, this included. But lo and behold, the issue was still there. So, I went to the Genius Bar again last week only to get a call a day later saying they couldn't reproduce the problem (though I'd rather see it with my own eyes, as they didn't even turn on the machine when I took it in), and that it was very possible that there was interference causing the problem. The only thing I could imagine causing interference is my old 802.11g router, as I have no other Bluetooth products in my house besides the keyboard/trackpad. Google results seemed to indicate that Bluetooth and 802.11g can conflict with eachother, but not with a 802.11n router. I don't have an N router, so I decided to go to my parents' house where there is one (and also nothing else that would seemingly cause interference), and the problem persists. While there, I changed the wireless channel from Auto to 11 and booted into safe mode, yielding no results.

    I'm at a dead end here. I've tried everything I can possibly think of, and the Genius Bar can't even help. Hell, most people can't either, considering I've reposted this problem multiple times on various message boards in the past year and pretty much no one has replied. It's an annoying problem, and I'm hoping someone else is experiencing it and/or can help solve it.
  2. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    So, I'm presuming that you mean from a login prompt (or desktop) appearing you have to wait 30 second or so before you can do anything. Perhaps, it's just taking its time loading those drivers.

    If you were able to demonstrate the problem the first time in store so that you got a replacement board, why didn't you insist on checking that they couldn't reproduce the issue the next time?
  3. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    Yeah, that's the time it usually takes after booting to the desktop (I have noticed that the keyboard almost always connects first, though). Maybe it is taking the time loading the drivers, but that's not normal. It's supposed to be instant.

    I guess I don't have a great explanation for not insisting to turn the iMac on when I got to the Genius Bar; the Genius the second time around just told me that they would do overnight diagnostics and then sent me on my way. I just expected that the problem would reoccur there just as it did during the first Genius Bar visit.
  4. xTRIGGER092x, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012

    xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    I've made a bit of progress - I decided to turn off my Trackpad and see how the Magic Mouse fares at startup; it turned on instantly the three times I rebooted my computer. The keyboard also started very fast (can't tell if instant or not, it was at least close), but the very last time it took nearly 10 seconds after the desktop's appearance to turn on. After that, I turned the Magic Mouse back off, and the Magic Trackpad back on - keyboard 6 seconds, trackpad 10 seconds. Then, I turned off Wi-Fi thinking that it might help if the Bluetooth signal conflicts with the Wi-Fi signal; no dice.

    tl;dr - Magic Mouse works fine; Keyboard is hit and miss, Trackpad crashes and burns. Turning off Wi-Fi doesn't work, either.
  5. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    Well, it seems like you've got your answer. Either the iMac is slow to pick up the trackpad or the device is taking a little longer to wakeup and smell the bluetooth. Either way, I would hardly describe 'nearly 10 seconds' delay as 'crashes and burns.' Suggest you either refrain from turning off iMac or turn it on and then get coffee, tea, beverage of choice and it will be ready when you are. Alternatively, back to the Genius and demonstrate the problem and insist on testing it in-store once it's 'fixed'.
  6. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    10 seconds is a very noticable delay nonetheless, and that's only the more common time for the trackpad. However, like I said in the OP, it varies. If I were to restart the computer 10 times, I have no doubt that at least one of those times the trackpad would take nearly a minute to turn on. That's crashing and burning IMO.

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