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iMac G5 Keyboard Working Erratically

Posted on 2011-10-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a client with a keyboard problem on an iMac G5 that was originally running OS X Tiger. Client reported keyboard and mouse were not working properly.

I went in with a Dell PC USB keyboard & USB mouse in case it was a problem with the Bluetooth peripherals. I booted into Single User mode, ran FSCK to repair problems on the HDD. When I rebooted back to desktop, I used Disk Utility to fix permissions on the HD. The USB keyboard & mouse were working but everything I typed came up in ALL CAPS regardless of whether CAPS LOCK  was engaged or not or whether I held down the shift key on the USB keyboard.

I tried resetting the keyboard to defaults in the System Preferences, but it didn't help. Tried deleted the keyboard plist file (forgot the exact name of the file) in /System/Library.

I created a new user to see if the problem persisted across accounts and it did.

With the iMac keyboard I tried multiple times to reset the PRAM on bootup, but I would never hear the 2nd Mac chime, so I don't think it ever reset properly.

I upgraded the OS from Tiger to Leopard and when the OS finished loading both keyboards seems to work just fine and was able to type in lowercase. However, upon rebooting, the system went back to ALL CAPS. But it wasn't consistent. Of the multiple times I rebooted, often the keyboard would start off fine but then revert back to ALL CAPs.

Interesting that every time I booted in Single User mode, the keyboard always worked correctly. Although I never spent too much time in this mode, so maybe the keyboard would have screwed up there eventually as well.

I'm at a lose for how to troubleshoot this further?
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Question by:anuneznyc
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 37039188
What happens when you safe boot while holding down the shift key? Does it still use all caps?
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Accepted Solution

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strung earned 1000 total points
ID: 37039208
Go to the keyboard and mouse preferences panel. Click on the Modifier Keys button and the Restore Defaults.
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Assisted Solution

by:strung
strung earned 1000 total points
ID: 37039227
Also go to the Universal Access preferences pane, to the Keyboard tab, and make sure the Sticky Keys is OFF.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 37039731
Yes, I had tried booting into Safe Mode and the problem persisted there as well.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 37039846
Sticky keys sounds like the best bet. Did you check the keyboard prefs panel to make sure they were off?
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 37039958
I didn't check that. I won't have access to this system again until Fri. Will check then. Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 37185206
Strung, sticky keys were not turned on. Determined there is some fundamental corruption in the OS. Client decided they will buy a new iMac to replace this old one.

I will assign these points to you. In the meantime, please do me a favor and check this long-standing post that I have not been able to resolve:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Apple/Hardware/Q_27205390.html

Thank you!!!
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 37185303
Unfortunately, I know nothing about iPods. Sorry.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 37185406
OK. No problem. Was worth a shot. Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 37745720
Strung, when you have a few minutes, please take a look at the question below that I posted earlier today. Thanks!
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27641111.html
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