Where’d my Bluetooth go? OS X 10.5.6 ate it

apple-logobt-logoI had a bit of a scare this morning when I popped open my new MacBook to get started.  It was not sleeping, it was totally powered down which has never happened before.  I hit the power button and it started up from scratch normally and shortly was up and going normally.

Well, almost normally.  Everything was working except the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard which were not recognized.  A quick check found that the Bluetooth icon was no longer in the system menu bar where it always lives.

I fired up system preferences and there was no Bluetooth to be found under the Hardware setting where it lives.  With no Bluetooth setting under system preferences there is no way to restart the Bluetooth services so I was dead in the water as far as Bluetooth goes.

I went over to the Apple support forum and discovered that some folks are reporting the same problem since the latest OS X update, 10.5.6.  Systems that have been working fine are now having Bluetooth disappear with regularity under 10.5.6.

The solution offered in the support forum worked for me, at least so far.  Resetting the PRAM/ NVRAM restored Bluetooth capability and put it back in the system preferences where it should be.  I’ll have to keep an eye on it to see if this becomes a regular occurrence.  Here’s the simple instruction for resetting the PRAM should your Bluetooth go away:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.
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