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I had a application called Boxcryptor which recently threw some errors (version expired, upgrade, etc.) and left the system in a unusable state.

My MacBook running Lion no longer responds to mouse (trackpad) clicks on any windows. I am able to move the mouse pointer but clicking on any controls in application does not work. The window does not even register the click (doesn't even get focused).

However, I am able to launch Terminal from Spotlight and managed to cleanly uninstall Boxcryptor using the provider Uninstall.Command. I also uninstalled some other potentially problematic applications like USB Overdrive. It doesn't help.

I have walked through several standard checks.

  • Verify/Repair disk permissions -- done; found some errors and fixed them.

  • Verify/Repair Disk - none found.

  • Rebooted in safe mode tried doing resetpassword to reset user directory permissions but unable to focus the controls in the dialog to execute the reset.

  • turned on "Use tabs to navigate for all controls". Doesn't have a effect in the Recovery mode.

  • Unable to press Enter to execute (nor mouse click) any focused controls.. so unable to launch Lion Reinstall in the recovery mode.

  • In console I see "Could not connect the action buttonPressed: to target of class NSApplication" for Dock. however KillAll Dock does not fix it. In my case though none of the UI widgets respond to any clicks.

Any other ideas I could try to fix this?

Update: I managed to start Lion reinstall by selecting it with arrow keys tab to focus "continue" and hitting space instead of enter to start it. However, I am stuck at the validate license when it tries to login to appstore. Can't make that window get Focus to type in username/password.

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So you can't click in the Recovery Partition either? – hellothere Jul 22 '12 at 4:33
Thats right. As an update to above issue, I got a mouse and used that to proceed with the reinstall. However the reinstall didn't help. At this point it looks like a problem with the trackpad itself. I am taking it to the genius store to check it. – Pradeep Jul 23 '12 at 7:07
If you boot with the option key held down, will the boot drive selection screen respond to clicks? – Daniel Sep 9 '12 at 21:53

This sounds like a perfect candidate for VoiceOver. It's fairly (if not entirely) straightforward to learn and use.

Hit Command ⌘+F5 to turn on VoiceOver. (You may need to use the fn key as well to hit F5.) You can then hold down Control ⌃+Option ⌥ (usually referred to as the VO keys) and use the arrow keys to navigate around the screen.

Here is Apple's page on VoiceOver and here is a tutorial on how to use the technology.

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