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Sad story. I thought it was the HDD, so I ended up asking someone to reinstall macOS on it using their Recovery, and that worked. The hard drive booted up using their 2012?ish Mac mini. However, putting it back into my iMac resulted in the ominous message I was previously getting (" no bootable device, press any key") .. but how do I press keys when my USB ports decided to stop working the moment this message started showing up (at the end of a massive wipe and reinstall, including wiping bootcamp as far as I recall)? Ports all seem to give power, beyond that I have no idea unfortunately. I tried 4 different USB keyboards to no avail.

I lost my original magic mouse and keyboard during a move, I bought a new keyboard to see if that can solve my problem but so far, nada. Any clue on how to pair these bad boys right at boot?

What's my next move guys? I'm at a loss and I'm sitting on a very expensive brick in a country with no Apple Stores, tearing my hair out.

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Since you've ruled the HDD out, the remaining options are pretty much the hard drive cable or the logic board. As none of the USB ports work, it sounds like a logic board issue. A way to test would be to reset the PRAM. To do this, plug in a USB keyboard, then before powering on the machine, hold then Cmd, Option, P, R keys all at the same time,hen reach back and power on the machine while holding the keys. Continue to hold the keys.

If the logic board is working, the machine will power on, you may see a white screen, then it should reboot and chime again. Keep holding to see if you can get it to chime multiple times before releasing the keys.

If that works, then the USB ports are working, and you'd be looking at an issue with the HD cable. Otherwise, unfortunately, it's most likely the logic board, but again, that would require a trip to an Apple Store or AASP (Apple Authorized Service Provider).

  • There's a slight issue. USB keyboards aren't working. The machine chimes and powers on to a white screen, attempts to check the CD in the ODD, then gives me a black screen with the message I mentioned. AASP basically said "Ahh, go buy a new one, the price they'll fix it for is typically about the same". The thing is, the iMac was working perfectly fine till I tried to clean the hard drive and reinstall one day.. so I'm pretty sure it could still work. What would an AASP a usually do in this situation? – nofo Jul 31 '18 at 5:57
  • If the USB ports aren't operable, it typically means that there is an issue with the main logic board, which isn't a cheap part. It definitely isn't the cost of a new machine, but it depends on the make on model of your machine. – CrashBurner Jul 31 '18 at 15:00
  • The make & model: Apple, iMac 2009 (21.5inch if that matters) but this USB issue seems pretty common and most people have said it can be solved with a NVRAM/PRAM reset... Problem is though, I have no functional keyboard to perform said reset and thus the loop closes. The parts (logic board) are not so readily available and the shops around aren't too willing to help and would rather sell me a new iMac (understandably). Any other way to reset the big bad NVRAM/PRAM? – nofo Aug 1 '18 at 16:00
  • Unfortunately, if you can't connect a keyboard to it, you cannot reset the PRAM, at least according to Apple (support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063) – CrashBurner Aug 3 '18 at 15:52

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