Rather mysteriously, my bluetooth mouse suddenly stopped responding with no warning. I assumed it was duff batteries, though I'd normally get a warning a good while before they conk out completely. Changed them, but still no dice. I attached a wired mouse and did some digging – basically Bluetooth no longer seemed to exist on my Mac! The menubar widget claimed bluetooth was 'not available' and the System Preferences Panel said similar. Restarting didn't help – in fact it made the menubar widget and System Preferences Panel disappear entirely!

After a bit of digging on the web, what worked for me was to reset PRAM. Shutdown computer, then start it up whilst holding down cmd-option-P-R until it chimes a second time. Actually I held down until a third chime for good luck. Seems to have done the trick!

Update: It then failed again shortly afterwards. Next move was to delete a critical prefs file. Best not to do this unless you have a clue what it means:
  • sudo mv /var/root/Library/Preferences/blued.plist ~/Desktop/

At the same time I shutdown the computer, removed all attached cables, opened it up and pressed the PMU/SMC reset button down near the RAM (this is a PowerMac G5 tower) then restarted. It seems to be OK for now. It did mean the clock resetting to 1970 and me having to wait for all my iCal notifications to stream in once I'd reset to 2009.

Update 2: And it's gone again. Maybe it'll never be back. I swear if Apple sold some sort of mid-tower machine – somewhere between an iMac (but without a screen) and the Mac Pro, I'd buy one without a second's hesitation. I've been waiting for years for this machine, on the assumption that it's an obvious hole in their line-up and will be along any moment, but I've been hideously disappointed.

Update 3: It seems that if I shutdown the computer rather than simply restarting, my bluetooth comes back to life. At the moment it's been fine for all of today, but it might flake out on me at a moment's notice for all I know.

Update 4: Correction – resetting PRAM by holding down cmd-opt-P-R until you hear a second chime is vital. Simply shutting down and restarting does not seem to do it. At the moment I sometimes get a few days of successful use between failures.

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