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Apple Wireless Keyboards: Using startup keys

Symptoms

You may notice that your Mac does not open the startup disk manager (also known as the Boot Picker) and starts up normally after you press and hold the Option key on your Apple Wireless Keyboard while your computer starts up.  Likewise, you may notice that when you attempt to reset the PRAM using an Apple Wireless Keyboard, the computer instead starts up normally and does not reset PRAM.

Resolution

Apple Wireless Keyboards will not recognize pressing and holding down startup keys during startup until the startup chime sound is heard.  This is normal behavior.  You may find it helpful to press and hold startup key combinations while the startup chime is playing.  Two common startup key combinations are listed below.

Choosing a startup disk using the Option key

Press and hold the Option key while the startup chime is still playing.

You can also choose the startup disk manually by choosing System Preferences from the Apple () menu, then choosing Startup Disk from the View menu. Select your startup disk from the available choices and click Restart.

If you're using a removable hard disk drive to start up from, it must be powered on and connected to your Mac before it will appear as an available startup disk.  If the startup disk you want to use is network-based, it must be available before it will appear in the Startup Disk System Preferences pane as a choice.

Resetting PRAM

Press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys while the startup chime is playing.

Last Modified: Sep 7, 2011
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  • Last Modified: Sep 7, 2011
  • Article: TS3273
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