OS X 10.10.3 Update – What a Scare!


This post is for my Apple Trove followers, Apple users in general, and maybe Apple haters. The rest can follow along out of morbid curiosity or maybe to see how I trouble shot a problem I had with my computer after updating it’s operating system to the latest and greatest upgrade on the first day of release.

Yesterday — April 8, 2015 — Apple rolled out updates for it’s iOS and OS X devices:  iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. I had four devices to update and here’s how they went:

iPhone 6+ – updated without a hitch.

iPad Air – updated without a hitch.

2015 13″ Macbook Pro – updated without a hitch.

Late 2013 iMac – Hitch? Let’s use the word brick instead.

Obviously we’re going to talk about what happened with the iMac since that’s the one that had issues — big ones.

At first I thought the upgrade had gone fine. After downloading the 2.2 Gig upgrade the iMac automatically handled the file, installed it, rebooted automatically a couple of times, and everything looked fine. And it seemed to work fine too. It was fine until I tried to scroll with first my Apple Magic Mouse and then with my Apple Trackpad. Nothing. No scroll, no response to gestures. Nothing, except I could move the cursor, click, and double click. I couldn’t even right click.

I opened System Preferences for the Mouse and got a very simple control panel for a generic mouse. I opened the System Preferences for the Trackpad and the thing refused to recognize that I had a trackpad. Hello?, I opened you WITH A TRACKPAD!!! As it was, that trackpad could only move the cursor, click and double click, and nothing more.


So what do you think I did? It’s obvious, really, I shut down the computer, counted to ten for my own benefit, and then tried to fire it back up fully expecting everything to work just fine. I got the startup sound which was reassuring, and then the minutes ticked by with me facing a black screen that ever so slightly glowed at the bottom. Five minutes and absolutely nothing.


I tried several times forcibly shutting off the iMac by holding in the power button and then booting and waiting for over five minutes each time. Same result: chime, and then dead.

Then genius struck. You know what genius is, right? One percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. The inspiration was that something plugged into the iMac isn’t getting along with the new system. Through darkness there is a ray of hope!

I forcibly shut down my iMac — AGAIN — and pulled out every plug from the back, which amounted to four USB cables and the power cord. The iMac is off without anything plugged into the back. Time to plug the power cord back in and boot up.

Lightening fast: chime, Apple logo, progress bar, and the desktop appeared in all its blazing glory. It only took a few seconds. And the Magic Mouse and Trackpad worked perfectly in every way, gestures and all. Now we’re cooking with grease.

So with that fantastic result I plugged in all my accessories with the iMac still on and working and everything worked perfectly. Just one thing to do, right? Yeah, restart and see what happens with everything still plugged back in. Actually I properly shut it down and then booted again.

Chime, and then nothing but a dead black screen.


[OK, this time the word started with “F”, was in all caps, and ended with an exclamation mark.]

Let’s make this last part a long story short. With each USB device I shut down the computer, just plugged one thing in by itself, and each time the computer started up just fine. With my USB hub, I first tried it plugged in and empty and then did it again with each individual thing plugged into it alone, each with a separate shutdown and boot in between. Something told me to let my iMac make its peace with each individual component in turn, and each with a proper shutdown and boot before going on to the next.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, worked. Do I understand exactly what worked and what was actually necessary? No, I do not. But I did patiently isolate each potential variable and then tried them back in combination afterward and that did the trick.

I hope you don’t have the opportunity to try this at home. It was not fun.

3 thoughts on “OS X 10.10.3 Update – What a Scare!

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