Bluetooth Blues

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I have an Apple Wireless Keyboard. It connects via Bluetooth. I’ve used it with my iPad and with Windows 7 tablets. I like this keyboard. While it’s relatively light and small (and therefore mobile), the keys are large and spaced enough for efficient typing.

I hadn’t used this keyboard for a while. Recently I decided to use it again, this time with a Windows 7 tablet. It wouldn’t pair! Indeed, the keyboard only would be discovered about 1/3 of the time. Even when it was discovered, pairing failed with the helpful message “unknown error.”

I consulted my good (and perhaps only) friend, Mr. Google. I tried a number of suggested solutions. None worked.

However, one suggestion gave me a clue. It was that if the keyboard already was paired with a MacBook, you need to unpair it first, pair it with a Windows 7 computer, then repair with the MacBook.

This keyboard wasn’t paired with my wife’s MacBook Air. But I checked and found it was paired with my iPad 2. Not only paired, connected.

I ended the connection between the keyboard and the iPad 2. The keyboard immediately paired with the Windows 7 tablet. Works fine.

So it turned out the unknown error was PBKAC.

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