Apple Wireless Keyboard on Vista 64

I’ve been trying on and off for about six months to get my Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard working on Vista 64. The first part of the puzzle was finding a bluetooth dongle that had support for Vista 64. Most only support Vista 32. Here’s the one I found:

Twelve quid from Novatech. The key thing is that it has a Widcomm chipset.

That was only half of the story. Getting an Apple device working on Vista is like getting a camel through the eye of a needle. Both companies are pig headed when it comes to claiming that they are right and someone else is wrong I’m sure!

Enter this blog article which sorted it all out for me.

My only concern is what happens after 3 hours if the keyboard goes to sleep. I’m sure I’ll work it out 🙂

I’m copying and pasting below in case it falls off the electric interweb…

Here are the steps I followed to get the keyboard paired on Windows Vista:

This guide is for dongles using the Widcomm bluetooth stack only. You need another working keyboard (preferably wired) for use to enter the pin code.

1. Remove the following updates if installed:

Update 941600 (Cumulative update rollup for USB core components in Windows Vista)
Update 941649 (An update that improves the compatibility, reliability, and stability of Windows Vista)

2. Install the Widcomm drivers that came with your bluetooth dongle.
3. Launch regedit.
4. Locate the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Widcomm\BtConfig\General key.
5. Set the key PinCodeWord to a decimal value of 1111
6. Set the key UseFixedPin to a decimal value of 1
7. Set the key NoSleepingWhileConnected to a decimal value of 1 (Disallows the keyboard going to sleep while connected to via bluetooth)
8. Set the key DeviceInactivityDuration to a decimal value that represents the time in seconds before the keyboard disconnects from the bluetooth dongle. Eg. A value of 10800 is 3 hours. (60x60x3)
9. Set the key MinPINLength to a decimal value of 3. This is the minimum pin code length).
10. Restart the computer and log in with your other keyboard (not the Apple keyboard).
11. Attempt pairing the keyboard with the dongle. Once the keyboard is detected, select it and click next to proceed. On the next screen you will need to enter a pairing key, which you won’t be able to enter! 🙂 The key you entered into the registry at step 5 is what you need to enter here. Using your other keyboard type in the pin code. You will not see the key strokes but they will be entered into the dialog.
12. Press the Return key on the Apple keyboard.
13. The bluetooth authentication dialog should accept this value. If it doesn’t your probably entered the wrong passkey. You may have to repeat the pairing process a few times before it succeeds.

If and when the keyboard disconnects, I use the bluetooth driver in Vista to disable and enable bluetooth (using the mouse since my keyboard is not working). This then redetects the keyboard and reconnects to it in about 10 seconds. Failing this I eject and reinsert the dongle after about a 10 second wait.


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