What's wrong with my iMac? Help please!

I have a 2015 iMac that I use next to my M1 MacBook Air. It’s on MacOS 12 and is due to update to 12.2.7. But whenever I run the update, after rebooting I see the same update pending, as if nothing happened. Now I read I should try to start the Mac in safe mode. But I can’t start it in safe mode. When I press shift while booting, nothing happens but normal booting. Then I read I should reset PRAM. But when I press the key combination, nothing happens but normal booting. Something’s wrong (even though normal daily usage is totally fine) and I’m stuck. Can anyone help?

You cloud try to download the update via one of the methods described in this post:

There’s even a terminal command to install updates.

Mac startup key combinations

Dumb question: Is your keyboard working properly?

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Thanks, I’ll try that! I wondered how to download manually and all ressources I found just let me to the app store, which opened the usual update window.

The keyboard seems to work, I can type with it and it’s connected via USB.

sigh I managed to download and start the installer, but after some unpacking it simply says: Installation failed.

When I was having trouble with my iMac (probably self-infliced, but don’t know) and wanted to reinstall I had some issues that I could not work out. Can’t remember details to know if same as you. A call to Apple Support was extremely helpful and resolved with their help. Perhaps give that a try.

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Perhaps you could try a reinstall via internet recovery as that would download the latest OS first? (Your files stay safe but having a backup is, as always, recommended.)

I’m thinking this would help in case there’s something wrong with your current installation that’s preventing the update as Recovery boots from separate partition.

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Can you start with CMD+R? If so, you could do a reinstall of macOS. That’s a good start.

I have had this problem with clients, and in some cases I had to reformat the drive and perform a clean install.

The worrying thing though is that you can’t reset PRAM or start without extensions… I would have tried another keyboard and/or other USB ports.