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Old Mar 14, 2009, 09:45 PM   #1
eleven7
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Changing Mac Boot Order?

Hi, I just bought my first Mac a few weeks back and the switch has been going good but have had one thing that I can't seem to find any info on...

Is it possible to change the boot order on a Mac like in the BIOS on a PC?

The reason I ask is that when I have my external hard drive connected the bootup time is slower.

Could this be that the Mac equivalent of the BIOS is doing a quick scan of the hard drive first, looking for an bootable operating system? Or is that extra time just OS X mounting the hard drive?
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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I believe that the system will always search for available boot volumes on all connected drives before choosing one. That's why the optical drive will spin up as well during the boot process.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Yes you can change the boot order. Go to System Preferences —> Startup Disk:

Thumb resize.

If you have other bootable volumes connected they will show up and then you can choose which one you want to use.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 07:39 AM   #4
eleven7
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Thanks for your replies.

@Alphaod - unfortunately even when you specify the default mac HD, it still looks in the external also.

@BlueRevolution - that's more what I was getting at. Does anyone know how to stop the bootup process from doing this unnecessary check? It doesn't add all that much time to the bootup time but I just don't see much point in checking every connected drive when you can change the boot device by using the boot option keys if you ever needed to.

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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I don't think it's possible, no. This is something that takes place on the firmware level, and isn't something that you want to be messing around with. You'll just have to resign yourself to the extra 5 seconds of startup time, or to leaving the external drive off until the boot process has begun.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 07:57 AM   #6
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Looks I'll just have to put up with the extra time then I shouldn't really be complaining anyway considering I'm used to waiting 10x as long for my old PC to boot up. Thanks again.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 08:37 AM   #7
Mike in Kansas
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How many times are you booting that this is an issue? You shouldn't be turning your Mac "off" when done, as there are maintenance scripts that run in the early AM (like 3AM) that should be run routinely as they keep your Mac running fast. I think the only time I ever boot is if a software installation requires it. Other than that, no crashes, no BSOD and and no other reason to turn it off as you can control everything else with the Power settings.

Edited to add: I see you are running a Macbook. In that case, you probably WOULD be turning it off more than a desktop. My mistake!
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
Edited to add: I see you are running a Macbook. In that case, you probably WOULD be turning it off more than a desktop. My mistake!
I don't know, my iBook only turns off every couple of weeks. The rest of the time it's plugged in and sleeping.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 09:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Kansas View Post
How many times are you booting that this is an issue? You shouldn't be turning your Mac "off" when done, as there are maintenance scripts that run in the early AM (like 3AM) that should be run routinely as they keep your Mac running fast. I think the only time I ever boot is if a software installation requires it. Other than that, no crashes, no BSOD and and no other reason to turn it off as you can control everything else with the Power settings.

Edited to add: I see you are running a Macbook. In that case, you probably WOULD be turning it off more than a desktop. My mistake!
Maintenance script runs when Mac OSX Leopard is wake up from sleep. Don't need to keep the computer on just for the scripts.

My MBP rarely reboots. It's either on or asleep.
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