Extremely slow boot up times on iMac [Yosemite]

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Iarwain, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Iarwain macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2016

    I'm new here so hope I've posted this in the right place!

    I'm on a desktop Mac from late 2012 running Yosemite (10.10.5) and it's been running absolutely fine for months until this last week when I've suddenly been experiencing extremely slow boot up times. This morning, it took almost half an hour to boot-up! I have no idea why this has happened because although the machine is a few years old, the specs are still decent and there's no way I should be waiting that long for it boot up when previously it would take less than a minute.

    I get to the screen with the grey background and the dark grey Apple logo with the loading bar underneath, and that's when I end up waiting for what seems like forever. Does anybody have any idea what might be causing this, and how I would go about diagnosing/fixing the problem? The specs are as follows:

    OS X Yosemite 10.10.5
    3.2Ghz Intel Core i5
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM (2x 4GB sticks and 1x 8GB stick)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX w/ 1024MB RAM
    1TB SATA HDD (758GB free)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    You could check the HDD SMART data. Anything other than 'Passed' would likely indicate the hard-drive is failing.

    If that comes back clean, run a volume verification in Disk Utility. If the volume is corrupted (lists red writing), you can fix that by holding CMD+R on startup and repairing through Disk Utility.

    You could also try shutting down with reopen windows when logging back in disabled. Also check/disable unwanted startup items. Occasionally reopening background processes can cause a few problems.

    If it's still having hiccups or if no issues were identified with the above troubleshooting steps... hmm.

    Could you quote this either way to let me know the outcome?

    Thank you and speak with you soon!
  3. Iarwain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2016
    Thanks for the quick reply. I've just run that SMART utility app and lo and behold, the hard drive is failing (screenshot attached below).

    I'm guessing there's no fix for this (other than replacing the hard drive)? I'm surprised by this, but maybe I shouldn't be. I have been running a script 24/7 for the past 6 months that accesses the Twitter Streaming API and constantly writes tweets to a txt file (which has now reached ~150GB of plain text). I never thought that would degrade the HDD so quickly though.

  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011

    Holy smokes, there are a lot of bad sectors on that drive. I'm surprised the thing booted up at all.

    Nothing you've done, really; hard-drive technology is so unreliable and can simply fail from wear-and-tear. Replace the drive with an SSD! That means that there's no chance of failure in the future, plus it will massively increase system performance. Cold boot in about 10 seconds. Apps will open instantly.
  5. Iarwain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2016
    Yeah I've got an SSD in my MacBook and the difference is incredible. The only problem is I can't change the hardware in this Mac because it's in my university's lab. Luckily we have a few others that I can use (and I've just ran the same test on one of them - 0 bad sectors and 0 errors!)

    It's weird because the performance is generally okay with this Mac, which makes me think that it'll be fine as long as I never turn it off. It's just booting which seems to be the problem.
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah it's weird with reallocated sectors — they'll just move the data from corrupted sectors onto ones that aren't corrupted, so the performance can be pretty similar in some instances, providing the drive isn't full of data and has enough free space.

    However read/write speeds and boot up times will suffer greatly as a result of a failing drive.

    Best to let the IT team know! You might get a few brownie points.
  7. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    While I agree that SSD are much faster and less likely to fail than hard drive I wouldn't claim that there is no change of failure.

    SSD can fail and if it fails badly enough good luck getting your data out...

    OP: If you do intend to use the Mac make sure to have good backups, using failing drive is risky.

Share This Page