Leopard + Time Machine USB Disk + Bonging @ Startup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by CLuv, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. CLuv macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2007
    Northern VA, USA
    Is this a Leopard issue or just something that is found with OS X:

    I have an external drive connected to my C2D MacBook for Time Machine use via USB. If I leave it connected to the MacBook and restart or start up from a cold start I get a "bong" with the grey screen, but it won't actually get into Leopard.

    Is this normal?

    Am I supposed to only connect after it's been restarted and/or started up from a cold start?

    Or am I supposed to "eject" the drive in OS X, but still leave it connected to the MacBook in order to avoid?

    I'm also asking, since I'm going to get my parents an iMac for Xmas, and if I can't leave it connected at all times this will drive my Dad crazy. Which in turn will drive me crazy since he will bug me about it. I guess that's not too bad of a trade off, considering I've rebuilt their XP machine 5 times over the past 6 years.

    Thanks, and if this is somewhere in the forums I apologize but I couldn't seem to locate anything on this.
  2. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    You could try System Preferences and make sure your internal drive is selected under "Startup Disk". If it boots without the external drive connected, but not with it, my first guess would be that the computer tries to boot off the external one. How long have you waited at the grey screen?

    Anyway, you should be able to boot the computer with external drives plugged in and up running without following any extra rituals every time. I certainly am. :)
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This may sound stupid, but did you give it a little while at the grey screen? I don't have Leopard or an Intel Mac, but my experience is that, if there are additional bootable drives plugged in at boot, then it will spend 5-10 seconds at the grey screen investigating them before proceeding to boot off the default boot disk.
  4. CLuv thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2007
    Northern VA, USA
    I tried it again, and now I can actually get into Leopard. As mentioned I guess it's "investigating" the external drive. The "bonging" is the Startup Theme playing, but it's struggling towards the end while it fades out.

    Will it eventually speed itself up, and play normally and not sound like the damn thing is dying? Or is there a way to speed it up so it sounds normal at startup?

    System Preferences doesn't even show this external as a Startup Device, and Mac OS X 10.5 is selected and always has been.

  5. Jagadis macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2007
    I'm running a 20" iMac Core Duo with a Western Digital 320 MB My Book Essential USB 2.0 drive and I'm experiencing the same thing since I upgraded to Leopard and started using Time Machine. If I do a reboot when the drive is on and connected, the Mac's screen stays gray after the bong for a good 2-3 minutes before it boots normally. If the drive is off or disconnected, the Mac boots normally.

    I've tried investigating just about everything. I reformatted the drive to a Mac partition format (GUID) and have selected the internal as the startup, etc. I've repaired permissions and even spent some time scouring through the system logs for clues.

    It looks like the Mac is getting confused during startup and is trying to start off of the external. It eventually times out and starts normally after 2-3 minutes but I'm beginning to think this is a bug or something messed up in the Boot RAM. I've tried zapping the PRAM and the NVRAM and that doesn't help either. I think we just have to wait until Apple fixes the bug.


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