Mac Pro mid 2010 slow boot with SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by empezar, May 27, 2011.

  1. empezar macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2006

    My system setup is as follows:

    * Mac Pro QC 2,8 GHz mid 2010
    * 3 GB stock RAM
    * 4 x 1 TB harddrives, three of which form a 3 TB RAID
    * 120 GB SSD system drive (hooked up in one of the "DVD slot SATA cables")
    * OS X 10.6 on the 120 GB system drive.

    My boot time used to be about 17 seconds after installing the SSD. But after a while, the boot up time extended to 1-1,5 minutes. It's really really slow. The main part of the boot up time is spent with a BLACK SCREEN _prior_ to the Apple logo.

    I initially thought this was due to my Boot Camp partition, as the computer got a lot slower around the time when I installed Windows... However, I removed this partition, and the boot time was still 1+ minutes.

    The computer is working perfectly fine since I bought it in august last year, so I hardly doubt there is something wrong with the hardware.

  2. Garamond macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2004
  3. cjgonzales1900 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    Have you tried backing up the OS or using disk utility to verify the disk. If something is wrong try backing up your info and reinstalling Mac OS X. I would not use time machine as it may contain the problem in your backup. just a thought.
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    I hate to say it, but I'm suspicious of your SSD drive. SSDs are good for only a certain number of writes, and yours is a well-used unit by now. I'm unfamiliar with what diagnostics exist for checking SSDs but that would be my first step if I were in your shoes.
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    "Well-used" after less than a year?

    Unless you write hundreds of gigabytes every single day, you can't possibly wear out a SSD within that timeframe.

    Just for reference, Intel guarantees a lifetime of 5 years at 20GB per day writes for the Postville series. Considerably more than you could ever write to a OS/app drive. Unless you use the drive for frequently storing large files or scratch, you'll never reach 20GB, not even close. I experience less than 1GB per day of writes to my 160GB.
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I believe it is the ssd and the lack of ram. If he has not worn the ssd out he may have a crowded ssd that the system can't find a spot to write on easily.

    I don't know if he has over written the ssd and worn it out. Maybe it is overfull like 115 gb out of 120. Also I don't know the make and model of it, but if he really has 3gb ram I am thinking he has billions of pageouts this means his system used the ssd billions of time as ram . It may have worn the ssd out. He needs to go to activity menu and look under system memory check his page ins and page outs. every page out means a write to the ssd with only 3gb ram I am betting he has written to the ssd a lot. also if the ssd is full or close to full it becomes hard to find a spot to write to the ssd.

    Buy some ram 3gb is really silly. enough to make me think the post may not be real.

    As a complete aside
    he may have a new program or some piece of gear attached that is causing this.

    I would also think the raid wants to die. First free test is pull all 3 raid hdds and boot. See if you get faster.
  7. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    Everything before the Grey Screen + Spin Wheel has NOTHING to do with OSX or the hard drive.

    If you would use a normal hard drive and listen carefully, you would notice they sometimes do not even start spinning until the grey screen.

    So if your computer is doing something for a long time before the grey screen, I would say its another issue.

    Try reset PRAM / SMC. Google for guides (or
  8. Riot Nrrrd macrumors regular

    Riot Nrrrd

    Feb 23, 2011
    Lost Androideles
    Boot in verbose mode

    Hold down the Command + V keys and then power up your Mac Pro (with your other hand) and see how long it takes for the verbose boot messages to appear on the screen, and then from that point how long it takes to get from when they first appear until the login window (assuming you don't have it set for auto-login).
  9. wfj5444 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008
    Yeah that is either PRAM or SMC.

    SMC reset is easy. Turn off your Mac Pro, and pull the power cord out for 20 seconds.

    PRAM reset is Command-Option-P-R (hold down all the keys at once) then boot the machine, wait for it to reboot and then you are done.
  10. empezar thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2006
    After 1 day and 8 hours of uptime, I have 137 mb "page outs" in my Activity Monitor. I haven't used the computer all that much since I bought it. Perhaps on average about 2-4 hours a day? So I don't think I've exceeded the 20 GB a day limit. The SSD is an Corsair Force F120 disk.

    When I bought the system I couldn't afford more RAM than the base level. I figured I would buy more if I thoght the system was slow. I have yet to experience it being slow. I am however buying 12 GB RAM in about a month or so from OWC.

    As I said - the slow bootup is BEFORE the gray screen comes up, and since the RAID is software RAID, I doubt that's the problem here.

    I will try the CMD + V thing and resetting PRAM/SMC. Thanks for the suggestions!
  11. empezar thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2006
    Thanks a ton guys! The PRAM reset did the trick! I've been suffering through these long bootup times for like more than half a year now. I can't believe it was that easy to fix!
  12. wfj5444 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008
    Glad that worked. My wife suffered for about a month of the same on her iMac. She wasn't about to wait, which is why I knew the solution. hehe.
  13. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    The problem with ssds is not wearing out all the nand cells but filling all the nand cells. When every nand cell has been used once the ssd will get slow, this is known as performance degradation. OS X only uses TRIM for the Apple ssds so every other ssd will have to have a proper garbage collection mechanism. This differs from brand to brand and even from controller to controller. Both TRIM and GC will clear out any cells that are allowed to be cleared out. If filling the drive was intentional there won't be any cells allowed to be cleared out and TRIM/GC will make no difference. The only thing that will help is deleting data. Any hdd will have the same kind of problem.

    @Cindori: that isn't true at all. Using an OCZ Vertex in an early 2008 MBP will cause the machine to not boot from any dvd other than the installation dvd that came with the MBP. So there is some relation to the disk in the machine (in this case it is most likely a bug in the EFI that Mac comes with as newer Macs do not have this problem any more). The EFI itself does numerous things with the hardware. When starting a Mac the first thing what it does is a simple diagnostics of the hardware. Other things are initialisation of the hardware and getting the machine to boot off the optical drive, disk (internal, external) or network.
  14. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    You actually wear out the cells by filling them. Every cell is only good for a certain amount of write cycles. If you get past this cycle, the cell becomes unusable.
    But as I said, you have to write a lot to wear out the cells in a year. For a OS/boot only drive, this is hardly possible.
  15. Torster macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2010
    Folsom, CA
    Another thing that might be contributing to the slow boot is the presence of the other drives in the extra bays.

    As a simple test, pull those drives out when its off and then power up. You might see it boot faster. We always note a slower SSD boot when there are other drives in the bays. I think it has something to do with the way that the Mac Pro fires up the drives in sequence. I'm pretty sure that all of the drives don't spin up all at once, so the more drives you have will slow the boot process.

    If you need all those drives, then there is nothing you can do to prevent the slower boot up process. However, once its up and running we see the SSD acting at full speed.


Share This Page