Macbook pro takes two and a half hours to start

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stafh, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. stafh macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    My macbook pro froze up one day, and since then it has taken 2,5 hours to start it up. I press the start button, the led in the front lights up, fans turn on, optical disc starts spinning a little, and nothing else happens. It just sits there for two hours and about 27 minutes with no activity and a black screen, and then it magically boots up just like normal.

    I've tried resetting the SMC and the NVRAM and the PRAM and all that with no success. I've even formated the harddrive and re-installed OS X. I also ran the apple hardware test, which said that everything was fine. I tried switching RAM with a friend of mines MBP, that did not help either.

    Any idea what's causing this?
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    How fast did it start up from the DVD when you reinstalled the OS?

    It could be the HD is dying.
  3. a456 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2005
    Maybe time machine has taken you back to the stoneage. :)

    Sorry, I know that humour is no use at a time of utter frustration like this. Take it to a genius bar and demand some answers. This is beyond unacceptable. (It just works - yeah, after two and half hours.)
  4. stafh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Same as always... black screen for 2.5 hours, and then a normal boot.

    Actually, the other day it broke even more. After the customary 2.5 hours, the apple would show up and the wheel would spin for a few seconds, and then it would shut off without warning. I ran the disc utility from the DVD and it said that the HD had some errors. After i erased and formated the drive, the disc utility said that the drive was functional, and after i installed OS X the computer would boot up normally again (apart from the 2.5 hours).

    Unfortunately the warranty ran out about a year ago :/
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Sounds like a hardware issue to me - might be the PMU, since you haven't reset that yet.
  6. stafh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    I thought the SMC was the equivalent of the PMU on a macbook pro... I reset it by unplugging the battery and powerchord and holding the power button for five seconds (
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    D'oh! You are right. In that case, since resetting the PRAM, NVRAM, and SMC didn't help, you've probably either got an intermittent connection failure somewhere on your logic board, or a dying hard drive, like someone earlier mentioned. I'd check your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. status from Disk Utility, if possible - if it says "Failing" then you definitely need to replace that drive.
  8. Freelancer macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2005
    Did you run the Apple Hardware Test that comes on the dvd shipped with you Macbook Pro?
  9. karmachrome macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2008
    iPod attached?

    If my iPod is connected at boot, it does the same thing.
  10. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    have you all gone into SYSTEM PREFERENCES and make sure that your Mac partition is the boot partition?

    try repairing HD permissions?

    This does not sounds like hardware to me.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I know VMware slows the boot down a bit, but to that degree!

    Have you tried Target Boot?

    Whatever you try, back up everything, if you haven't already.
  12. stafh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Nothing wrong with the S.M.A.R.T. status.

    Yep, no errors were found.

    No ipod is connected... nothing else either for that matter.

    I only have one partition so i don't think that's the problem.

    Tried reparing HD permissions... one error was found and repaired, it made no difference.

  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Resetting SMC and PRAM I know the commands for. But what does holding the power button for 10 seconds until it beeps do (with it plugged in)?

    When I had issues with my MacBook Pro, the Apple guy told me to do that.
  14. stafh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    I think the problem lies before the boot... When the computer has been turned on for 2.5 hours, it boots up just like normal. Before that it's just black (apart from the front led, which lights up).

    I did boot it up in target disc mode and retrieved some stuff that i needed before i formated it... as usual, it took 2.5 hours for it to boot up in target disc mode.
  15. isauce macrumors regular


    May 21, 2008
    Have you tried to replace your HD and install a fresh copy of OS X. It really does seem like the HD is causing the problem.
  16. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Sounds like a failing Harddrive.

    Backup data ASAP and get it serviced!
  17. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    I agree. Even though it may take you 2.5 hours to load it, it may give an indication of what is going wrong with your machine. Run the quick test, followed by the extended test. It could be your drive is starting to die.
  18. deltaiscain macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Did you try booting into verbose mode? hold down left shift when starting up. and try if you have a separate hard drive, to copy your hard drive to that, and boot from it when starting up your mac. hold down alt/option key, and select the separate hard drive
  19. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    hold the alt/option button down @ turn on, select your boot drive.

    does it go fast?
  20. TheVendor macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2008
  21. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    +1 on the failing HD.

    imo a fresh format/install shouldnt pop up with errors in Disk Utility.
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Tried resetting the startup drive?

    System Preferences > Startup Disk

    Though normally a bad choice should take that long to resolve, and for the machine to find a good boot volume.

    And yes, a bad drive doesn't mean a flagged SMART.
  23. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    I have found "smart" status to be less reliable than a falling drive in my past.

    its a good thing to monitor, but by any means is it "dependable."
  24. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I would say 99% certain it's a failing HDD - it could be a faulty sector that's taking an age to read and stopping the machine starting up properly: The boot process won't continue until the drive has reported it is ready, even if booting from an optical drive.
    Try this: Get the machine in a quiet room and power it on. Listen very, very carefully to the machine (put your ear on or very close to the chassis) - if you hear a click, click, click sound then it's the Hard drive
  25. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    I almost don't think it's a failing hard drive.

    Have you taken out whatever disc is in the drive? Does it take forever with no optical disc inside?

    Boot in verbose mode (command + V held at startup) to see where it hangs at for so long.

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