SLOWWWW startup

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by colinet, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. colinet macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I have a dual Quad-Core MacPro2,1 with 13 gig of ram. My boot disc is two 1gig drives set up as mirrored raid. I have two other drives - all appear to verify etc OK.

    A couple of weeks ago it started taking about 6 minutes between pressing the power button and being ready to go. Before that it was much quicker - didn't time as it seemed pretty quick.

    I assumed it must be some software problem so I did a clean reformat then re-instal of Snow Leopard. It still takes over five and a half minutes. The hardware tests I've done say there's nothing wrong. Zapping PRAM makes no difference. I have a horrible feeling there is something about to fail!!

    I have a Drobo with 4 x 1.5 TB drives as my time machine which goes back over one year now and is about half full. Does the computer check all this data each time I start up? If it does could this possibly explain the long boot time?

    Any (other) ideas?
     
  2. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    Don't know if this offers any clues but -

    Time from pressing start button to grey screen - 9 seconds

    Time from pressing start button to blue screen - 1 minute 36 seconds

    Time from pressing start button to desktop - 5 minutes 40 seconds
     
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    Maybe you need a faster computer. :rolleyes:

    This is after a clean install? Did you restore the Time Machine backup afterwards, or did you start fresh?
     
  4. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    The first time I did a complete re-install from Time Machine - took over 10 hours and in the morning it told me it had done it successfully. All looked fine until I double clicked on ANY application and which then crashed and gave me an error message! So much for Time Machine!

    So I then reformatted again and clean install of Snow Leopard + system update. Then I reinstalled a lot of applications but left out those I hadn't used for a long time. Then I copied my user folder back from time machine.

    Everything works pretty well OK. It's just the very long start-up that's making me nervous. - got an excellent bit of shareware - WorkSaver - set up to automatically save my Pages files every minute. I didn't not reinstall anything Microsoft (word and excel were all I used and even word 2008 wants rosetta)
     
  5. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Yes, well it is nearly 3 years old!!
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #6
    Are you experiencing any crashes/beachballing/kernel panics?
     
  7. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I do get the odd quirky thing. For example when I open a new Photoshop CS4 file - this could be a small blank file not a huge one - and I click to create a new layer, I usually get the beach ball for quite a while. Other layers after the first one usually pop up straight away.

    I have a 15,000 rpm 150GB raptor drive as my scratch disc with plenty of space, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

    I get other beach ball delays too, but I haven't made a note of them - things are a bit hard at the moment - my wife is having cancer treatment (will be OK) but looking after and as well as doing my work is exhausting!!

    VERY rare Photoshop crashes, but I reckon that's par for the course!
     
  8. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #8
    I notice my computers usually start slower depending on the number of drives installed.

    Unplug the unnecessary drives (the drives not part of your RAIDed boot set) and give that a try.
     
  9. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'll give it a try, but these drives have been in the machine from day 1 (2007) and the slow startup is only a few weeks old. Though I suppose if one of the other drives has a fault of some sort (they check out OK) that could be affecting it.

    Maybe my brainwaves are trying to destroy my machine because of the rumours of updated MacPros next week!!
     
  10. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I had a second DVD burner in the second slot and noticed that was making nasty clicking noises on startup, but taking it out didn't help.
     
  11. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #11
    The same thing happens with Windows machines. I walk in and they just start spewing...or maybe it's just all the time, I'unno.
     
  12. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    OK - removed drives 3 & 4 and unplugged Drobo and the startup time was fractionally quicker - 5 minutes 20 seconds so it was 17 seconds faster, but then I image each time would be slightly different anyway.
     
  13. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Yay Area, CA
    #13
    Failing hard drives usually causes a long load times.... it could be that.
     
  14. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    Yeah, install some W1N on that failing drive.
     
  15. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I've never had a raid drive fail before. So if you're right, it looks like it will be one of my raid startup drives. How do you re-rebuild a raid group? Supposing I take out one of the drives and put a new one it it's place, then what?

    And of course I'd have a 50/50 chance of the failing one being the one I removed, so I'd replace drive A, re-build then replace drive B and rebuild again - to be on the ultra-safe side.
     
  16. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I've done every test I can think of - Apple's hardware test, Techtool pro 5, Drive Genius etc.etc and apparently everything is perfect!

    Still my machine takes over 5 minutes to start up when it took less than 2 a few weeks ago!!

    Suppose I'll just have to make sure I save all my work VERY often and wait and see . . .

    Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  17. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #17
    What were the last programs you installed and latest change in the system before this began?
     
  18. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    Here is what you can try:

    Safe Boot
    1. Shut the Mac down
    2. Hold the shift key
    3. Turn the Mac on

    This starts Safe Boot, during Safe Boot the system loads with the minimum required for the OS. This means it excludes 3rd party KEXTs and Fonts. Removes caches like the fonts cache and the KEXT cache. More info here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564

    If you Mac starts up faster, then you can more easily determine what is causing the problem. To find out what is causing the problem, move on to the next step:

    Verbose Mode
    1. Shutdown the Mac
    2. Hold Command + V
    3. Turn the Mac on

    This combination invokes verbose mode, in this mode all of the processes that take place after the booter and kernel are loaded will be displayed "verbosely" on the screen.

    In this mode you should see the pauses, take note of the last displayed line when a long pause occurs. These are likely the causes of the slow startup.

    Remove or update the offending software. Report back if you have any questions or problems.
     
  19. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #19
    Yeah, Verbose mode will slow its output texts on hangups and long processes, you'll spot them in in no time.
     
  20. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #20
    I tried verbose mode but it is of limited use. Yes, you get a lot of info on the screen, then it stops when the screen goes blue which is where my long delay is.

    I'll try Safe Boot and see what that does.
     
  21. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #21
    Well, that still indicates that launchd is stuck on something. It would have been better to do SafeBoot first, but please report back when you try it.
     
  22. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Ooops -

    Done that - held down shift key - Grey screen then apple symbol came up very quickly and then after abut a minute, the apple symbol was replaced by a No Entry symbol which something tells me can't be good.

    I'm away from my main machine on my laptop. I'll now go back to my office and turn on my old dual G5 so I can see what's happening with my MacPro.
     
  23. colinet thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    WOW - BLIMEY - Bloody Hell even!!!!

    LOVE THAT NO ENTRY SYMBOL!!

    The symbol just stayed there for minutes until I turned off the machine holding down the power button.

    Then pressed again to start up -

    total time to grey screen with Apple symbol - 4 seconds.
    total time to blue screen - 28 seconds
    total time to ready to go - split second after blue screen!!

    So total start up time less than 30 seconds - way to go.

    Should I assume that this was probably some naughty cache issue which the hanging safe boot got rid of?

    Thanks for all your help folks.

    PS - oh dear, no excuse to buy new machine, still darn't think how much the top 3G iPad's going to cost us here in OZ!)
     

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