Startup manager (holding "Option" key at boot) takes over 2 minutes to show up

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by antonis, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. antonis, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014

    antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Hi all,

    I wasn't able to find anything similar to the Yosemite threads yet, so I thought of posting this in case that rings any bells to anyone else:

    I've used all the incremental upgrades starting from latest 10.9 to 10.10 DP6 (that is, I've installed DP1 over Mavericks and then incrementally all the next ones, DP2, 3, 4, 5 & DP6).
    At some point (not sure exactly when) I've noticed the following odd issue that still persists. So here it is:

    The problem:
    When holding Option key during boot, the startup manager should be displayed. This is happening, but not before 2-3 minutes. If I don't hold the "Option" key, the OS X boots fine without any delays. I can confirm that this was not happening until recently.

    Troubleshooting so far:
    1. Tried booting with "Option" key without any external drives connected. Delay remains the same.

    2. Run the Apple h/w test. It completes successfully (although towards the end, it is stuck for several minutes - I don't know if this is normal or not since I didn't use it before on this machine).

    3. Removed the third party memory just in case. No change.

    However, besides the huge delay, when the startup manager shows up, it works fine and boots everything as before (internal & external volumes).

    The only thing I've not tried yet, is to completely wipe the Yosemite and go back to 10.9 (since there are changes on EFI for each version of OS).

    The machine: Mac Pro late-2013, quad core, D700s, 512 SSD, 12GB RAM + 4GB from 3rd party vendor, Apple TBD monitor.

    Thanks for reading this.

    P.S. Taking the machine back to reseller (no official apple here) is the last solution for me.
  2. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    During that waiting period, is anything on screen?

    Throughout that period, is the Option key pressed? Or do you release the key a few seconds after power on?

    What's the model identifier of the Mac? You'll find it in System Information.

    Is the disk hard, or solid state?

    Please run the following command in Terminal, paste the result to this topic:

    diskutil list
    Also in System Information – if you start from an internal drive – you'll find an indication of whether S.M.A.R.T. status is verified for that drive.

    Use Disk Utility to verify (not repair) the affected volume(s). Do those volumes appear to be OK?

    (More thorough tests may be appropriate, but S.M.A.R.T. and Disk Utility are OK for quick starters.)

    Save NVRAM settings – if the the problem is related to Yosemite, it may be useful to include the information in feedback to Apple. Another command, this one will produce a file on the desktop:

    nvram -p > ~/Desktop/NVRAM.txt
    Then reset NVRAM.

    About NVRAM and PRAM

    Then use the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences to prefer a startup volume.

    Finally, restart and use the Option key to see whether Startup Manager behaviour is improved.

    You're probably familiar with this article, but for the record:

    Startup Manager: How to select a startup volume

  3. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Just the usual dark screen that shows before the apple logo.

    Used both ways. No change. I should note here that the startup chime is heard immediately, without any delays, as expected.


    It's the internal SSD.

    Here it is:
       #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
       0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.3 GB   disk0
       1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
       2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            499.4 GB   disk0s2
       3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3

    S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

    Both device (Apple SSD) and partition (Macintosh HD) completed the tests without any errors.

    I've resetted NVRAM successfully. Startup Manager still shows the same delay.

    I'm tempted more and more to do a full clean re-installation of Mavericks just out of curiosity. It's just that it's too much of a hassle, and it's not that the problem is a show-stopper at first place.

    Thanks for replying to my post.
  4. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Curiosity is a good thing but for the given symptoms, I don't have high confidence that clean installation – of either operating system – will be an effective long-term workaround for the problem.

    You might learn more by starting the Mac in verbose mode. There's the occasional approach –

    Mac OS X: How to start up in single-user or verbose mode

    – or you can make a setting in NVRAM that will result in verbose boots (and verbose shut downs), consistently, for as long as may be required. In Terminal:

    sudo nvram boot-args="-v keepsyms=y"
    (-v for verbosity. The other part of that nvram command is not essential, but may prove to be informative if ever there's a kernel panic.)
  5. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    First of all, thanks for all your replies.

    Back to the issue, if I don't call the Startup Manager screen, OS X boots as fast as ever, and it is rock solid for anything I do afterwards (as a matter of fact, Yosemite DPs seem to be the most stable ones, compared to all previous OS X DPs). Also, the fact that the startup chime is heard immediately is a good thing as it means that the basic tests performed after power on (cpu, logic board, memory) are completed successfully.

    I'll make sure to update this thread if/when I find the time to downgrade to mavericks and see what happens then.

  6. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Finally, the cause of the problem has been found. I've disconnected the Apple TB Display and tried an older monitor, connected with HDMI. When I did that, the startup manager appeared as fast as it should. I don't know how's that possible since I've been using the Apple TBD from day 1, but it must be something that relates with one of the latest Yosemite updates (installed a different EFI driver for this monitor or the boot search sequence is messed up when this monitor is also connected ? ).
  7. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Startup Manager and Thunderbolt

    Thanks. Nice discovery. If you have not already done so, please feed the details of the problem to Apple.

    Some of that discovery rings a bell from a few months ago – before Yosemite. If I can find (and share) related information, I will.
  8. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    You mean by the feedback report of Yosemite DP ? Or is there a more generic route for such issues ?

    Thank you.
  9. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Yep, Feedback Assistant should be ideal.
  10. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
  11. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    A very interesting update to the issue: I've hooked the Apple TB Display on a Macbook Air. Guess what; the Startup Manager on Macbook Air needed over 2 minutes to show up, as well !

    So, it seems that Apple TB Display messes up the startup manager of every mac running Yosemite DP6+ (it might also be DP5+ but I cannot verify).
  12. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Whatever bell was rung, I can't easily find it. Sorry.

    What make and model is the keyboard?

    If wired, is the keyboard connected to the MacPro6,1 or to a hub? A hub in the Thunderbolt display, maybe?

    Any other wired or wireless peripherals?
  13. antonis thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    No worries, it seems the issue is related to this specific display, anyway. Other TB devices when connected don't trigger the issue.

    Standard apple wired full-sized keyboard connected directly on Mac. No connections on the TB display itself at all. Macbook Air also has no external connections. When TB display is connected, the issue shows up on both machines.

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