What's This? - Genius Bar Doesn't Know. Boot Options w Airport.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by aaphid, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. aaphid macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Whenever I hold Opt at startup I get a screen with the available boot drives and below it I see a drop down bar with the Airport icon next to it.

    If I select the Windows partition the computer seems to freeze for 1 or 2 minutes and then starts loading windows. While it is frozen I can't move the mouse cursor and nothing seems to be happening. This is how things happen at home.

    When I took it to the Genius Bar the Mini booted into Windows in about 15 seconds. The main difference is that the Airport Bar wasn't visible when I was at the store. I asked a few of the staff there and some said they did see it with their Macs at home and some didn't.

    So I'd like to know what it is and how do I turn it off and get into bootcamp quicker?

    Here's a video of it:-
  2. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Have you tried turning off AirPort before rebooting?
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My linux partitions sit there for about 30 seconds at the gray screen before commencing the boot cycle. Sounds similar to your problem, and I also have an airport (time capsule). Its not that annoying for me since I rarely reboot my machine - I'll stay in what ever environment I choose.
  4. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009

    Unfortunately it doesn't help.
  5. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    The reason things freeze is that it takes a little while for the "legacy" boot process to get to a point where it can draw to the screen (on "PC"s this is where the vendors splash screen would come up). It sounds like something is causing the computer to pause before Windows actually takes over the screen. You seem to be leaning towards WiFi, but I wonder if maybe you have additional external devices (like an external HD) at home that Windows might be pausing at before booting.
  6. Mumford macrumors regular


    Oct 8, 2006
    Altadena, CA
    If this were a linux system, I'd think it was trying to do a network boot (and timing out) or trying a reverse DNS looking that's causing the delay. Debugging this will be pretty difficult.

    Are you using DHCP? Is the DNS information being given out by DHCP "good"?

    You can try mashing F8 after you select the OS to see if you can bring up the more verbose Windows startup. Another thing to do, if you have the expertise, is get a second computer going with Wireshark or some equivalent network sniffer and see if you can figure out what's what.
  7. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    Have you tried changing your startup disk? The same thing happened on my iMac and it was down to the startup disk being set for a network drive...
  8. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    I tried unplugging everything except the monitor and the keyboard. Still the same.

    I agree


    Ummm.... I think so. I've had the same wireless setup here for about five years now. I've only just replaced my Mac 6 months ago.

    Unfortunately this doesn't work. The Mac freezes as soon as I select the Boot Camp partition and doesn't appear to be doing any Windows boot processes at all. After a minute or so the hdd starts ticking and loading Windows. After that point I can try holding down F8 etc, but it's already too late.

    Yup, tried that one too thanks.
  9. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    The airport options are there for Remote Install OS X. It was first introduced with the MacBook Air in 2008. I believe that you are seeing the option on your Mac Mini because the Mac Mini Server does not have an optical drive.

    When you took the Mac Mini to the Genius Bar, how did they set up the Mini? Did they just plug in the power cable and attach it to a Monitor and keyboard, or was it set up differently? (perhaps with an external hard drive or something else)
  10. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    OK, that makes sense. Except my Mini isn't a server and it does have an optical drive. Hmmm...

    At the Genius Bar they set it up exactly the same way as I set it up at home. I tried to keep it dead simple with only the monitor, keyboard and mouse.
  11. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    I finally sent an email to "Mac OS X FeedBack" at Apple to see if they could help.

    I sent my report over a week ago and so far there has been no response what so ever.

    I can only assume that this is one of those faults that Apple would prefer not to acknowledge.
  12. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    You know, I never thought about it. But I might have the same thing. I reboot double click on the Windows partition and my mouse locks up. Never thought anything about it because after 20 to 30 seconds the Windows splash screen comes up. I figured this was normal because it has to be loading something at this point and windows does take a few seconds before the splash screen pops up. Never thought much about it. I have an Airport Extreme; always have. Wonder if this is why? I'm intrigued now. :D
  13. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I expect that both versions of Mini would have the same ROM.
  14. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Try turning off your wireless router before you reboot into Windows. This should eliminate any wireless signals it picks up. If it boots fast, then you know it's most likely trying to do something. You'll need to dump the traffic to determine what it is doing.
  15. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Thanks belvdr. Tried that but still no difference.
  16. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    What makes you think that Apple is going to call you back on that? Someone filed it away and if enough people report similar problems then some manager will decide that it is worth spending some QA guy's time to see if they can reproduce it. Assuming that they can then a manager will make the decision whether it is worth spending the engineering time to fix it.

    But the the feedback mechanism is not going to get an engineer, or even a customer service rep, to contact you to fix your problem, especially since by your own report this is not keeping you from doing anything.
  17. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I just select it via keyboard and enter "Enter", clicking the button seems to be slower then using keyboard for me.
  18. thebreadking macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Same problem here as OP, and have tried pretty much all suggested solutions. Only a couple of times has it nearly immediately booted into Windows (XP Pro), I had originally thought it was the external HD, but it was not the case; most of the time it takes a good minute to three minutes before it starts the boot processes and flashes the XP boot screen. I was frustrated for the longest time, but never filed a report; I'll do so now, however. Nowadays I plan that delay in the schedue, as it's a good time to grab something from the kitchen, a bathroom break, etc.

    I'll be watching this thread with interest, as well.
  19. aaphid thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2009
    I finally got the answer from Apple. Their Engineering department provided the following...

    "Scanning networks can add time to the picker process, depending on the number of networks found. There is no way to turn it off. Only MacBook Air and newer Mac mini support this feature."

    So if like me you have one of these 2 Macs and there are a lot of wifi networks nearby then it will take a long time to boot and there is nothing that can be done about it.

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