Why does my macbook air (2.13 ghz, 128gb ssd) take so long to start up?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nawoo, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. nawoo macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    I've been noticing this issue for quite some time but never really gave much thought about it. But isn't start up on the ssd version meant to be really fast?

    It takes 45 seconds from pressing the power button to reaching the Grey Apple logo.

    from there, it takes another 13 seconds to get to desktop. I suppose thats the normal part of the start up right?

    My MBA isn't slow or anything. Programs still launch with 1-2 bounces for Lightroom, Photoshop, Itunes, Safari.

    I just want to know if there's an explanation for the lengthy 45 seconds that it takes to get from powering up to grey apple logo
  2. MacRuler macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    that is a very long start-up, is your disk full? try running disk permissions and stuff also run onyx. im getting 24 seconds on a rev a 1.6 runcore ssd
  3. redbotsoftware macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2009
    There is a great deal of variation on how different SSD's work. OWC has some nice YouTube videos explaining some of this. They talk about exactly what you're going through, with the drive slowing down over time. I don't think Apple stock SSD's are the fastest drives, or best drives to use, because of the speed drop over time.
  4. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    Nope, my disk is almost empty. I load all my main data and work on separate external harddisks and only copy the stuff that I need to work on onto the MBA at any one time.

    Other then that it's empty. Only programs like PS, Lightroom, iphoto, Plex, and Adium remain.

    It hasn't really slowed down on me. Programs still launch really quickly and nothing seems to have changed.

    Just that this 45 second power to Apple logo time is bugging me. I don't really turn it off anyway. Usually just leave it in Sleep mode most of the time. But yeah, this long boot bugs me, lol.

    Will a total reformat of the harddisk solve the problem?
  5. redbotsoftware macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2009
  6. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    Yeah I've read about that issue before. Just didn't think it'd happen to me. I have a mac mini and a PC, both with intel x-25 80gb ssd drives in them.

    Mac mini's about 1 yr old, same age as my macbook air since I got them at the same time. Boot up time is still blazing fast.

    I guess the apple SSD must suck then!

    I'll do a final test with my brother's MBA. He got it the same time I did as well.
  7. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Before you get worried about SSD problems, try resetting the startup disk. You do this in system preferences. I think the item is called Startup Disk or something similar. Just set it to, e.g., "Macintosh HD" or whatever your drive is called.

    I had the same problem -- well it looked the same -- with my (then) new iMac.

    Resetting the startup disk fixed the problem.

    Apparently, my Mac's firmware didn't know what to use as the startup disk and took ~45 sec to figure out/find my hard drive.

    Good luck.
  8. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    Redbot-loved that article-thanks. Funny I subscribe to MacWorld but somehow missed that article.:eek:
  9. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    run Disk Utility from your install disc and 'Verify Disk'
    next run TechTool Deluxe first to verify the integrity of all your hardware.

    that said and if everything checks out ok, my vote to a reformat would be a firm 'Yes'

    reason I say that is with exactly the same machine as yours now 13 month's old, I occasionally/regularly backup; erase with zero out option; and reinstall 10.6 then update fully; re-install all software and then bring across my home folder stuff and reorganise everything.

    1. interesting exercise which only takes around 2-4 hours (I have all the update needed stored on an external disc) and you learn heaps along the way thus being able to assist others.
    2. yields a snappy Air without any accumulated fluff.
    3. I've noticed zero 'degradation' in my SSD which is Apple-supplied.

    give it a go when you have half a day to spare.
    it's kinda fun and will fix your issue for sure.

    if it doesn't, then scoot into your Apple repair faciity and have them run some tests under warranty and replace the SSD if necessary
  10. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    Wow thanks for the info guys!

    I did the Verify disk check with Disk utility and halfway through the check, it stopped and gave an error msg saying I had an Invalid Volume Count. I think I need to start repairing the disk.

    I went into system preferences and reset the start up disk as well. And just like that, my boot time went back to normal. 10 seconds from power up to Apple logo, and 13 secs more to get to desktop!

    Even though the problem's solved, the damaged volume still worries me though, so I'm gonna get it fixed!
  11. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    if you start up from your install disc - whack it into an external drive and hold down option until you see the other drive then select it as your startup disc - you should be able in disk utility to select 'repair disc' from the window where you selected 'verify disc'
    (this only appears when you start up thusly)

    then you should be able to fix your issue
  12. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    Never realized how much of a hassle this lack of drive thing is.

    I almost never use the DVD drive, but now I do, so I have to buy an external drive just for this purpose because I don't have one. Couldn't install Snow Leopard too.

    I have to figure out how to run Remote disk That would work too right?
  13. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    This whole remote disk thing is pissing me off.

    I went into System preferences to try and find that Share DVD/CD option but it's not there. Isn't it supposed to be like an automatic option?


    I've already installed my DVD sharing set up on my other computer.

    I still see a remote disk option in finder and when I try to click on it, it says I have to ask for permission. So I do that and accept the request on the other computer, but nothing happens. The disk that's in the com still doesn't show up.

    What am I doing wrong here?
  14. eba macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2007
    I had the same problem - nearly a minute just to get to the Apple logo - and I'm pretty sure I found the cause in my case. I had a BootCamp partition, which I deleted, and that's when the problem began. I tried resetting the startup disk System Preferences, but it made no difference. So I just lived with it for awhile.

    Last night, though, I reinstalled another BootCamp partition. Then shifted the startup disk from Mac to Windows and back. Problem solved. Startup time back to normal.

    My guess is that I had Windows set as my startup OS when I deleted the BootCamp partition, thus confusing the startup cycle - it was looking for the departed BootCamp partition.
  15. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    On the non-MBA, disable the firewall completely. Should work just fine.

    Don't forget to turn it back on, though.
  16. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    why not buy yore good self a LaCie external drive (LightScribe it is too!) and then you have a 'bootable' external drive which is most useful.
    DVD sharing is way overrated
  17. nawoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2008
    Yeah I think I might just do that.

    But i don't think i'll be using the MBA for much longer anyway. Will be going for the next revision of the 17" Macbook pro.

    I'm a fine art wedding photographer and the MBA is just too weak to do major photo editing on the go. Running photoshop actions on it is really slow compared to my i7 980x desktop (naturally!)

    I can't even watch Hi def 720p MKVs on it while running even Plex with it's Hardware accelerated binary. The movie will play fine for about 15 minutes, but then it puts too much stress on the system and it starts to heat up, fans start humming and the video lags to an unwatchable level.

    Screen isn't really that good for editing photos either.

    I use my desktop for most of my editing, but it would be nice to have a MBP that's powerful enough to enable me to work on the go when I'm off traveling for overseas shoots.

    I'll still keep the MBA though. Always good to have an ultra light portable when weight is an issue (ie. Backpacking!)
  18. ryfly macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    Denver, CO

    Second on the external drive, by far the quickest thing to determin software issue from hardware plus no need to boot from a stinkin CD, i;ve got to many as is.
  19. lugesm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007

    Had the same problem with my 6 month old 13" MacBook Air; took about 45 seconds to boot.
    Reset the startup disk, and it is as fast as ever.

    Thanks for the tip ! ! ! ! :)

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