4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2013 2:58 PM by Richie Hatch
Richie Hatch Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

Hi all...


Happy new year...!


As a little christmas present for myself I purchased a Crucial M4 256GB SSD for my MacPro 4,1 (2.26GHz, 22GB RAM, 10.8.2). I'm a semi-pro photographer and wanted a bit of a speed up for my processing etc etc. So yesterday I cloned my existing system drive to the SSD with Carbon Copy Cloner. I then installed the SSD in the spare superdrive bay (my other 4 bays are used).

Just as a background my previous startup/shutdown times on this machine where quite slow averaging around 90s for startup and around 45s for shutdown. I had assumed that this was normal and was just a slow syetm HD issue. When I changed the startup disk to the new SSD and booted up the startup time did decrease but not significantly... its now exactly 59s whilst the shutdown times go down to around 30s. In use the speed of the OS is massively improved with applications and local file copying blazingly fast. I've a few friends who upgraded MacBook Pro's and others macs with SSD's and their startups are around 10-15 seconds....!!! I'm not overly bothered by the slow startups/shutdowns but I am curious as to what might be causing these delays. In testing today I deleted everything unecessary from my user account startup items, disabled various apps and checked the /library/startupitems for anything that shoudnt be there. After a couple of hours trying I cant find anything that is effecting the startups and am lost. I'll likely just accept it and move on as in use the SSD is impressive but if anyone has any ideas it'd be appreciated!


A second thing that has happened is that whenever I try to delete/modify/move an app I am now asked to type in my user password. I have tried repairing permissions, checking the permissions of my .Trash folder etc etc but as of yet nothing has worked. Any ideas...??


Many thanks and Happy New Year yet again.



Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Canon Stuff... Bags of it...!
  • 1. Re: Slow startup and password issue.
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)

    RE: moving Apps


    I think this has been added to MacOS X over the last several versions and you are just seeing it now because you are doing more moving. I do not think this is a defect of any kind.


    RE: slow SSD


    How much File storage are you using on this SSD out of its actual capacity?


    What steps have you taken to ensure that it does not immediately clog with deleted data?

  • 2. Re: Slow startup and password issue.
    Richie Hatch Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

    Thanks for the reply Grant.


    Before I did the system clone I deleted a lot of old unused Apps to make extra space on the SSD. Passwords where not asked for when doing this so something has changed with the SSD and permissions I think...???


    As for space remaining on the SSD... I have used 97GB of a total of 209GB (256GB formatted).


    I have yet to enable Trim support on the SSD but might do if I notice significant performance slips. I had read that its fairly optional anyway as the drive has its own 'Garbage Collection" so to speak...?


    I notice you have a similar MacPro in your signature....? What are your startup times like?





  • 3. Re: Slow startup and password issue.
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)

    The traditional way an Operating System deals with "deleted" files is to remove ONLY the Directory information and simply add the data blocks to the free pool. Those "deleted" data blocks are not cleared.


    This works in rotating drives because:


    1. The logical block size is the same or larger than the physical drive block size.


    2. Rotating magnetic media are block-for-block re-writable.


    In SSDs physical blocks are much larger "superblocks", and re-writing a portion of a superblock is a slow and difficult read-modify-write operation. In addition, since the OS did not notify the drive what data are no longer needed, deleted data continue to be carefully maintained and re-written by the drive. Soon every write operation becomes a read-modify-write, and performance deteriorates.


    In my opinion, this nearly-full condition is likley to cause drive failure. Something more than wishful thinking is required.


    Apple enables TRIM on the drives they install directly. They do not do so for third-party drives, but that is likely because those drives have not been tested by Apple.



    I have been using a very small SSD as a boot drive for a while, and periodically consolidate free space followed immediately by erasing free space with a third-party utility. I believe this has kept me out of trouble. My son has been using SSD in his laptop and doing nothing for maintenece, and he has killed two drives in a year.


    Trim Enabler utility from groths seems to be working, and makes things simple. Your mileage may vary.


    if I notice significant performance slips

    You added a much lower latency drive and startup times did not improve significantly. Much of the time required for startup is needed for memory testing. The rest is largely attributable to disk Read/Write times. What more evidence do you need?

  • 4. Re: Slow startup and password issue.
    Richie Hatch Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

    Thanks for the reply. It turns out part of the problem was related to a Western Digital external Firewire Harddrive that I had attached. I disconnected that and restarted and it knocked almost 30 seconds off the startup time.


    I have since enabled Trim from groths on your advise.