what you describe in 1 is known as a "kernel panic". If this happens again on your system, I would suggest that you have a look to Apple document PH11045.
The process you describe (holding shift during boot until you see a grey Apple logo, with a progress bar) is the correct one for Safe Boot (cf HT1564). You can check if Safe Boot is successful on the login window, when you should see a red "Safe Mode" in the top right corner.
The process you describe in 2 is known as Verbose mode (booting OS X with Command - V). This will show you the os kernel loading steps instead of the usual Apple logo with spinning gear (HT1492).
3. In fact, yes. If you wish to "mute" your login items, you should press SHIFT just after you entered your username and password on the login window, and keep SHIFT pressed during your user session login. This is knows as Safe Login.
This is only happening when I do a safe boot, which I originally felt called to do for something unrelated... Thanks for your answers but all seems to be totally fine as always, except when i did and still do the safe boot. then either number 1 above happens, or number 2 with the verbose keys added...
And not understanding re log in, I don't log out or in, just startup, being the only user... Do startup items startup if safe boot happens...? if not then number two as described is in fact not a safe boot..?
And number one above, i'm guessing it is a kernal panic maybe from what Carolyn pointed me to, but why just in safe boot..?
I'm totally perfect for a year, since new, all upgrades, etc., lots of complex use, software, and still seem totally fine, all rebooting, everything, except now trying to do a safe boot, something I've never been moved to do before now, and all this arrives... yikes..?
AND now particularly, when I'm planning to go to Mavericks, soon as 10.9.1 arrives, and concrned how this might affect that..?
KP are usually caused by hardware problems. From your posting, you are not experiencing any. Anywho, post the KP log. There are knowledgeable users here who can read the log. I am NOT one of them.
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11342 OS X Mountain Lion: Use Apple Hardware Test
Here is a copy of the report that comes up when I say yes to making a report, hoping it is the same as KP log you mention, otherwise how does one get a KP log..?
Interval Since Last Panic Report: 1002177 sec
Panics Since Last Report: 9
Anonymous UUID: C3829C5E-A45F-BE30-41FB-E5C42AE717DE
Fri Nov 22 17:28:24 2013
panic(cpu 3 caller 0xffffff8000555ef5): "Process 1 exec of /sbin/launchd failed, errno 2"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-2050.7.9/bsd/kern/kern_exec.c:3560
Backtrace (CPU 3), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff81b7113e10 : 0xffffff800021d5f6
0xffffff81b7113e80 : 0xffffff8000555ef5
0xffffff81b7113ef0 : 0xffffff80005390f7
0xffffff81b7113f10 : 0xffffff8000568ee1
0xffffff81b7113f50 : 0xffffff800021b6b1
0xffffff81b7113f90 : 0xffffff80002b8123
0xffffff81b7113fb0 : 0xffffff80002ce47c
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: init
Boot args: -x
Mac OS version:
Not yet set
Darwin Kernel Version 12.0.0: Sun Jun 24 23:00:16 PDT 2012; root:xnu-2050.7.9~1/RELEASE_X86_64
Kernel UUID: 8D5F8EF3-9D12-384B-8070-EF2A49C45D24
System model name: MacBookPro9,1 (Mac-4B7AC7E43945597E)
System uptime in nanoseconds: 917658094
last loaded kext at 648727133: com.apple.driver.AppleUSBMergeNub 5.1.5 (addr 0xffffff7f80b04000, size 28672)
Model: MacBookPro9,1, BootROM MBP91.00D3.B08, 4 processors, Intel Core i7, 2.6 GHz, 16 GB, SMC 2.1f175
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Built-In, 384 MB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, PCIe, 1024 MB
Memory Module: BANK 0/DIMM0, 8 GB, DDR3, 1333 MHz, 0x859B, 0x43543130323436344246313333392E4D3136
Memory Module: BANK 1/DIMM0, 8 GB, DDR3, 1333 MHz, 0x859B, 0x43543130323436344246313333392E4D3136
AirPort: spairport_wireless_card_type_airport_extreme (0x14E4, 0xF5), Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (220.127.116.11.17)
Bluetooth: Version 4.1.7f2 12718, 3 service, 21 devices, 3 incoming serial ports
Network Service: Wi-Fi, AirPort, en1
Serial ATA Device: SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series, 512.11 GB
Serial ATA Device: MATSHITADVD-R UJ-8A8
USB Device: hub_device, 0x8087 (Intel Corporation), 0x0024, 0x1a100000 / 2
USB Device: FaceTime HD Camera (Built-in), apple_vendor_id, 0x8509, 0x1a110000 / 3
USB Device: hub_device, 0x8087 (Intel Corporation), 0x0024, 0x1d100000 / 2
USB Device: hub_device, 0x0424 (SMSC), 0x2513, 0x1d180000 / 3
USB Device: BRCM20702 Hub, 0x0a5c (Broadcom Corp.), 0x4500, 0x1d181000 / 6
USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, apple_vendor_id, 0x821d, 0x1d181300 / 9
USB Device: IR Receiver, apple_vendor_id, 0x8242, 0x1d182000 / 5
USB Device: Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad, apple_vendor_id, 0x0252, 0x1d183000 / 4
Solution to problem found:
Got to looking around, and found this: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5425709?start=0&tstart=0
The gist is this:
The OS X 10.8.5 update, at least for a lot of folks, made the mach_kernel visible and relocated it to the Documents folder. It needs to be in the root folder, must be there same folder as system and applications, and it is usually invisible there.
I remembered finding it in the Documents folder and tossing it in the trash. Fortunately I hadn't emptied the trash yet. I simply moved it to the root folder, rebooted as added insurance repaired permissions, rebooted again, and now all is well, perfect safe boot and everything. I never did a safe boot before so had no idea it loped the way it does. Pretty cool…
As an added bonus, what got me to trying a safe boot was that the latest Office update wouldn't recognize mountain lion, it thought i was running something prior to 10.5.x, so it wouldn't install. It has now installed perfectly.
Additionally, per the above link/forum thread, I hid the mach_kernel again, with this command in the terminal- sudo chflags hidden /mach_kernel which also worked perfectly.
All is well, yea!