6 Replies Latest reply: May 4, 2012 3:27 AM by pikimac
iHannah Level 1 (0 points)
When I turn on my macbook pro 13" 2.4 intel core 2 duo with *snow leopard* installed, i get to the normal grey screen with the apple logo and a new addition, a *grey loading bar below that logo*. This new addition is the bane of my life as it *takes 5 minutes+ to load* (this is approximate as i have not timed it accurately.
This never appeared the first few times id turned it on after receiving it for christmas '10. The problem means that I nearly never turn my mac off which is probably not the best thing but I cannot bear the loading time when I need my laptop to turn on at college etc... Any advice?

p.s I only created a new thread as when i searched similar problems, others also had side issues that the system didnt work properly or there were further issues after the loading bar.i do not have these problems, My mabook works fine once it is on but its the time it takes to get there that is not normal.

Macbook Pro 13.3", Mac OS X (10.6.7), Intel core 2 duo - snow leopard
  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,604 points)
    Does this computer have a BootCamp partition for Windows or another non-Mac OS?
    If it does, that'd open up another area of probable cause; and possible cure.

    If you have a decent backup of your work on an external drive device, you may need it.
    Issues similar to yours occurred after an update or upgrade, in some instances noted.

    You could try starting in Safeboot to see if that helps (does checks on startup) and that
    is initiated by holding the Shift key down through the beginning of the startup sequence.
    You would be asked to enter your admin password before the desktop appears. This
    mode is de-activated by simply restarting the computer again... Also, check Console logs.

    Sometimes, from what I can find using google, the gray loading bar can be a sign
    of problems that may require using Time Machine or another backup (or a pre-made
    clone, of the computer's hard disk drive content, before the issue) as a basis to re-install.

    A cure may include the use of a third-party disk utility such as DiskWarrior, or maybe
    Drive Genius, or TechTool Pro; suitable for Snow Leopard 10.6.7, and on a DVD.

    Not sure where you were looking online for information, but there is a ton of situations
    in Snow Leopard over the past few years with a similar symptom; and of them, a few
    point to possible corruption or damage on the hard disk drive. Directory? Partition?

    Does the use of the booted OS X 10.6 install disc, and running Disk Utility, verify,
    tell you anything about the condition of the hard disk drive? If there are errors,
    can the Disk Utility repair them? Aside from this, have you checked into the Log
    files held by Console utility, to see what (if any) relate to the time of startup?

    Some files won't get written into logs, on start-up. However, there is a self-test on
    startup and the computer logs and System Profiler historically can tell if is passed.
    Yet, the latitude there may be limited - to only say the computer did finally start.

    When I googled the words: *Mac OS X 10.6: loading bar on startup* there were
    60 thousand claimed results. While I doubt many directly apply to this issue, some
    of the first 10 looked promising enough; at least when pointing to possible causes.

    How full is the computer's hard disk drive? (as a percentage of the total capacity)
    This can affect performance for both the OS X and installed applications. If that
    were my computer, I'd already have checked a list of basics, over the past months.

    Depending on variables, and information not mentioned so far, I'd consider checking
    the hard disk drive using booted Disk Utility on install-restore disc; to look for errors.
    Then, see if the Utility could repair them. And, would have a backup strategy in place.
    (An externally enclosed self-powered hard disk drive, one that supports Clones.)

    A free utility tool that can run routine maintenance, if used preventive, could help; not
    sure now what else is happening. I use a version of Titanium's OnyX for my OS X.
    But that can't help hard drive damage or directory issues.

    If you are near an Apple Store with a Genius bar, call ahead and schedule an appointment.
    Take along the computer's OS X software discs; if you have upgraded, take those too.
    Be sure to describe this issue, and if you checked (verified) the hard disk drive, and choose
    to go no further, that may tell a technician something.

    If the computer has an extended AppleCare plan (three years service/support) calling there
    would be a natural thing; at least to set a date on the record, and maybe get an incident #.
    Should the issue later require a hardware cure, those matters are best addressed directly.

    +This inquiry appeared in OS X 10.5 Leopard area; it may do better moved to SL 10.6 area.+

    Good luck & happy computing!

    +{ edited 2x }+
  • iHannah Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such an excellent reply.
    to answer a few of your questions:

    I do not have a bootcamp or partition software installed to use windows,

    I have a 1tb external plug-and-play hard drive with a time machine back up of my entire hard drive.

    My harddrive has abot 30bg available out of 250gb so about 88% full. I could easily go through the drive deleting various documents however the majority of this space is taken by about 60-70gb of music and a large amount of application data.
    to be honest i thought this could be a reason for the slow boot up, the fact that it was simply getting too full but this doesnt seem to be the case upon further research.

    Could you give me a little more information of the steps required to 1. perform a safe boot (do i need to take any precautions?)
    and 2. how to check the console logs and what this will tell me?

    +"Sometimes, from what I can find using google, the gray loading bar can be a sign+
    +of problems that may require using Time Machine or another backup (or a pre-made+
    +clone, of the computer's hard disk drive content, before the issue) as a basis to re-install."+
    by this do you mean i should perform one final backup now and reinstall my software? I know this is easy enough to do i just do not know how necessary you think it would be?

    many thanks again and i will definitely book a genius bar appointment anyway for a sight seen opinion

    thank you
  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,604 points)
    The use of Safe Boot mode should be ventured into with some familiarity; to
    understand a little more about it. There are articles, documents, information...

    (Actually, some of your Snow Leopard's slow starting is likely due to it's own
    way of trying to negotiate past some issues it finds, in the boot process; so
    that is why a +third-party disk utility+ may help, if a 'verify' of the hard drive by
    use of your native OS X boot disc's version of Disk Utility can't fix problems.)

    • Mac OS X: *What is Safe Boot*, Safe Mode?
    +Safe Boot is a special way to start up when troubleshooting. Safe Mode is the state+
    +Mac OS X is in after a Safe Boot. To perform a Safe Boot, hold the Shift key as your+
    +Mac starts up. Starting up into Safe Mode does several things...+

    • Mac OS X: *Starting up* in Safe Mode (safeboot)
    +Learn how to start up in Safe Mode.+

    • Safe Boot takes longer than normal startup:

    {Advanced tip: If you want to see the status of a Safe Boot as it progresses,
    you can hold Shift-Command-V during start up (instead of just Shift).}

    +Note: A Safe Boot takes longer than a typical start up because+
    +it includes a disk check and other operations.+

    There are other levels of access into the system, but without
    some background or understanding of Terminal utility and a
    grasp or feeling/experience in single-user boot, the methods
    used by this process are best for GUI access for this task.
    When a user can't get into a computer this way, is where
    other methods of access are essential; or better tools and a
    good backup clone on external boot-capable hard disk drive.

    You can find Console in the utilities folder, by using GO in the
    Finder menu bar, and choosing Utilities (folder) to open; then
    launch Console. Several kinds of logs are reported here by
    the running OS X system; those pertaining to the OS X and
    all of the computer's basic running would be first to look into.

    There are error logs, system logs, crash logs. See what the
    system logs has, especially for date and time of the problem
    where the computer takes forever to start. There may be no
    log reports at all; if the system won't write them on startup.

    A possibility in Directory issues contributing to this slow startup
    or some damaged system startup files, exists. So, troubleshooting
    may include checking the hard drive with the booted install disc's
    version of Disk Utility, to see if it sees an issue, and then if it may
    be able to repair the drive's issue. (not a permissions repair.)

    This can be problematic, do not actually run the Installer on the
    booted (hold C key on start with Install DVD in optical drive) disc
    since the options and tools available there are to be found in a
    menu bar and that is like a regular application window. When
    done, the way to exit Disk Utility, is quit; To exit Installer, you
    use the menu bar options to get and use Startup Manager; in
    which you can choose to start the Mac from its hard disk drive.

    If the Disk Utility can't repair a reported problem, then it may be
    something to consider the purchase of a retail third-party disk
    utility, such as those named. And they do require some learning
    to know what they can do, and how to make them work.

    The visit to an Apple genius, may be helpful. To have a complete
    backup of your computer, (a clone; see Carbon copy cloner, etc)
    you can restore or run/boot the computer from, is recommended.

    You should check the computer to be sure it can start up in SafeBoot
    and also not have peripherals attached to it, while troubleshooting.
    They could contribute to symptoms, or be a cause of issues.

    This article covers several symptoms on start up in OS X later than 10.3.9:

    • Mac OS X: gray screen appears during startup

    There's so much more, but these may tend to distract from initial checking of
    the basics. Perhaps a finer set of insights and help may be offered by another
    reader who can sense this problem from first hand experience?

    Good luck & happy computing!

    +{ edited to add more, don't ask why }+
  • pikimac Level 1 (0 points)


    I had the very same problem during 3 consecutive startups. I thought something was terribly wrong but the computer was working fine after starup. So I waited and two days now the start up process became normal as it used to be. The gray bar disappeared without any further issues...

  • JoeyR Level 6 (8,280 points)

    The gray bar along the bottom during start up usually indicates that the charge in your battery got low enough for your system to enter safe sleep.  In safe sleep, the contents of your RAM are written to your hard drive and then your system is shut down.  This is done to prevent the contents of your RAM from being lost.  When you start the system up, it needs to load all that stuff back in again from the hard drive.  Normally, it's all kept in RAM, so you get that instant on when you wake from sleep.

  • pikimac Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much for your reply. It is reassuring to know that the gray bar wasn't suggesting any critical issue.

    Thanks again.