6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2012 4:41 PM by Jason Watkins
Jason Watkins Level 1 (25 points)



My MacBook Pro takes approximately two minutes to boot. That is two minutes from when I press the power button, until the login screen appears. It never used to take that long. This machine has 8GB of RAM, a Core 2 Duo CPU and a 500GB rotating hard drive, which is 60% utilized. I don't think it is all Lion's fault. Any tips/tricks for trimming the boot sequence? I know many ways to do this on a Windows machine, but not so much with Mac OS X.

Mac OS X (10.7.3), 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)

    Minimize the number of files and applications that are opened automatically on startup.


    Boot time should really be a non-issue, because there is seldom any good reason to shut the machine down instead of sleeping it.

  • Poikkeus Level 4 (2,785 points)

    eww's advice is on target.


    1. Sleep your MBP, don't boot up everytime.

    2. 8GB RAM will result in somewhat longer boot times, since the RAM must register the data every time. Another reason to sleep your MBP.

    3. Startup Items can dramatically increase boot time, since they must load every time. Best solution? Sleep your MBP instead of booting every time.


    Does that work for you? Post with your reactions, results!

  • ds store Level 7 (30,325 points)

    It should take about 30-40 seconds from "bong" to desktop, minus log in time and no starup programs.


    Lion has a annoying feature that loads the last programs used, you need to disable this.


    You obviously upgraded Lion over Snow Leopard, Snow Leopard is faster on the same hardware than Lion.


    A fresh install will speed things up quite a bit.



    If you backup your user data folders off the machine (to a storage drive, not TimeMachine) disconnect,


    c boot off the 10.6 disk, erase the entire drive (use the Zero option) install, (use the same username)


    update to 10.6.8 and then upgrade to 10.7 (hold option key and click on Purchases to redownload),


    update, then install Lion compatible programs,


    then your files manually from backup (not a migration or TM restore)


    in that exact order, you should have the fast configuration and a clean system



    After that if you Carbon Copy Cloner the entire Lion OS X partition (no need to do the Lion Recovery Partition for this) to a blank external powered drive, then option key boot from it and erase and reverse clone OS X Lion back onto the internal OS X Lion Partition, that would do wonders to further optimize the running of Applicaitons as they all would be written to the "hot band" of the hard drive.


    Another tactic is to keep one's boot drive below 50% filled, as the later 50% always results in slower read/write times, so anything written there is going to be slower. Everything needs to be on the top 50%, which the clone and reverse clone technique will achieve.



    So your steps are as follows, backup, fresh install, install programs, then users files (but dont' go over 50% of the drive) clone this pristine system (for bootable backup) then erase and reverse clone. Disable any and all startup programs.


    This should give you the best you can extract from your hardware.


    Got to remember, Apple has a need to create hardware turnover, so they do indeed feature bloat OS X to slow down hardware.


    I've installed Linux on 10 year old PC's that act much faster than even some new Mac's, the size and complexity of the operating system relative to the hardware it's installed on also comes into play.

  • Jason Watkins Level 1 (25 points)

    To preserve the life of the hard drive and to prevent overheating, when inside of it's cover, I power-off the laptop whenever it is physically moved. My commute is between 60-90 minutes, one-way, each day.


    There is nothing set to start at login aside from SymSecondaryLaunch (All Users).


    This is install of Lion was as fresh as it could have been performed. I did not even use any migration tools to get my data back onto the computer. The previous 10.6.8 to 10.7 install wound-up being a disaster on Lion's behalf.


    I can understand keeping 50% of the drive empty. If that is the case I must get an idea where to place some of my other data that is not as important.


    We use Linux for most of our servers here.



  • ds store Level 7 (30,325 points)

    Jason Watkins wrote:


    There is nothing set to start at login aside from SymSecondaryLaunch (All Users).


    Googling that I get it as a Norton product, and Norton "anything" is bad for Mac's, uninstall it as it's unnecessary to have a root level, always running process for non-existant viruses for OS X.


    I also get references that this SymSecondaryLaunch slows down boot time on Mac's from even earlier OS X versions.



    If you need a anti-virus to clean the Windows filth or comply with company regulations, then use the free ClamXav as it's a "run as you need" scanner.




    OS X has a built in trojan check that autoupdates for new trojans of anything you download that is executable code. Make sure "Automatice update safe downloads list" is checked off in System Preferences > Security > General.


    There is also a firewall in OS X. Enable and tailor to suit.


    That's all the protection you need and has been so for 10 years now.


    Uninstall Norton and your machine will certainly benefit from that, along with your wallet.

  • Jason Watkins Level 1 (25 points)

    I would never pay for Norton, but it came with the territory from using the laptop at work. House require A/V software to be installed. There is n osecurity through obscurity and just because there aren't active exploits for the Mac, in the wild, doesn't mean their won't in the future.


    Still, without that, the boot process is not much faster. The power button now "clicks" as if it were stuck somehow and the optical drive makes a sound as if it is ejecting something. Could that be related?