New category of posts

I’ve been sitting here waiting for MacOs X to finish booting for over 10 minutes. The system starts up fairly slowly and then it sits with mouse movement but no other response. This actually lasts long enough for the screen-saver to kick on.
This is definitely a Lion + old crap issue. Lion starts up reasonably well on my equally old MacBook Pro, with only 4 gigs of RAM instead of 8. But that was fresh-wiped with only a few things on it.
I have already been through the step of booting into the OS X Lion repair partition to clean up permissions and repair the file system.

Next step is checking login items following the post here.

The fact is – Mac OS X Lion does a good job of taking care of itself. For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:

* Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
* Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
* Look at what widgets you may have running.
* Launch Activity Monitor and change “My Processes” at the top to “All Processes”. Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
* Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive “page outs”, a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
* Make sure you’re not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They’re not needed to protect your Mac.

[this is now Users & Groups –> login items]

There’s an item called intego NetBarrier, that’s outta here. I think that came in one of those bundle deals where there’s one or two good apps at a great price, and several lesser ones.

There were also a couple of things where it said the file couldn’t be found. Maybe that was the problem, slow booting because it had to wait to time-out on a missing file? One was called iTunesHelper, one was VMWare Fusion (I do use this from time to time, but if there’s a launch daemon missing it’s not doing me any good.)

An item that was findable but that I don’t need is ZSyncDaemon which turns out to be an obsolete startup item that NoThirst Software’s MoneyWell app used.

So now all I have there is the worthwhile Scroll Reverser , Dropbox, and iTunes.

There are also several third-party prefpane items I don’t care about:

  • AppTrap which is supposed to be an app undeleter that can’t even undelete itself..
  • MacFuse – this is I think an accessory program used to support other stuff, since the web site says it’s no longer supported, it’s gone.
  • Wacom wireless tablet which I got at a garage sale and don’t use.

The other thing I am going to try is this tip to “clear ACL problems” from another blog.

Boot to the scary-looking single user mode (black screen, white text, UNIX)
sbin/fsck -y -f (This does the same thing as Disk Utility’s check, I think.)
/sbin/mount -uw /
chmod -R -N /Volumes

Hmmm, still unacceptably slow. All that work saved a whopping 15 seconds.

Now trying a reboot with my external drives unplugged, one on FireWire 800 and a couple USB hubs. Now it boots and is usable within a couple minutes.

Replugging the drives and restarting, it is fast again.

The only possible difference is setting the startup disk to the iMac internal HD, which I thought I already had done, and booting with that being the only available drive.

So, if you found this page searching for why your Mac boots so slowly, try just unplugging external drives and setting the boot disk correctly. Reboot and then plug your drives back in.

Why that might cause the post-boot slowdown, after it’s begun to load from the internal drive, no clue.


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