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Speeding up boot times - EFI

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  • Speeding up boot times - EFI

    I've noticed that my Mac Mini takes over 30 seconds from power on to start of OS boot. During this time, my display is white and it's my assumption is that the BIOS (EFI) is prepping for OS boot.

    Does anyone know of a way to adjust the EFI settings to speed this process up?

  • #2
    no but if you hold down command + v (i think) at boot time it will boot in verbose mode so you can see what is taking so long
    check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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    • #3
      That depends on where in the boot cycle it is hanging as I believe that verbose mode only applies once booting has been handed off to the OS (though I could be wrong as I rarely use verbose mode).

      When you say you have a white screen, do you mean the light grey with the Apple logo or something else? If it is prior to the Apple logo, then there is likely some bad hardware causing the issue. If that is the case, i'd suggest bringing it in the house and running some diagnostics on it to see if you can find the culprit (could be your drive, it's controller, the mother board, bad RAM, or something else seemingly unrelated that the EFI tests at boot).

      Apple support will probably be your best bet if you still have AppleCare on it.

      -dave
      My pathetic worklog.
      CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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      • #4
        Well, it's a mac mini so it's probably the light gray screen you mentioned. The Apple logo doesn't come up until OSX starts booting.

        I wouldn't think it's bad hardware since everything works, but it does sit there for a good 30 seconds on average. Which if that's normal for a mac mini, then it is what it is.

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        • #5
          verbose mode does away with any of the mentioned screens. it is black background with white text the whole way. I'd seriously check it to see what it says

          also. since you didn't mention it this is an intel I am assuming since G4s don't have EFI. you seem to know what you are talking about so I'm guessing its not a G4

          I'd actually wager it has something to do with a network interface. In my experience with slow boot times anyway
          check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Machinehead View Post
            I wouldn't think it's bad hardware since everything works,
            Bad is a relative term. It could be a piece of hardware that you don't regularly use (but is tested at boot) or it could be something responding slower based on the usage pattern that the boot operation utilizes (e.g. maybe the blocks where the XNU kernel are located are going bad and throwing read errors while (most of) the rest of your drive is just fine).

            Another item that is possible is fsck. If it believes that your disk structure is "dirty" (typically after power loss or a hard crash), the OS will run fsck on the disks before proceeding with booting and is somewhat normal and can take some time. If it is doing a fsck, that should show up in verbose mode. If it is doing a fsck every time, even if you shutdown/reboot cleanly, then that can also be indicative of a drive going bad.

            I've never timed it (cause it hasn't been slow enough to care), but at a guess i'd say my CoreSolo boots in around 15 seconds give or take a few. I don't think 30 is unreasonable, but if this is a new phenomenon for you then it is indicative of something changing.

            -dave
            My pathetic worklog.
            CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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            • #7
              ha ha I was just coming back to post about the fsck. you beat me. I'm almost positive tho that if there is a problem it will show up in a verbose boot
              check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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              • #8
                Does bootcamp have any effect on the boot time?

                I wouldn't say the 30 second time is a new phenomenon, but as I'm looking to shorten my cold boot times (long story but I have hardware that don't like sleep), almost half of my boot time right now is waiting for the bios (EFI) to turn over to the OS Boot.

                Originally posted by iamgnat View Post
                Another item that is possible is fsck. If it believes that your disk structure is "dirty" (typically after power loss or a hard crash), the OS will run fsck on the disks before proceeding with booting and is somewhat normal and can take some time. If it is doing a fsck, that should show up in verbose mode. If it is doing a fsck every time, even if you shutdown/reboot cleanly, then that can also be indicative of a drive going bad.
                That's a possibility since sometimes my system doesn't completely shut down before the power is cut.

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                • #9
                  you haven't said how you are certain that this problem is EFI related... I'm curious as to how you are able to come to that conclusion. sounds like if your system isn't being shutdown properly it is a combination of fsck and out of date boot caches
                  check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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                  • #10
                    I properly shut down my system this morning, so the EFI time was approximately 12 seconds when I left the office this afternoon. A lot better than it was on my last boot. Looks like that solves that problem. You and Dave had me worried that my hard drive was failing already. Thanks for the information.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Machinehead View Post
                      Does bootcamp have any effect on the boot time
                      You're running Windows? If that is the case, then fsck won't be your issue. Based on your later post though, it sounds like Windows is doing something similar during the boot process.

                      Hope clean shutdowns are all you need to do.

                      -dave
                      My pathetic worklog.
                      CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Booting directly into Windows via Bootcamp will ALWAYS take longer at the "white" screen than when booting into OS X. It's a lot more efficient to boot into OS X because... well Macs are optimized to do that.

                        If it's still slow to boot when booting into OS X - meaning sitting at the white screen before the grey Apple comes up, then it is something to do with hardware/firmware. Try resetting your PRAM if you haven't.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iamgnat View Post
                          Hope clean shutdowns are all you need to do.
                          Clean shutdowns seem to do the trick, I'm right around 10 seconds now after 5 boots since yesterday.


                          Originally posted by TTeuer View Post
                          Try resetting your PRAM if you haven't.
                          In case I ever need to do that, what's involved?

                          I would assume it's similar to resetting bios on a windows box. (Pulling the CMOS battery)

                          Edit: I found it, I have a handy Mac Mini Guide that I found a while back.

                          In case anyone else that doesn't know how to do the reset is interested here's the procedure:
                          1. Shut down the computer.
                          2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need
                          to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
                          3. Turn on the computer.
                          4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination
                          before the gray screen appears.
                          5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the
                          second time.
                          6. Release the keys.
                          7. Your computer's PRAM and the NVRAM are reset to the default values. The clock
                          settings may be reset to a default date on some models.

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