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I have a brand new iMac 3.5GHz i5 with 8GB of RAM with a non SSD drive.

When I boot Yosemite it takes 52 seconds from the gong to the desktop, most of which is spent with the progress bar. This seems like a long time to me, but I have no point of reference.

Is this normal?

additional information:

  • I upgraded from Mavericks.
  • Disk permissions have been repaired.
  • Disk has been verified.
  • Printing system has been reset.
  • All peripherals have been disconnected.
  • WiFi has been turned off.
  • All login items have been removed.
  • FileVault is turned off
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Looking at the tech specs for Apple's latest iMacs, all the 21.5" models seem to have 5400-rpm hard drives unless you specifically upgraded yours. (I can't find a 3.5 GHz model actually so I couldn't verify your model and I also couldn't comment to ask.)

Based on the assumption that you do in fact have a model with a 5400-rpm dive, your boot time doesn't seem unreasonable. Of course, the fact that you posted about it begs the question if your boot time was much shorter before Yosemite?

An SSD (or maybe a Fusion drive) would drastically improve your boot time (and probably overall performance as well) compared to a 5400-rpm drive.

Your boot time might also improve if you do a clean install of Yosemite. I guess part of the reason you chose to upgrade is that you, like me, have got too much stuff that would be a hassle to reinstall? Having many applications and files on the HDD I believe could also affect boot time since the OS probably does some indexing and who-knows-what-else to the file system when the system is booting.

TL;DR: If you have a 5400-rpm it's not unreasonable for boot times to be this long. Clean OS install might help but the biggest improvement would be seen with an upgrade to SSD.

  • 2
    FWIW, I've been carrying my OS X install forward for many years now (no clean install in ages), and I'm under the impression that Yosemite has actually sped boot times up a bit. A clean install may not actually do anything much. YMMV yada yada. I'd agree that 52 seconds is entirely reasonable for a spinning disk. – deceze Nov 7 '14 at 12:33
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    Also, one might argue that the reason OP feels that 52 seconds is long (which I can feel too) is because we've been spoiled (blessed?) with fast boot and load times in every other device around us with the advent of SSD's and NAND flash memory. Before, everything took a minute (or more) to boot up. Perception! – vtamm Nov 7 '14 at 14:19
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Sounds about right to me.
Mine would take that kind of time until I put an SSD in it.

You could try starting in Safe Mode [hold shift after the chimes] & see if there is any significant difference.

  • In safe mode it actually takes longer 1:09 – pingu Nov 7 '14 at 10:46
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    Then I think your normal startup time is fine. Safe will be doing some extra checking. – Tetsujin Nov 7 '14 at 10:49
  • How much empty space are you leaving on your HD? How many log-in items / launchagents? – Zo219 Nov 7 '14 at 22:38
  • Safe mode performs some repairs - but needs a Restart after. – Zo219 Nov 7 '14 at 22:39
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Try System Preference->Startup Disk-> choose your HD and set to restart. If it works, should shave off 30 seconds boot time.

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