EDIT: It seems that upgrading to macOS 10.12.4 solved this issue. I had not have time to send the laptop to repair, as others did (and it fixed the issue for them). So far, restarting or shutdown / starting the OS no longer hangs the Filevault pre-boot screen.


After upgrading to El Capitan, and then to Sierra, I found a strange behaviour:

  • A - if I restart the os, it takes more time than usual, then I get into the boot screen with the input devices (keyboard, trackpad) responding from time to time (i.e. they work for 2 seconds, then they stop working for 10, then the cycle repeats itself);

  • B - during "A", I if I:

    • B1 - move the cursor to the "restart" button and press it, or force a shutdown - start by pressing the physical button, I get the os restarted in no time, and everything seems fine; BUT if I restart the os, I return to "A";

    • B2 - patiently try to type my password and enter the os, the mac starts normal;

Meanwhile, I was also experience SD Card problems - they wouldn't read at all or appear in Disk Utility; I now found out that if I do procedure B1 the SD Card reader seems not to work, but if I do procedure B2 it works ok.

I was almost sending the mac for hardware repair, but seems like there may be some problem with the SD Card reader drivers? I need to do some more testing, but meanwhile, has someone experienced this, or can give me some insight on how to debug this issue?

Using macbook Pro retina 2015 with macOS Sierra.

Thanks for you help.

EDIT: I did a clean install (completely formatted and partitioned the HD using a bootable USB stick with macOS Sierra on it). But it was for no avail, the problem persists.

  • i have exactly the same problem with no solution so far. Did you solve it somehow? Does reinstalling solve it? Greetings
    – macro64
    Dec 20 '16 at 13:06
  • My Mac is still under warranty. I am considering finishing some pending works and then send it for repair or to see what's happening. I did a clean install (completely formatted and partitioned the HD using a bootable USB stick with macOS Sierra on it). But it was for no avail, the problem persists.
    – BMM
    Dec 20 '16 at 13:09
  • ok, i was kind of expecting that :( The funny thing is it worked in el-capitan. And other macbooks are working as well. Whats left is some kind of hardware specific problem or some kind of persistent uefi-information that provokes the problem. Strange.
    – macro64
    Dec 20 '16 at 13:35
  • any insights on a "soft" way to solve this? It's very annoying ...
    – BMM
    Dec 20 '16 at 14:44

The Problem could be connected to Filevault as well: https://www.apfeltalk.de/community/threads/macos-10-12-sierra-vs-filevault-massive-probleme.506301/ Short translation: AppleCare replicates the error and says its fine anyway. Disabling Filevault: Startup works; enabling again: nothing works.

Another one: macOS Sierra slow to accept password at login

Problem disappeared after 6 weeks, someone proposes to disable filevault then 'fix permissions'

I am studying the startup-logs right now. Do you keep an SD-Card in the Slot while rebooting (cause i do :)

  • Yes I do as well. A 128Gb sd card designed to fit.
    – BMM
    Dec 20 '16 at 15:09
  • ok, i have a 128gb fitting sd too. the log didnt reveal anything spectacular. i just booted in recoverymode - 2things happen: the sdcard is not recognized and i cannot select the internal ssd as bootvolume - it seems because my keychain (filevault) can't be opened.
    – macro64
    Dec 20 '16 at 15:35
  • There are a few more results when searching for 'FileVault 2 preboot login slow'. A lot of them are related to Filevaults Problems with attached USB-peripherals. The SD-Card is connected via USB. One of them points to Logitech USB-drivers (i have them installed). One is about remotelogin with ActiveDirectory (unlikely). And one suggests rebuilding the bootloader caches:
    – macro64
    Dec 20 '16 at 17:34
  • I tried turning off Filevault: everything is working (when booting the apple-logo needs 20sec to show up - normal?). After that i reset the NVRAM and SMC and activated Filevault again: buggy laggy loginscreen.
    – macro64
    Dec 21 '16 at 9:13
  • One more question: after formatting - did you restore a backup? Thats what retriggered the error in the linked apfeltalk-forum...
    – macro64
    Dec 21 '16 at 9:15

I had the exact same issue. 2015 MacBook Pro 13", AppleCare.

It took three attempts for the Apple service agent to resolve the issue, over the space of one month.

The first time, they replaced the main logic board.

The second time, they replaced the whole top case, including trackpad and battery.

It was only after I found this post and brought it to their attention (including the fact that the SD card reader was showing as a fault when I ran system diagnostics) that on the third attempt they replaced the I/O board which contains the SD card reader and thankfully it worked.

  • Thanks for sharing. It's good to know that it may only require changing de SD and not the whole board.
    – BMM
    Mar 18 '17 at 9:07

Sorry to bring it to you this way, but it is a Hardware error and it is very hard to prove it to Apple Care at this moment because as you said, laptop APPEARS to work fine if you disable FileVault.

I've had this problem since December 2016 on my 3 month old Macbook Pro 13inch Early 2015. Guys, this issue is nothing to do with FileVault. FileVault just expose this problem to you. Problem is "EVERYTHING" before OS load up is slow. you can try it. Hold Alt to go to boot device selector while booting, you will see it is slow. Hold D when Macbook is turning on, you will see Diagnosis page is also slow (my Diagnosis page sometimes pass 100%, sometimes show SD Card error code).

Reason you see FileVault is slow, is because this login page is a pre-boot screen. It ask you for password before it can unlock your hard disk. once password is entered, Real boot process start and OS load up. It is a fake screen that look like a real OS, but it is just a pre-boot screen.

I am not sure why it is fast inside of OS, but before OS loads up, it is painfully slow with keyboard and mouse lagging. If you disable FileVault, after waiting long for your slow pre-boot laptop to show apple logo, it directly access the real OS, and since in real OS, issue goes away, you will see that boot is fast again. but in reality, you just skipped filevault boot login screen and went directly to OS. nothing is actually faster.

I had sent my Macbook to repair on 26 December, got it back on 3rd Jan. They did a SMC reset, NVRAM reset and a full OS clean install and they told me my Macbook Pro is flawless! Issue went away temporarily but returned back as soon as I used SD Card slot. I am not sure if your issue is also related to SD Card slot usage, but it could indicate some hardware parts inside your Macbook is faulty.

Since now I figure out it is returning back when I use a SD Card, I returned it back to repair again this Monday and told them to try putting an SD Card. Now they find out there is a hardware error and they are fixing the parts. I shall receive my Macbook back next week and I will update here on what they did change and If issue went away.

Issue will be back if I put an SD card inside and then take it out. I need to do NVRAM reset to make my macbook forget about SD Card to make it fast again. it is crazy!

  • Thanks for this. We have EXACTLY the same problem with the same model (also SD Card problem). Hope you fix yours, Ill soon have to bring mine to repair as well, while it's still under warranty.
    – BMM
    Feb 17 '17 at 8:07
  • Today I've received my Macbook and they have replaced I/O Board. Issue has been fixed. Feb 21 '17 at 11:45
  • Thanks for the info. I guess I'll have to send in mine. Just hope it wont take too long.
    – BMM
    Feb 21 '17 at 11:52

It seems that upgrading to macOS 10.12.4 solved the issue, although I found no mention of it on the update information.

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