first I realize this request will come across as very odd; why would anyone want to increase boot time?
Well the Samsung SSD I have had installed for years in this Mac suddenly died (after warranty's end, what else…)… Or so it seemed. Sudden blackout, then flashing question mark over folder, repeated (but rather quick) wouldn't show any partition. The most reasonable hypothesis on model A1278 would have been the HDD cable failing yet again. So I tested the same computer with an old Mac OS X install I had lying on a spinning HDD, plugged it to the same cable, booted without a hiccup. As fast as a spinning HDD could be.
Failing SSD ? Let's test that. I put the SSD onto a USB interface, plugged in a Windows PC to get a more detailed reading with HD Sentinel. Took a good while to be detected, but HDSentinel eventually showed the drive with 70% remaining life in it, and about 10K cable communication problems (This is the 5th HDD cable replaced in 10 years). Nothing to call home about for a 6+ year old SSD. Plugged it in another MacBook, at first nothing showed up. Drive mounted after a minute or so. Did a bad sector scan with Drive Genius, came out clean after a lengthy scan.
Puzzled, I plugged the same SSD+USB interface in the original A1278 MacBook Pro, only this time though the USB interface (I was expecting to have to buy another SSD or cable, so closed up the bottom by then). At first didn't show up in the drive selection boot menu that comes up when [alt] is pressed. Then after a good 45 seconds staring at the screen, external partitions appeared next to the ones from the internal HDD.
See the pattern?
Why would an SSD become "slow to wakeup" while still performing properly once warmed up? And, how would I increase drive detection timeout in the EFI settings?
I realize this isn't a "proper" solution, but I can't find a good reason why a functional SSD would retain performance while being slow to boot.