I've got a late 2007 Macbook Pro with 4 GB of RAM and an SSD. I am running Boot Camp and have an OptiBay. I have partitioned the SSD and secondary drive to devote half of each to Lion and half to Windows 7. There is an additional Lion 'Recovery' partition - I've considered re-partitioning with gparted to remove this as I don't need it, but have left it alone for now.

The SSD especially makes things very fast; I can boot from the boot selector (this thing) to my Lion desktop (ignoring password entry times) in 23 seconds and to my Windows 7 desktop in 26 seconds. Both are a marked improvement over booting to just Lion with my 500 GB, 5400 RPM Scorpio Blue hard drive, which took some 45 seconds.

However, the time to reach the boot selector has increased greatly: It now takes 25 seconds to reach the boot selector, where previously the computer would spin up the drive, chime, and reach the Apple logo in just two or three seconds. The increased time to this screen negates the improved boot times in the actual OS.

Is there something I'm doing wrong in my partition scheme to cause this slow boot up?

The boot sequence doesn't seem to have this much work to do in these steps. The documentation says that the operations performed which are taking 25 seconds are:

  • Power On: Boot-ROM/RAM check is initialized
  • BootROM-POST: Power-on self test of Boot ROM
  • BootROM-EFI: Boot chime
  • Boot EFI: Mounts drives and loads drivers and other files needed to start the OS

After that, I select a disk (or let the default disk load) and the following steps occur:

  • Kernel: Grey screen with Apple logo and spinning gear
  • launchd: Brushed metal screen
  • loginwindow: Login window appears
  • User Environment Setup: Desktop and dock appear

It does boot, so I can only assume that the BootROM-POST passed. Is it possible it's 'barely passing' and testing multiple times or moving slowly? I don't see how the first three steps could take much time at all, so I assume that it's the Boot EFI step that's taking forever. I've also read the refit documentation on the boot process, which goes into a bit more detail about hardware discovery and driver loading. Is it possible that the new drives are re-installing their drivers each time I boot?

Any assistance towards removing or even simply better understanding this delay would be much appreciated!

  • Could you try pressing ⌘ + V (verbose boot) immediately after boot to show verbose mode. That might give you a bit more information as to why it's hanging.
    – Aaron Lake
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 14:33
  • @AaronLake - Good idea, thanks! Is there a way to copy text from that screen or find it after booting? I've used that before to debug a completely broken boot, and there's a lot of text there. Alternatively, is there a known-good log somewhere that I could compare my results to? Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 14:41
  • Try resetting your PRAM and NVRAM: support.apple.com/kb/HT1379
    – user10355
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


The boot selector scans all possible boot devices, including network, firewire, and USB devices. Try disabling WiFi, unplugging everything, resetting PRAM (like cksum said) and then rebooting again. The fewer choices the boot-loader has, the faster it will load. The ultimate speed up, is to go into System Preferences -> Startup Disk to select the desired partition. It sounds like that is not what you want, but it illustrates the process.

  • I don't mind choosing a startup disk, but I use both a lot. Re: scans all possible boot devices including network - I'm plugged into the LAN at my engineering building. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of other devices on the LAN. That could be taking a while, but that should have shown up on the ordinary Lion-only boot. Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 2:56
  • The LAN itself only counts as one device... unless there is something out there claiming to be a boot server. The boot selector sends out a broadcast message asking for possible boot servers. It is possible that one or more machines on the LAN are responding, causing your machine to spend some time negotiating with them only to discover that they don't offer any acceptable boot volumes. That is something that could easily change over time. If unplugging the LAN speeds up the boot time, then that's the likely reason.
    – Seth Noble
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 15:23

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