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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Looooong startup!

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Recently, my dual 2gb G5 began taking upwards of 8 minutes to boot up. It gets past the startup screens pretty quickly, but as the desktop appears, the beachball starts spinning for several minutes, then finally boots up completely.

I dont really have any startup items activated (turned most of them off except ical alarm schedulaer and system events)

I've run cocktail, and techtools.

I'm on an airport network--I'm wondering if the problem has to do with that? Maybe trying to find a network? Any help would be great. Running OS 10.3.7

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Macman's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 30, 2004
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Do you have a lot of extra stuff on your mac that it has to load at startup, like fonts and screensavers?
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Hi MAcman

No--no real startup items--at least none I'm aware of. I go into Accounts under Sys prefs and then to startup items. Only have 2 or 3 things as mentioned in the 1st post.

I only have about 300 fonts active. I've had much much more than that active without ong startup times. Any other ideas?
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immdb's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 04, 2003
Location: Southern Indiana
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro Quad Xeon 2.66GHz 3GB RAM, G4 Quicksilver w/Sonnet 1GHz Encore ST, 1ghz G4 Powerbook

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If you have access to broadband and don't already have it…
Download the 10.3.7 combo update (97mb) and apply it.

Even though you are at 10.3.7, applying the combo will often fix problems.

Also, how much free space do you have on your startup volume?

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.
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Thanks immdb

I actually did install via the combo , when this problem cropped up.
I have a good 85 gbs open on the main volume.

Maybe I'll install again? Are there any newer updates scheduled to come soon?

I think this all started some months ago afet having some airpoort probs. The other too G5s here startup fine though--and are on the same network.
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro Quad Xeon 2.66GHz 3GB RAM, G4 Quicksilver w/Sonnet 1GHz Encore ST, 1ghz G4 Powerbook

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Found this at the Apple Site

Mac OS X: Slow Startup, Pauses at "Initializing network" or "Configuring network time"

Mac OS X may start up slowly if you have an IP configuration that includes valid IP and router address, but does not include a valid domain name system (DNS) server address. The computer may appear to encounter full or partial Internet connection failure. You may also need to adjust port priority.


The computer takes longer than normal to start up, up to a few minutes. Pauses occur when the progress bar reaches "Initializing network" and "Configuring network time".

After the computer starts up, inconsistent Internet (TCP/IP) behavior may occur. Some applications may work as expected, others may not, and alert boxes with messages such as these may appear:

"The server could not be found."
"The specified server could not be found."
"A connection failure has occurred."
"Connection attempt failed."
"Name servers not responding."

Products affected

Mac OS X 10.0 and later


After the computer starts up, you should enter a valid DNS server address in the Network pane of System Preferences. You may add more than one DNS server address, ensuring your service in the event that one becomes unavailable. If you do not know your DNS server address, get it from your network administrator or Internet service provider before continuing. Only they can provide you with this information. If you already have correct DNS configuration, be sure that the network interface, or "port", that you use to connect to the Internet is listed first in your Active Network Ports list. Examples of network interfaces are Built-in Ethernet, AirPort, and Internal Modem. Mac OS X searches the ports in the order that they are listed.

These steps cover both the DNS and port priority aspects:

1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
2. Choose Network from the View menu.
3. From the Show menu, choose the network interface you use to physically connect to the Internet. See Note 1.
4. Click the TCP/IP tab.
5. Type your DNS address in the Domain Name Servers field. If you have more than one, press Return at the end of each to put the next address on a new line.
6. Choose Active Network Ports from the Show menu. See Note 2.
7. If the interface you chose in Step 3 is not at the top of the list, drag it to the top. See Note 3.
8. Click Apply Now.

You may need to quit and reopen some Internet applications to return to normal behavior. If you still have a connection issue, more general information is available from technical document 106796, "Mac OS X: Internet and Network Topics (Getting Connected, Troubleshooting)".


1. Prior to Mac OS X 10.1, the Show menu was named "Configure".

2. Prior to Mac OS X 10.1, Active Network Ports was named "Advanced".

3. Users of portable computers may need to prioritize different network interfaces for each place that they use their computers. You may, for example, prefer Internal Modem when at home but AirPort when at work or school. If this is your case, you may wish to read more about the Location menu. See technical document 106653, "Mac OS X: How to Use Locations".

Additional information

A DNS server converts DNS names, like "" into their IP address equivalents, such as "". When you do not have DNS service, your computer cannot find the IP address of the target server based on its DNS name. During startup, Mac OS X recognizes your otherwise valid Internet connection and then waits a predetermined amount of time for a DNS response before continuing, resulting in the longer startup time. This pause is known as a "timeout." If you encounter some applications that continue to work, it may be because they are set up to go directly to an IP address, bypassing the need for DNS service.

Some networks and Internet service providers use a protocol that allows your computer to discover DNS service automatically on the network without manually typing any DNS server addresses. This is why the Domain Name Servers field in System Preferences is labeled as optional. If your network provides automatic discovery, you should only encounter the symptoms if you have specified an incorrect DNS address, versus leaving the address field empty, which would not affect your computer. This means that valid troubleshooting steps include both:

attempting to connect the the DNS field blank
manually typing a valid DNS address, even if automatic discovery is provided

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.
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Thanks for the info!!

We have no info typed into our DNS field--most likely because we are using DHCP (?)

Thing is, the other guys are configured exactly the same and dont have this problem. hmmm. Also--dont have any network problems or get any of the messages as listed above. And the hangup happens well after the Initializing network" and "Configuring network time" windows come up. It happens when the desktop first appears after the apple tasks/bar screens have finished. I'll look into this stuff though. Definitely interesting info.
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