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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Lion very slow starting apps with Firewire 800 drive mounted


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HankH

 
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Since upgrading to Lion, I've experienced very long start time on almost every app. In Snow Leopard, most apps would open in one or two bounces in the dock. Since upgrading most apps take 38 to 40 bounces.

Recently I took my MacBook Pro on the road and was surprised that apps started much quicker. When I got home, same story - very slow startups. After some playing around, I discovered that my MyBook Firewire 800 2TB external drive, configured as a 1TB RAID 0 array, was the culprit. When it is unplugged, apps start quickly. When it is plugged in, apps take forever to start. What's curios is the apps I'm starting don't use the drive as I use it to store media files for Final Cut Express and Virtual Machine backups.

Any assistance on how I might resolve this issue will be much appreciated.

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MacBook Pro Mid 2010 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
500 GB Hard Drive
8 GB 1067 Mhz DDR3
OS X Version 10.7.1
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chscag

 
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It sounds like a hardware issue with the drive itself. I have an iOmega 500 GB FW 800 drive that I use which has no impact at all on the starting of apps.

If that particular drive has a triple interface (my iOmega does) try it using USB or FW 400 to see if you get the same result.
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HankH

 
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chscag,

Thank you for your reply. I've been trying to sort out why the drive creates a problem. I've noticed that app startup performance increases after the drive has been accessed. When I walk away from the machine for awhile and come back, apps start up very slow again. Even TextEdit takes 30-45 seconds to start. I think what I figured out is the drive array goes to sleep. When awakened it can take 30-45 seconds for both drives to spin up.

If I have the root issue figured out, it seems that Lion wants to go out and check the availability of all mounted drives any time an application starts. Unfortunately, the MyBook drive array has to spin up its drives and come out of sleep mode to answer, causing delays in starting applications. It seems if I could tell Lion to not query all the external drives (or just this one) when starting an application I could solve this performance issue.
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HankH

 
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Well after considerable testing and verification, I've proven to myself that Lion requires every drive to report any time it starts an application.

I have three external drives. An external 2TB Raid 0 drive on 800FW, a 2 TB USB drive for Time Machine Backups, and a 2TB USB drive for Virtual Machine backups. At first I thought it was just the 2TB Raid 0 MyBook involved but now realize it's all drives adding to the problem. Each of the three drives go to sleep after a period of no use. Each of them following their own timelines to fall asleep.

I discovered that Lion requires all of them to come out of sleep mode any time an application is started whether the application needs to access them or not. Since Lion waits with each successive drive for it to spin up and report, if all three drives are sleeping, it can take upwards of almost a full minute with my external drive configuration for an application like TextEdit to start.

Does anyone know how to tell Lion to not require external drives to report when starting an application? The alternative is to find utilities, presumably from the drive manufacturers, to disable the sleep mode for the drives. However, disabling this functionality dramatically shortens the lifespan and reliability of the drives and wastes power.

Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Does anyone know how to tell Lion to not require external drives to report when starting an application? The alternative is to find utilities, presumably from the drive manufacturers, to disable the sleep mode for the drives. However, disabling this functionality dramatically shortens the lifespan and reliability of the drives and wastes power.
I don't know of a utility which could be used. And without a firmware update from the drive manufacturer to adjust or turn off the sleep mode, the drives would have to be dismounted first.

And you're right, if sleep mode is disabled the drive will spin constantly wasting power and shortening its life. For that reason and to save wear and tear, I remove my external drives when not using them. However, that takes some discipline when dealing with backups.
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dtravis7

 
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I am seeing the same thing here for sure with my FW400 external as well. Many bounces till the light on the drive blinks a few times. The drive is in perfect shape.
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I have not experienced the issue you're having.
I am using a MBA currently though, which means my external is via USB.
My iTunes library however is stored on a RAID1 drive that is attached to a Windows box. I have to wait the same 30-45 seconds when accessing my library for that RAID to wake up, but still no effect even with opening iTunes.

If I can drum up some time over the weekend, I'll try my RAID via FW with my MBP and see if i can reproduce the issue of apps not opening until the drive wakes up.

I have not seen this issue either with just a standard FW800 external on my MBP.

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Bob, I for sure am seeing it here in the late 2007 iMac. I did notice sometimes apps taking 20 bounces and other times one and when the OP mentioned it, I watched all my externals. Noting on the USB ones but the FW400 and 800 both accessed then ever time the apps take a lot time to launch. If I turn off the FW drives, it never does it.
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HankH

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
And you're right, if sleep mode is disabled the drive will spin constantly wasting power and shortening its life. For that reason and to save wear and tear, I remove my external drives when not using them. However, that takes some discipline when dealing with backups.
Unfortunately, I'm running multiple processes that perform backups at various times of day and night, much of the time unattended. As a software team developer, I'm backup obsessed after a few unhappy lessons from the past. With three external drives I'd be playing plug and play all day (and night too). For me the better solution would be to find a way to disable this behavior in Lion or find a way to disable sleep mode in all three drive arrays and deal with the downsides of doing so.

I didn't have this issue in Snow Leopard and hope Apple will come out with either a configuration switch or patch soon for us poor overly dependent on external drives folks.
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gsahli

 
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Please do us all a favor and submit this to Apple Feedback:
Apple - Feedback
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HankH

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsahli View Post
Please do us all a favor and submit this to Apple Feedback:
Apple - Feedback
gsahli,

Thanks for the link. The issue has been reported to Apple Feedback.
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