Macbook takes extremely long to boot, Time Machine restore and reinstall didn't help.
I have a late 2008 Macbook that was running Snow Leopard. Randomly last week it started taking forever to boot. At first I thought it wasn't booting at all because it stays on a blue screen after the Apple logo for about 10 minutes, but it eventually lets me log-in to an extremely slow and crash prone OS X.
The OS X install disc also takes forever to load for some reason. I tried restoring from an earlier Time Machine backup, but the problem persisted. Then, I tried a clean install. The install would get to 99% and then tell me OS X could not be installed. However, I found out that it did do the install, and I was able to set up a clean install that is working a bit better (probably because I haven't set up Spaces, TM or any other bells and whistles yet). However, it still takes an eternity to boot.
Does anyone have a clue what might be going on?
I should probably also mention that when this all started I had a Bootcamp Windows XP partition going that worked fine for a few days after, but in my attempts to fix OS X it was unfortunately removed (bye bye Steam :( ).
There's a very distinct possibility that your hard drive is dying. You can check the SMART status using Onyx, which is free. If it passes that, then consider checking it with SMART Utility also. SU is not free, but is cheap and does a more comprehensive analysis of the SMART data. It has a free trial, so take advantage of it.
The only other disk maintenance tool I can recommend is TechTool Pro. It can do a surface scan to check for bad blocks. it's not free, nor cheap, but it is an outstanding piece of software.
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