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  1. #1
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Question El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Hi all,

    New member - my first post here. I have already done pretty extensive searching for answers, both on this forum and elsewhere, so far with no resolution.

    Setup:
    Early 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 (2 x 2.8GHz Quad-Core Xeon)
    12GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM
    GPU: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
    Monitors: 2 x ACER X193W

    My query:
    Having run Snow Leopard off a 320Gig HDD (System files and apps only - storage of all other files is on another drive) on this machine for nine happy, trouble-free years, last week I accepted the inevitable and dragged myself into 2015 with a clean install of El Capitan 10.11.6 on a brand new SSD - a 240Gig Crucial BX500 mounted on an OWC Mercury Accelsior S PCIe card in slot 2 (to avoid the SATA II bottleneck of using a drive bay).

    Everything with the installation has gone brilliantly. The new OS runs very well, as do all of my apps. I'm happy. However...

    Before I installed the new OS, I timed a "cold start" boot of Snow Leopard from its old spinny HDD. From pressing the power button to seeing the login screen was 36 seconds.

    Now, booting from cold into El Capitan off its spanky new SSD takes a mere... 30 seconds.

    UH??

    Both OSes have just the one little item (XMenu) in the Login items folder and as far as I know, all other settings are the same. So what gives? I was expecting the boot time to be a heck of a lot shorter than this.

    After booting up this morning, I copied the Boot Log info out of Console. I trawled through it looking for obvious moments where it "hangs". I found two.

    The first one is a 5 second pause here:

    07/02/2020 08:49:24.140 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1]: (com.apple.TrustEvaluationAgent) This key does not do anything: OnDemand
    07/02/2020 08:49:29.134 WindowServer[155]: Session 257 retained (2 references)


    Then there's a whacking 11-second pause here:

    07/02/2020 08:49:33.000 kernel[0]: hfs: unmount initiated on Recovery HD on device disk2s3
    07/02/2020 08:49:44.406 SecurityAgent[216]: User info context values set for kenc

    "disk2s3" is the recovery partition on the SSD.


    I'm not experienced enough to know if there's anything anomalous going on. I'd be very grateful if any of you folks could cast an eye over the above log entries and tell me what you think. If you need to see the full boot log, I've attached it in a PDF. El Capitan Boot Log.pdf

    Thanking you in advance...
    Ken

  2. #2
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    G'day Ken and welcome.

    Where did you get your copy of El Capitan from, and did you burn it to a USB thumb drtive using a program to make it bootable, such as Diskmaker X and did you do an erase of the dsrive and clean install?
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Hi Harry - thanks for the welcome!

    It was from an official Apple download URL - not that I can remember it to quote it here! I then followed the procedure to turn it into a bootable installer to run off a 16GB flash drive. From there I did a clean install onto a brand new SSD - formatted as OSX Extended (Journaled). The install went without a hitch. Once it has booted, everything runs as nicely and as fast as you'd expect from an SSD. It's just the boot process itself that seems oddly drawn out.

  4. #4
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Can you remove (or just disconnect) the original HDD and test startup time again? Or wait a few days, and test again?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Can you remove (or just disconnect) the original HDD and test startup time again? Or wait a few days, and test again?
    Hi ferrarr. Thanks for the idea. Have just given that a try.

    Powered down
    Went out for several hours!
    Removed Snow Leopard HDD from the case.
    Booted up again.

    Result: no change. Still 30 seconds. Still, at least we can eliminate that as a possible cause.

  6. #6
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Anyone got any other thoughts on this? I'm really curious about those two odd pauses in the boot log. Something must be causing them... [strokes chin]

  7. #7
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    chscag's Avatar
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    Usually pauses in the boot process are due to the system looking at or for something such as external hard drives or other attached devices. I see where you stated that you have two Acer monitors attached... which normally should not cause any problems. I also looked over your boot log which did not show anything unusual.

    The two pauses you indicated above appear to have something to do with security which does seem out of the ordinary. Someone with more expertise is going to need to look at those in depth. Hopefully you can get that resolved since boot pauses are annoying. Let us know if you get it figured out. Sorry I can't be of more help.

  8. #8
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    chscag, you've been of great help simply by saying what you have. I now know more about what's happening than I did, and it's good to know that there's nothing wildly anomalous going on, so thank you. I shall look into the security thing.

  9. #9
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I agree with Charlie and your boot times are more than responsibly fast. It's not unusual for any Mac to have a unique burp or pause at boot time.
    You say your Mac is running well otherwise, so why not just carry on. But the comment about security seems like something to investigate. Do you have any such third party software installed?

    I'd carry on with you plan. I was going to suggest trying a cold Safe Boot, but I don't think that is going to help solve or prove anything.



    Patrick
    ---------

  10. #10
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Hi Patrick and thanks for your reply. I'm tempted to agree with you about just carrying on - a slightly longer-than-expected boot time on a machine that otherwise works well is by no means ruining my life! I don't have any 3rd-party security software on board, no. I tried a Safe Boot a while back - no effect.

    However, in a spirit of "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" (and ever-so-slightly clutching at straws), this morning I tried an experiment. Last night, trawling the web I read various reports of people with 3rd party SSDs having improved boot times after enabling TRIM. I hadn't enabled TRIM yet, because Crucial's info suggested that their own "Garbage collection system" was sufficient in itself, but I figured there was no harm trying, so...

    Booted into Recovery and disabled SIP.

    Did a normal restart and enabled TRIMforce. Tried not to fret about Apple's "don't blame us!" warnings of potential armageddon (or their ungrammatical use of the word "momentarily").

    Shut down and restarted from cold.

    Result: boot time INCREASED to 36 seconds!

    You win some, you lose some...

    ADDED LATER: After that initial post-TRIM boot, the boot time has now reverted to 30 seconds.
    Last edited by Horsa; 02-09-2020 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Extra info

  11. #11
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Try ging into System Preferences > Users & Groups > Log In Items and make sure there is nothing selected which may slow your Mac down. Also are you running AV software at all?
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  12. #12
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Thanks, Harry. Only one login item (XMenu, which I also had on Snow Leopard - I love it), and no I don't use any AV.

  13. #13
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Have you run EtreCheck, EtreCheck It may be able to identify an issue (if there is any)?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    Horsa's Avatar
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    Thanks, ferrarr - I've just downloaded and run EtreCheck. The "Major Issues" pane contains one entry:

    "This machine may be considered obsolete."


  15. #15
    El Capitan on SSD - strange pauses in boot process
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsa View Post
    Thanks, Harry. Only one login item (XMenu, which I also had on Snow Leopard - I love it), and no I don't use any AV.

    Why not try disabling it and reboot just to see if it may be causing any slowdowns etc.?
    Also, is it an updated compatible version for the macOS version you are using?

    It seems funny and odd to me that my iPad 3 takes a hell of a lot longer to boot than 30 seconds, and I've always wondered why a solid-state device would take so long?


    Patrick
    --------

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