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Fix SSD slow boot times Storage Devices
If you've just upgraded from a disk drive to a solid-state disk, booting from reset should take about 15 seconds, logging in should take about 5 seconds, and applications should launch about three to five times faster. However, you may find that everything is faster except the boot from reset, with the initial Apple logo not appearing for about 30 seconds.

The fix is to go into System Preferences » Startup Disk and select your new solid-state drive. This prevents a 30-second timeout before the boot starts.

Upgrading to a SSD is easy, if a bit expensive. I'd suggest turning your brand-new SSD into a temporary external USB drive using a Universal HDD USB Adapter from Apricorn or NewerTech and format it as HFS Extended Journaled, 1 partition, with Disk Utility. You can then clone your hard drive to it with Carbon Copy Cloner, making sure you are logged in as a administrative user who does *not* have FileVault enabled. Then open up the Mac (using instructions from and swap the two drives. Set the startup drive and you're done.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Obviously when you connect a new boot device you should be sure it is selected as your Startup Disk, or the system will experience a delay while it searches for a bootable System, sometimes including a network boot device which can take a while until it times out.]
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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: IWT on Apr 07, '11 08:12:04AM

In my case, I bought the SSD pre-installed in my iMac 27 inch. I only have the option of booting from the SSD. It is the default position with no alternative offered.

Also, I use SuperDuper! to make a clone and all you have to do is partition your EHD and clone the SSD to Partition 1 which is automatically rendered re-bootable; and the Internal HD (called HD2 by Apple) to Partition 2. No need for Images and the rest. Easy & straightforward.


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Moving to an SSD
Authored by: SeanAhern on Apr 07, '11 08:13:36AM
My route to move to my SSD from my spinning disk was even easier than using CCC and swapping hardware:
  1. Do Time Machine backup of old laptop. Turn old laptop off.
  2. Plug Time Machine volume into new laptop.
  3. Mac OS X asks if I want to restore from the TM backup. I said yes.
  4. Go get coffee.
  5. Log into new laptop and continue my work from where I left off.
Couldn't be easier.

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Moving to an SSD
Authored by: noworryz on Apr 07, '11 08:36:57AM

Did you boot from a CD or something? A new SSD is formatted for Windows and is completely blank.

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Moving to an SSD
Authored by: SeanAhern on Apr 07, '11 08:42:56AM

The SSD came in my new laptop. I didn't buy it separately.

But you're right, booting from a CD and formatting it is a fine way of going about it.

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Moving to an SSD
Authored by: noworryz on Apr 07, '11 10:14:48AM

For those who want to use this procedure, which has the advantage of not requiring a $30 Universal HDD Adapter but has the disadvantage of not allowing you to test your SSD before you install, the steps are:

1. Log in as a user who does *not* have FileVault enabled and do a Time Machine backup.

2. Open up the Mac (using instructions from and swap the two drives.

3. Insert your system recovery/installation DVD in your optical drive. Restart your computer and press and hold the 'C' key as soon as you hear the chimes until the Apple appears.

4. When you get to the screen saying "Install Mac OS X," do not press the "Continue" button. Instead, go to the Utilites menu and select "Disk Utility..."

5. Format your SSD as HFS Extended (Journaled), 1 partition. Quit Disk Utility.

6. Go back to the Utilities menu and select "Restore System From Backup," choosing your Time Machine backup. The restore should take about three hours.

7. Restart. Go to System Preferenences, set the startup drive, and you're done.

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: rpoland on Apr 07, '11 08:59:26AM

I went to System Preferences/Startup Disk and there were two disks, the new SSD (named Mac OS X 10.6.7 on MacBook_HD) and the Network Startup.

I selected MacBook_HD and I took exactly 30 seconds to reboot.

So, I guess this hint didn't work for me...

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May work for regular drives to
Authored by: everkleer80 on Apr 07, '11 09:23:27AM

This is not specific to SSDs; I have heard of issues where people have had this long wait becuase their regular hard drive was not selected is Startup Disk.

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May work for regular drives to
Authored by: noworryz on Apr 07, '11 09:53:20AM

You are correct. If you swap your drive for an SSD, though, you'll really, really notice the delay because everything else will be so fast. The Apple discussion board has many threads on the problem, some with poor advice.

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: the_13th_saint on Apr 07, '11 10:08:36AM

Quickest way to fix this is to do a pram reset of the computer and it will use the first available boot volume it comes across. The internal drive(s) are checked first. Useful if you just cloned your old drive to a SSD or new hard drive and swapped it out.

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SSD upgrade summary
Authored by: noworryz on Apr 07, '11 10:55:50AM

I'd like to sum up by saying that if you're handy with a screwdriver (or know someone who is), upgrading to an SSD is a great way to make a three or four-year-old machine feel like new: applications launch 3-5 times faster and, if you have to run Parallels on occasion, launching Windows takes 30 seconds instead of 90.

You can see if your machine can be upgraded by going to "About this Mac" under the Apple menu and then clicking "More Info..." Under the Hardware category, click "Serial-ATA" and see if your current drive is described. If so, an overnight clone and two hours of hardware installation will do the trick. SSDs are about $400 at present but that's still much less than a new machine with a solid state drive.

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: andrewhake on Apr 07, '11 09:48:33PM

Not sure why people are discussing how to move data to an SSD, but this hint absolutely works! So odd that with only one bootable drive connected/installed, this still has an effect. But the system does seem to always take the time to search for devices without one explicitly selected.

Took my MBP with Crucial C300 256GB boot up time at a much more SSD appropriate boot speed. Good stuff!

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: e_whizz on Apr 09, '11 03:48:06AM

This has nothing specifically to do with SSDs. Just a new drive. The hint should be changed to be less specific.

The problem is actually not that it can't find the new drive, but that the Mac is specifically looking for the old drive. It will wait in the vane hope of the old drive spinning up and attaching, before it times out and goes through the actually available drives.

Setting the correct disk in Startup Disk will fix the problem as noted, whether the new disk is a SSD or HDD.

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Backup your SSD
Authored by: stottm on Apr 15, '11 07:56:47PM

I bought a 120GB OWC SSD and it died about two months later. When I say, "died" I mean, I left my MacPro on over night and the next morning it was hung and the disk was totally dead. It would not boot, the Mac wouldn't boot if the drive was connected. It was completely toast with no chance for data recovery. Fortunately, it was warrantied and swapped by OWC for free. But unfortunately, I lost about two months of data!

So if you have an SSD, being used as a boot and Apps drive, as most would do. Make sure you clone it on a regular basis. I keep all my data on redundant disks but my startup SSD is cloned via CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) on a scheduled weekly basis. When an SSD dies, it just outright dies, they make no noise, have no moving parts, won't start failing and get worse, they just completely fail all of a sudden without warning! So be sure to back that drive up!

Cloning is the best backup for a bootable system volume SSD drive. I run mine to boot fast and run all my Apps fast. I also keep my Fusion VM's on it. All my data is across multiple disks in an external RAID box with a second RAID box mirroring it. Critical personal data is encrypted and uploaded to an offsite server in a data center that manages backups for me. The local RAID boxes are more multi-terabyte media libraries. (Scary, I remember my first dialup ISP ran the entire operation on 1TB of storage and I have 10 times that just for my household media!

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: trailfan on Oct 07, '11 09:22:19AM

hi, i tried the "select startup disk" solution and it didn't work because i didn't realize that in order for the system to make the switch, the secondary drive needs to be connected when doing this!

so i attached the external drive, then went to system preferences and chose the internal drive as startup, and awesome, it worked and boot time cut in half from about 30 seconds to 15! much more like i expected from an SSD.

i notice restarts are even faster, which again proves the point that you don't get the same results from restarts as you do shut downs on many operations. i always prefer a full "shut down" rather than a restart because it just plain makes things work better after upgrades, installs, etc. the two are definitely not equal.

thank you to "noworryz" for pointing out a simple solution to slow booting from a new SSD, your post was exactly what i was experiencing. i was really beginning to wonder what was up and what i had done wrong and how much more time it would take to solve this.

so again if you are having the slow boot issue, when you use this "designate startup disk in system preferences" remedy just be sure to attach the backed up external drive while making the choice of the ssd in System Preferences and it does work!

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Fix SSD slow boot times
Authored by: macosxmax on Feb 07, '12 02:14:05PM

Brilliant. This is exactly what I needed. I had put my original HDD into a FW enclosure, so I mounted that, then went to system prefs/startup disk, and selected the internal SDD. I also clicked the lock for good measure. Now I get to the gray apple logo almost instantly upon booting, and the whole thing takes 15 seconds.

For the record, I did the quick and dirty clone using CCC with the new SSD in the external FW enclosure (after first formatting it with disk utility), then simply swapped disks. Other than the long boot time (now solved) I haven't noticed any negative side effects from doing it this way.

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