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Released on October 23, 2012. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Apple Fusion Drive.

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MacMini takes long time to boot until Apple Logo


I have got a 2012 Mac Mini, i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM installed. Last year I extended the disc capacity by adding a 240GB SSD as boot drive and took the default 1TB HDD for /Users as second HDD.

Last weeks the Mini started to take a "very long time" to boot until the Apple Logo appears:

I switch on the Mini, it takes up to 5 or 6 seconds until the Apple Logo (grey one) appears and then, 3 seconds later, I can login (so the boot process of the OS seems to be quiet fast).

What have I done?

Last weeks I decided to switch off the Mini instead of let it "sleep" and also I switched of the power board (power strip).

As I noticed the MIni to take a longer time to "find" its boot device (seems to be), I switched off the Mini but not the power board, but the "problem" remains.

Everything else is working fine - using option key for choice of boot device on boot etc.

Should I take care of it or is a SMC reset recommended etc.?

Regards, Stone

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It turned out that the only thing I needed to do was to choose the start volume in systems settings once.

It was the last thing I tried :-(

But I tried all the mentioned things and noticed a lot of wrong permissions on my boot drive - it is half filled and only applications are installed there (all user data is on 2nd drive /Users).

Regards, Stone

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Happy it all worked out in the end. I would still do some TLC to your HD beyond running Disk Utility.


Can you please share the step by step how you did it? I cant find it anywhere in system settings :(


Go to system prefs and open the Startup Disk control panel and then select the boot drive.

While Stone reset his, this shouldn't be needed if you haven't altered your drives.


Hello Erik

As Dan mentioned I have altered the disks in my MacMini, but I noticed (while owning and using MacBooks and other stuff) that the SMC (or PRAM?) drops some information from time to time for whatever reason.

As far as I know boot disk order is also stored to SMC, so a reset of the SMC with a later on "re-programming" by using systems preferences e.g. may help.

The steps:

Disconnect all external disks, SD cards etc. Boot your Mini and go to systems preferences, choose start volume, you may need to unlock the systems setting while clicking on the lock (lower left corner) and enter your password, click on the disk which is your boot disk (there will be only one if you have only one installed), then click on "restart".

That 's it.

Normally your device should start now within a few seconds.

As far as I know this is valid for all iMac, MacMini, MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Regards, Stone


I had to chuckle when you mentioned that the fix was the last thing you tried. We often bemoan finding things in the last place we looked or fixing things as the last thing tried. Common complaint. But when you think of it, when we 'find' or 'fix' something it is ALWAYS the 'last' place or thing we try. After all, once fixed or found, we stop looking. Right? Just a little bit of a chuckle. Now, to bemoan that the 'final' or 'last' place was after a LONG line of other fixes or places... that will curse us to eternity. :-)


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I think you have drive issues here that need fixing.

First you'll need to create a bootable external drive. I would recommend getting a USB thumb drive and then using Disk Utility delete the current FAT partition on the thumb drive and create a GUID / Mac OS Extended (Journaled) drive. Then using the OS installer (from the App store) install a fresh OS on the thumb drive. The Last thing I would do here is copy over the OS installer to the thumb drive.

OK, now we have what we need to boot up your system and if needed the OS installer to re-install the OS.

But before we move on make sure you have a good backup of anything important! As you may find the disk (either) may need reformatting.

Now using the Option key during the boot up you should gain access to the boot manager service. We want to select the USB thumb drive (it will take a bit of time here so don't panic). Once the system is booted up from the thumb drive locate on it Disk Utility. Run Disk Utility and repair both the permissions (you may need to do a few passes) and then Disk repair on both your HD & SSD.

I would also take the time here to move or delete any junk that you have on your disks. The boot up disk (SSD) should have at least 1/3 of it free space so the OS has enough space to work with. The last thing here on cleaning things up is deleting old cache files, log files and error reports. You'll need a cleaner App to do this effectively. Checkout the App store to find one if you don't already have one.

OK, so far we've fixed the drives, cleaned out the junk. Now we need to address the way the drive works:

SSD's need a means to clean up freed space. Depending on your drive it may have this as part of its firmware or you'll need a program to enable TRIM services.

HD's are different! they need to be defragmented once and a while. Yes I know everyone tells you its not needed, Rubbish you do! Here you'll need a good tool like: Drive Genius. We run it on our systems yearly and it does make a big difference!

I know its a lot here but its all needed - Good luck!

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Hi Dan

Thanks for your information.

I will give it a try tomorrow morning and report about it.

I already have a drive with OSX installer on it and I know about the process to boot from external drives; I did not think of the disk utility in order to check permissions etc.

Thanks for the hint.

Regards, Stone


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