Extended boot times with AirPort card

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Ok, this has been buggin me for months an I am finally getting around to doing something about it.

My 300MHz iBook has an Airport card and runs 9.2.2.

When I boot up, it takes just over two full minutes from the time my desktop appears (background and grey strip for the menu) until all icons and such display. during this time, the machine appears to hang and nothing loads to the screen, all screen artifacts load within seconds at the end of the 2+ minute waiting period. I have been able to figure out that when I turn off extensions which tell the laptop I have an AirPort card, I enjoy full boots in about 30 seconds, but no internet ('cuz I need the card for that, so I must reboot and www-aaa-iii-tt ).

So what gives?

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cwsmith's picture
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Rebuild the desktop?

Rebuild the desktop?

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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well, now, yeah...

I clearly had not thought of that. It took almost 20 minutes to complete. Now I am booting in more reasonable times (closer to 25 seconds between appearance of desktop and completion).

I would like it to be much speedier and do have a fairly streamlined extension set, but this simple thing has taken much of the pain out of my booting process.

Thanks! And if anyone has any ideas on how to better my results, please share.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Grrrr!

I am back up to two+ minute boot times!

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

davintosh's picture
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Sharing?

Is sharing turned on? Does it boot any faster with it turned off?

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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No

File Sharing is off, the desktop only has a few shortcuts on it. I use Location Manager to handle turning tha on and off (as well as settings for AppleTalk and auto open items and such) and the booting almost always occurs when the file sharing is off.

There are several folders opened and anchored to the bottom of the desktop, but that never caused a problem on ither Macs (that I noticed). By default, I usually turn off the airport card whne I am not connected (ergo, it is off when I shut down and off when I boot up although I have no clue what happens to it during boot up).

I have zapped PRAM and rebuilt desktop (and did this with extensions off).

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

dankephoto's picture
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searching for network?

I suspect the OS is looking for a valid network address, and either not finding it or taking a long time to find it.

Try setting TCP/IP to load from another port (wired for instance) and see how your boot times go.

dan k

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Nope

Good idea, but no change.

Once the desktop background appears, this is what happens:
Menu bar appears with only clock and battery icon, Mouse is a wristwatch.
29-30 seconds later, hard drive icon appears and mouse become familiar pointer.
120 seconds later (perfect two minutes) remaining desktop icons and menu bar items appear, machine works as normal.

Attempting to force quit during this time either does nothing (usually) or attempts to force quit Finder. Which happens depends on how close to end of cycle it is.

In this last attempt, AppleTalk and TCP/IP were both set to look to the Ethernet port. This same behavior is observed when these are set to any other combination of ports (AirPort, Ethernet, and Modem)

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

dankephoto's picture
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pull the prefs folder

Pull your prefs folder out of the sys folder (to the desktop is good) and reboot. Lessee what happens . . .

dan k

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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We're on to something

Ok, that had an impact. The 30 seconds was cut to about 5 seconds. There was still a noticable lag after that point, but not as long. SEEMED about a minute, but I did not have a seconds timer when I did it.

I will play around with this an report back.

I may be offline for a few days as I will be traveling and it may be Monday before I can report back on this.

Thanks!

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Nope

It looked promising when I tried it at first. After sitting back with a stop watch (aka a timer on my Newton), I clocked a blindingly fast 2:27, with the hard drive icon appearing promptly at :27.

I had cleaned all prefs out and rebooted with the airport card off. It did seem slightly faster until I added back in the needed settings for Location Manager. I may try it again and run it against the clock withtout the Location Manager stuff. It should not slow it down that much, should it?

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

dankephoto's picture
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70 seconds here

Just FYI, I fired up a Blueberry 300 - 320MBs (VM off BTW), stock 6GB HD, AP card - took about 70 secs to fully boot to 9.22.

dan k

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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so...

...it is so cool that you have a stack containing such things.

Let's say 70 seconds is normal, should I be 77 seconds longer (double the normal time)?

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

dankephoto's picture
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re: So...

I just grabbed an ASP report of the 70 sec iBook and sent it to ye, hope it will help sort it out. ;D

Heh heh, on my previous post I edited out a reference to a stack of iBooks from which I grabbed this one. Yeah, great to have lots of extra bits about, I just hope the wifey don't notice the height of the stack . . .
Laughing out loud

dan k

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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ASP report retreived.

Got it.

[edit]
This is good stuff. I will pour over it later tonight offline and put together a list of differences I think are relevant.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

davintosh's picture
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Why worry about boot time on an iBook?

It just occurred to me that I probably had similar slow boot times with my old 500MHz Titanium PBook when I used OS 9, but it never bothered me 'cuz I never shut it down and only restarted it when I didn't need to sit & wait for it.

I'd carry it to & from work every day, but I'd just close the lid & let it sleep whilst not in use. I do the same now with my 1.5GHz PBook. As long as you've got a decent charge on the battery and you're not going to be letting it sit in sleep mode for weeks, there should be no harm in doing likewise. With OS X it's really sweet; only about 10 seconds between the time I pop the lid up and when the AirPort card grabs a signal, sets up TCP/IP, and I'm surfing away.

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Well...

Aside from the fact that I have a few more applications, control panels and extensions, the only significant things are these:

  • You have 32MB more memory than I do.
  • I have Virtual Memory turned on.
  • My hard drive is 87% full.

Can't do much about the hard drive space.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Valid question

My battery ususally gives only about 4 hours when charged. If I want to go on the net with it, it has to sit sleeping at my desk for a good 12-14 hours before I wake it up again. I would like to have as much battery time as possible when I surf at the local free WiFi since finding a plug is hard. Otherwise, I try not to boot down.

That being said, if I go to a different WiFi spot, I must reboot to kill the app the first place drops on my machine - some credentialling thing or something that keeps the connection even if I close my browser. The only way to kill it is to reboot.

I try to avoid rebooting, but more often than not, I can't.

Now when the machine wakes up, I get times around 10 seconds also. It is just the boot/reboot that drags.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

dankephoto's picture
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re: The only way to kill it is to reboot.

Use a classic process viewer to cleanly kill those sorts of apps and processes, I like 'Peek-a-Boo'. There's also a freeware called 'Processor'.

Ho ho, I just tried Peek-a-Boo (under Classic on my Panthered TiBook) and it lets me see all my running Classic and X apps, and lets me kill any one of them. Coooooooool. Apple's bluebox rocks!!

cue: {naive idiot giggling to self}

dan k

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Jon
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Does it let you kill just app

Does it let you kill just apps you run in OS X, or does it let you kill just any process? If it lets you kill any process, I can see the potential of using Classic as a vector into OS X, maybe.

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dankephoto's picture
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just apps

Only user processes are accessable. I was just tickled that such an ancient app is still fully usable under X, well, Panther at least.

I think X is pretty well protected from Classic-based shenanigans.

dan k

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davintosh's picture
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I'd Second That

Kill the offending app instead of rebooting.

Does that app come from a public wi-fi hotspot or one of your own making? I've never heard of such a thing; seems strange that it'd be necessary.

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OS 9 And Sloooow booting

I have the same problem on my aging 9600. I found the cure one day from a site which I now cannot recall but I suspect it is true for all Macs running pre OSX. Here is the cure that works for me 100% of the time: go to system folder>preferences folder>servers folder. Put all items in the servers folder into the trash (but DO NOT delete yet). Reboot the computer and now when the system boots it won't spend time looking for servers that are no longer on the network, only the valid ones will be loaded which takes very little time (hopefully). If that cures the problem without losing any needed settings then it should be safe to empty the trash. For me, when I get slow boots I know this will be the sure cure so I delete them immediately, but I am not familiar with your setup so I would not delete them right away.
Hope this works for your system. I know the feeling all too well of waiting for a Mac taking longer to boot than it should or used to.

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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Good one.

I will try this. I do connect my Macs together, but I use Location Manager to switch File Sharing on and off. I had not thought about this one. When I disconnect, I just drag the icon to the trash and it seems to let go of it just fine. I had not thought about it looking for it again on a reboot.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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'k

I will look for this app later (got another travel weekend coming up).

The app is provided by the WiFi spot and from what I can discern, it bassically acts as an anchor for the thin client to keep me recognizable by the host even if I completely shut down my email and web applications. If I put the machine to sleep and come back later, the app allows me to be recognized and bypass the whole login process that I initally must do.

I cannot remember the name of the site that starts this up, but the spot is a local Panera. Free WiFi and a good sandwich, can't beat it. The app is not really my beef though, it does not seem to play a factor in the boot times, only acts as a catalyst for my desire to reboot (but now knowing I can kill the app manually, I will work towards that solution).

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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At one of or local Paneras I

At one of or local Paneras I didn't need anything to make the connection. It was under 10.2.8 on my iBook. I haven't tried 9 there, but I don't think it would need extra there. It seems as though they had a fully open connection there. I wonder if it's a locally controlled setup, or your Panera might be usign a different system for their WiFi.

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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resolution (maybe?)

Well, I never got a solid fix to my waiting, until now. I took a 6G hard drive from a donor-Book and repaced my 3G drive. In doing so, I also did a clean install before moving over all my user files.

It seems to be booting pretty fast now. Time will tell, but having over 2.2G free space on the drive versus 700MB had to help. Once I finish clean up and empty the trash, I may recoup another full Gig.

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'