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MacBook Slow To Boot After Hard Drive Replacement

October 6th, 2009

Flashing-question-markAfter upgrading or replacing a hard drive on a Unibody MacBook or MacBook Pro, you may experience longer than average boot times.

The solution is to select your new hard drive as the default startup disk inside System Preferences.

This lag in boot time (up to 30 secs.) is caused by the system looking for the startup disk. In PowerPC Macs, you’d sometimes see a flashing question mark while the system looked for a volume to boot off of.¬†Early Intel Macs went through this process very fast and you may not have noticed a lag.

The Unibody series of MacBook and MacBook Pro seem to take longer (are more thorough) in looking for a startup disk if no default has been set. Sometimes, a 10.6 upgrade will also deselect the hard drive as a startup default.

When you’re in Startup Disk inside of System Preferences, the default disk will be the one whose text is highlighted. If none of the text is highlighted, there is no default set. Simply click on the disk you want to set as default and click restart.

  1. Robert
    December 25th, 2009 at 15:05 | #1

    I just replaced my macbook unibody (early 2009) HD with a Western Digital Scorpio 5400 RPM with 500GB, but now that i installed the OS (Snow) the system lags when i move the mouse, scroll or even input text (like you write and nothing happens and then all the letters appear) i have no idea what can it be, either the system or the HD itself, i did a format when i placed the HD as Journaled as my previous, but i have no idea what it can be, i did the cmdPR thing and well is all the same…any thoughts? thanks!!

  2. December 26th, 2009 at 09:54 | #2

    Check for firmware and system updates through Software Update first. You may alos want to try re-seating the RAM and taking one chip out (leaving one in) and see if it’s possible that a bad RAM chip is causing the issue. If all this still doesn’t solve the problem, I would suspect that the HD is bad out of the box and try to get a replacement (if it seems noisy this could be the issue.)

    Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Good luck!

  3. December 26th, 2009 at 14:37 | #3

    Hey Robert

    Did you have any luck? I’m having the exact same problem, and no solution :(

  4. Karim Aziz
    January 20th, 2010 at 20:22 | #4

    Hello guys,

    I just upgraded my Macbook hard drive for a Western Digital Scorpio 500gb just as @Robert did, and I am having the exact same issues as him.

    Any taught?

    Karim Aziz

  5. Boob
    January 28th, 2010 at 08:45 | #5

    Me too. Same problem. Doesn’t seem faster.

  6. Jdavis
    March 17th, 2010 at 18:33 | #6

    Same exact thing happened to me. I needed more space so I upgraded, but I did not want to sacrifice speed like it has done since i replaced it. Any solutions!?

  7. jason
    June 22nd, 2010 at 04:38 | #7

    thank you! after 3 hrs of testing and troubleshooting and chatting with seagate, i got my boot up time a little more than 30 seconds to get to the desktop. the new drive is the seagate 500GB 7200 drive model ST9500420AS the boot time was slower (over 65 seconds) than the 250 stock HD on a 15″ macbook pro 2009 (55 sec). yes, this may not be a huge issue since macs like to sleep but i had to know that nothing was wrong with the HD.

    i found this article after i did Repair Disk Permissions (in Disk Utilities) and Repair Disk (ran the original boot OS CD).

  8. K3V1N
    December 30th, 2010 at 13:07 | #8

    exactly! that WD Blue Scorpio 500 GB! DAMN YOU! any solutions? :'( just replaced it but soooo slowwwwwwww

  1. October 6th, 2009 at 22:00 | #1
  2. October 8th, 2009 at 21:26 | #2