Reviewer’s Name: Alan Kotik
Date Submitted: 12/29/2003
Drive Type: Hard Drive
Drive Interface: IDE PCI Card
Drive Brand: Hitachi
Drive Model Number: 7K250
Drive Size: 160GB
Driver Used: Apple Standard
Mac Model: Apple G4 Dual CPU
Mac OS Version: OS X 10.3
Reader Comments: Hi Mike, In the past few days I upgraded my 2001 QuickSilver Dual 800 (1.12GB, GeForce 3) from 10.2.8 to 10.3.2 and replaced a Seagate IV (80GB) with a Hitachi 7K250 (160GB).

I also ran the following command in Terminal and rebooted twice to speed up the boot process:

sudo cp -p /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin.

(Note – The Dec. 29th, 2003 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page and 10.3.2 feedback page also has a similar tip to speed booting in 10.3.2 – but it uses the symbolic link method instead which is what I used personally. It definitely helped on all macs here running 10.3.2.-Mike)

Here are some times in seconds that show the effect of the Panther upgrade (before, after):

Cold boot to login window (105, 96)
Login to desktop (17, 17)
iPhoto launch with 5.2 GB library (16, 16)

Not much improvement. But checkout the combined effect of Panther, the new Hitachi drive and the Terminal command (before, after):

Cold boot to login window (105, 53)
Login to desktop (17, 9)
iPhoto launch with 5.2 GB library (16, 13)

I’m stunned and pleased by the Hitachi drive performance. 112 on Xbench 1.3. Drive was $132 for 160GB/8MG at zipzoomfly.com.


Mike Comments: You selected IDE PCI Card as the interface but didn’t comment on the card model/brand used. (Reader FYI – pre-2002 QuickSilver and earlier Macs do not have native ‘big drive’ support (no 48bit addressing support to fully utilize >128GB formatted drives. Mac IDE PCI cards, Intech drivers (but check OS X compat notes there) or a FW case w/bridge board that supports big drives is needed to fully utilize large drives like this.


more
Tip for Slow Boot Times with 10.3.2

Posts in Apple’s discussion forums have a tip that has helped several readers that reported slow boot times after the 10.3.2 update (commonly reported delay at the login window startup for instance)
http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?14@173.yIU0a22npxJ.3544@.599e61e8
http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?14@@.599e619e/5

Open the terminal and enter

sudo ln -s /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheContro l /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl



The reboot twice and boot times should be reduced. (This helped here on two systems running 10.3.2.) Here’s comments on why this helps from one of the apple forum theads:

” Why does it work?
BootCacheControl is called during the startup process to create a cache of files needed to boot (up to the point were the login window is displayed).
In the 10.3.2 version the executable is called from the /etc/rc script twice:
– BootCacheControl
– BootCacheControl tag
both times its called using a shell variable set in /etc/rc which points to /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheContro l (and if this would not exist it would point to /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl.)
But there is another important call of the executable from the loginwindow process later:
– /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl autostop 15
Unfortunately the file /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl does not exist on a(ll) updated 10.3.2 system. Thecopy command above takes care of that problem.
Regards, Joachim”