Old School Mac OS X: Verbose Mode

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Back in the old days of Mac OS X beta and version 1.0, things didnit always go as smoothly as they do now. In fact, there were times when starting up your Mac with the infant OS could be a crap shoot. Verbose mode, however, gave us a handy way to watch what was happening during startup, and hopefully find whatever was keeping us from getting to the Desktop.

The great thing about Verbose Mode was that it stripped away the friendly startup interface and simply listed everything that happened as your Mac started up and loaded its software components. Once the startup process reached a certain point, you were returned to the familiar graphic interface.

Now that we are several versions past the early days of Mac OS X, Verbose Mode doesnit seem quite as important, but it can still be a useful tool for troubleshooting a Mac that is having startup-related problems. Hereis how to get to Verbose Mode:

  • Turn on or reboot your Mac.
  • Press and hold Command-V as soon as you hear the startup chime.
  • Release the keys when you see white text on a black background.

Watching the list for errors can offer clues to what is hampering the startup process, and in cases where a Mac completely hangs part way through startup, may show exactly which component choked the machine down.

Verbose Mode is safe to try even if your Mac is running fine. In addition to being a useful troubleshooting tool, it also offers a taste of just how complex Mac OS X is behind the scenes.

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