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Did you know that there are different ways to start your Mac?

Starting the Mac is one of the simplest tasks, after all, just press a button. But did you know that there are actually different ways to start an Apple computer? Obviously, each of them has a different purpose. It is likely that you know some of them, but it costs nothing to stay on top of them all and use this article as a basis for future consultations, should you need to. ?

Let's go to options?

1. Security mode

WHAT ?

In safe mode (also called secure boot), the Mac performs certain checks and prevents certain software from loading or opening automatically.

In addition to checking the boot disk and trying to repair directory problems, if necessary, the mode loads only the necessary extensions from the kernel (system core), prevents automatic opening of startup items and login items, disables fonts installed by the user, and deletes caches from sources, from kernel and other files cache of the system.

What is that for? These changes together can help to resolve or isolate certain problems related to the boot disk.

HOW TO START?

After turning on / restarting your Mac and hearing the startup sound, press and hold the key (Shift) until the Apple logo appears.

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2. Boot manager

WHAT ?

A boot disk is a volume or partition on a drive that contains a usable operating system. Here on my Mac I currently have two parties, one with OS X El Capitan and the other with macOS Sierra. If I start the machine normally (just by turning it on), the computer will load the El Capitan partition (default). However, if I start the Mac through the boot loader, I can choose which partition I want to use. This goes for those who also use Boot Camp, for example.

Boot Manager

Obviously, this is true for several cases (those who have Boot Camp with Windows installed, operating systems installed on flash drives or SD cards, etc.).

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the (Option) and hold it. After a few seconds, the boot loader will appear. If you don't see the volume you want to use, wait a while until the verification of the connected disks is complete.

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3. Boot from CD, DVD, USB stick, SD card, etc.

WHAT ?

Here, you boot your Mac from a bootable CD, DVD, USB stick or SD card (that is, as an OS X / macOS installation medium).

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the C key until the boot options appear.

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4. Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics

WHAT ?

These are two similar solutions. While Apple Hardware Test is available for computers released until June 2013, Apple Diagnostics is used by newer machines. However, the purpose is the same: a great way to check your computer's hardware, helping to identify the potential source of a hardware problem and providing the first steps to try to fix it.

Apple Diagnostics

Before starting Apple Diagnostics (let's focus on it, since Apple's current solution), it is important to disconnect all external devices (except keyboard, mouse, monitor and / or Ethernet adapter). It is recommended to have an internet connection before starting Apple Diagnostics, as this will allow you to recommend support resources. In addition, if Apple Diagnostics is not found in the internal boot volume, an internet-based version will be launched. You can run Apple Diagnostics without an internet connection, but no results will be sent to Apple and no connection to support pages will be made.

If you are testing a notebook, plug it into a power source and be sure to leave the machine on a hard, flat and stable surface that allows adequate air circulation under and around the computer.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the D key until the feature's initial screen appears.

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5. Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics over the internet

WHAT ?

As the name implies, it is the same functionality described above via the internet.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + D keys until the feature's initial screen appears.

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6. Compatible NetBoot server

WHAT ?

NetBoot is an Apple technology that allows Macs with capable firmware to be started from a network, rather than via the local HDD / SSD or optical drive (CD / DVD).

A disk image with a copy of the Apple operating system created using the System Image (System Image) and stored on a server. Customers can then receive this image over the network using various protocols (HTTPS, AFP, TFTP, NFS, ASR, etc.). A server-side NetBoot, then, can boot machines.

As we can see, it is not a common resource among home users.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the N key.

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7. NetBoot server using the standard boot image

WHAT ?

The difference to the aforementioned scenario is that, instead of using a network disk image, the standard boot image is used.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + N keys.

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8. OS X recovery

WHAT ?

Starting with OS X Lion, Apple implemented the OS X Recovery feature, which includes all the tools needed to install / reinstall OS X, repair the disk and restore the Time Machine backup as there are no more optical drives on the Mac and the operating systems are distributed through the Mac App Store, a tool like this is needed.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the keys (Command) + R.

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9. Recovery of OS X over the internet

WHAT ?

Newer Macs have the ability to start directly from an online version of OS X Recovery ideal for when the Recovery System on the boot disk is not available (if the boot disk encounters a problem or has been replaced / erased). Internet recovery allows you to boot your Mac directly from Apple servers. After booting, a quick test of the memory and the hard / solid disk is performed to check for hardware problems.

Obviously, you need to have access to a Wi-Fi network for internet recovery to download and boot from a system recovery image. From that point on, you have the same utilities and options as the local recovery system (on your Mac).

In the case of local recovery, the version of the system installed is the last one that was running on your computer; already in the recovery via internet, installed the version of the system originally supplied with the computer (that is, if you purchased your Mac in late 2014, for example, OS X Yosemite will be installed).

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + + R keys.

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10. Reset the NVRAM

WHAT ?

NVRAM is an acronym for non-volatile random access memory (or random access non-volatile memory). This is a small amount of the computer's memory that stores settings in a location that the system can access quickly. The settings that are stored in NVRAM depend on the type of Mac being used and the types of devices connected to it, but typically include: speaker volume, screen resolution, boot disk selection, recent panic information kernel (if any), among other things.

If you have experienced problems related to these features (for example, if your Mac starts from a different startup disk than specified in the Startup Disk preferences or if a ?question mark? icon appears briefly while the Mac starts up) , you may want to redefine the Mac's NRAM.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + + P + R keys. After hearing the startup sound again, release the keys.

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11. Single or detailed user mode

WHAT ?

This is a very specific and useful resource for developers and IT professionals. Use single user mode (single-user mode) or detailed mode (verbose mode) can help isolate startup related problems.

HOW TO START?

  • Single user mode: when turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + S keys. When viewing the blank text on the screen, you will have entered single user mode.
  • Detailed user mode: when turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the + V keys. When viewing the blank text on the screen, you will have entered detailed user mode.

To exit modes, type reboot and press Enter. It is worth noting that in the single user mode, the keyboard layout is in US English.

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12. Target disk mode

WHAT ?

Target disk mode allows you to share files between two Mac computers with a FireWire or Thunderbolt port. It is useful when you need high speed transfers. In addition, it is also useful if the screen on one of the computers is not working and you need the files on that computer.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the T key.

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13. Boot from an OS X boot volume

WHAT ?

This option is for those who have, for example, Boot Camp as a standard boot disk. When booting in this way, you call the OS X boot volume even if everything is set so that the computer starts from a boot volume other than OS X.

HOW TO START?

When turning on / restarting your Mac, immediately press the X key.

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Bonuses: Resetting the SMC

WHAT ?

SMC is an acronym for system management controller (or system management controller) and, as the name implies, controls several elements of the Mac, such as:

  • Response when pressing the on / off button;
  • Response when opening and closing the display cover of portable Macs;
  • Battery management;
  • Thermal management;
  • Sudden motion sensor (SMS);
  • Ambient light sensor;
  • Keyboard backlight;
  • Management of the status indicator light (SIL);
  • Battery status indicator lights;
  • Selecting an external (non-internal) video source for some iMac screens.

If you are experiencing problems related to the items above, it may be a good idea to reset the SMC.

HOW TO START?

  • Macs with a non-removable battery: connect the notebook to the wall charger and press the + + keys (Control) on the left side and the button turns on / off at the same time; release all keys, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac.
  • Removable battery Macs: shut down your Mac, then unplug the power adapter; remove the battery; after removal, keep the on / off button pressed for five seconds; reconnect the battery and the MagSafe power adapter, then turn on the Mac, the LED on the MagSafe power adapters may change status or temporarily turn off when the SMC is reset.
  • Desktop Macs: turn off your Mac and unplug the power cord; wait 15 seconds and reconnect the power cord; wait another five seconds and turn on your Mac.

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There are many options and the idea is to decorate or get to know them all. The proposal here is to favor this article and, when necessary, resort to it to solve a problem or solve any doubts. ?