Like most software makers, Apple routinely sends out updates to their operating systems to improve security, fix bugs and add new functionality. For Mac OS X, these packages typically arrive once every one or two weeks, and can cover anything from the operating system itself to other components such as iTunes, iMovie or FileMaker Pro.
While Apple is usually very good about having these updates integrate seamlessly into your system so that you hardly notice anything has changed, every now and then, especially on older Mac models, you may find that the update causes the computer to start up slowly, or freezes on the "logo screen." If that's the case, one solution you may want to try is rebooting in safe mode.
Safe mode is a function built into virtually every operating system, including Windows and Linux, which allows you to turn on your computer with only the bare minimum of programs started. During this process, the computer will check the startup volume (the drive from which it boots and runs the operating system) for any problems and attempt to fix them. Once it has done this, if Mac OS X opens, you can then restart your computer and let it turn on in normal mode.
To boot your MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro in safe mode, hold down the shift key when you press the power button. You should see a loading bar underneath the Apple logo when it appears. Once this shows up, you ca let go of the shift key and let the computer boot. It may take a few minutes longer, but it should get you to OS X, at which point you can either restart to go back to normal mode or try to identify the problem that was preventing it from starting up properly.
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