REALLY WEIRD: can only startup in verbose mode


Man, this is a weird one.....

I'm configuring OS X 10.0.1 to run Tenon's iTools (apache, bind/DNS, sendmail, mysql, php4, etc), and I recently at *long last* figured out how to configure multihoming so I can have my server respond on two IPs, which is of course necessary for proper DNS hosting with a single machine.

Problem is, recently I noticed that there are several DNS lookup failures during verbose bootup....and there is the WEIRDEST problem if I *don't* boot up in verbose mode:

The system boots normally until the "Mac OS X" screen comes up. No progress bar appears in the little boot window....instead, it sits there for a moment, and then the window disappears, leaving me with a blank blue background. Then, the hard drive starts periodically churning, and the pointer cursor will change to the spinning CD and back over and over. I've let it run that way for about five minutes, nothing happens.

Weirdly enough, all I have to do is hold down command-v on boot and the startup completes fine -- even if there are a large number of DNS lookup and Timbuktu Pro errors, none of which seem to happen early enough in the boot process to have anything to do with the problem.

Any ideas? I suppose I could get around this by configuring the machine to always boot in verbose mode (which i've yet to be able to do, because running 'sudo nvram boot-args="-v"' doesn't appear to work, even though it gives no errors when i run it....and the other popular solution, rebooting into OS9 and using the Startup Disk control panel, isn't an option -- I don't have Classic installed on this machine for simplicity purposes)....but I'd rather have a *real* fix.

I'm a fairly experienced Mac/UNIX sysadmin, so I can find out just about anything that I need to know to debug the problem....I just don't know where to start! It would seem that since it's clearly related to a graphical bootup, maybe there's something wrong with the software that presents that bootup progress bar or something?