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At startup see a folder with a question mark

412 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2011 1:55 AM by jakefromlund RSS
Pinglese Calculating status...
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May 27, 2011 6:22 AM

At startup I see a folder with a question mark and the system will not boot. Loaded install disk but it can not find the hard drive?

IMAC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,430 points)
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    May 27, 2011 6:23 AM (in response to Pinglese)
  • face247 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    May 27, 2011 7:11 AM (in response to Pinglese)

    you can try to do an SMC reset. (unplug everything from the back including the power cord for 20 seconds.) If that doesn't work, take it into an apple retail store/apple authorized service provider for hardware diagnostics, but i would expect the HD to be dead.

  • jakefromlund Calculating status...
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    Nov 10, 2011 1:55 AM (in response to face247)

    Mac Said:


    Additional steps

    If your Mac still starts to a flashing question mark, follow the steps below. If any step resolves the issue, you don't need to continue to the next one.

    1. Select your Mac OS X startup disk with Startup Manager by restarting and holding the Option key. After your Mac starts up, restart again to verify that the flashing question mark does not appear.
    2. If the issue persists, insert your Mac OS X installation disc. Be sure to either use the disc that came with your Mac, or, if you installed a later Mac OS X version from disc, use the newer disc.
      MacBook Air note: On a MacBook Air, there are two options for starting up from Mac OS X media: Either connect a MacBook Air SuperDrive to the MacBook Air via the USB port and restart the computer, holding down the C key during startup, or use Remote Install Mac OS X to startup from a system software DVD that's located on a partner computer. Once started up from Mac OS X media, skip to step 3.
    3. Restart the computer, then hold the C key during startup.
    4. From the Utilities menu, choose Disk Utility. Don't click Continue.
    5. Select your Mac OS X disk (named "Macintosh HD" by default) in the left side of the Disk Utility window.
    6. Click the First Aid tab.
    7. Click Repair Disk to verify and repair any issues with your Mac OS X startup disk.
    8. After repairing the disk, try to start up normally.

      Important: If Disk Utility finds issues it cannot repair, you may need to back up as much of your data as possible (or use Time Machine to back up to a different disk), then erase the disk and reinstall Mac OS X. You should back up important files and data before erasing a drive. Erasing deletes everything on the hard disk (including things on your desktop). Also, you can install Mac OS X onto an external disk, start from the external disk, and use Migration Assistant to transfer items from your usual internal Mac OS X startup disk to the external disk, then erase the internal disk and reinstall Mac OS X.
    9. If the issue persists, and Disk Utility didn't find any irreparable issues, quit Disk Utility, quit the Installer, select your disk when prompted, and restart.
    10. If the issue continues, reset PRAM. Note: After resetting PRAM, if the computer starts up normally, reselect the startup disk in the Startup Disk preferences.
    11. If none of these steps resolve the issue, start up from the Mac OS X Installation disc and reinstall Mac OS X.


    if none of this works but you have to format the entire disk, which is not very fun forsomeone, and if you have important data on your disk that you need, how do you do?

    yes I have a solution, but I do not recommend it unless you know what you're doing,

    ask a technician who is this he will help you safely, otherwise send a pm to me.

    first a little info about me, I'm IT technician then a couple of years and have never beena fan of the mac, and will probably not be there, because I think that off "giant optimized"systems have no security, personally, I want the mac to be release an update so it forcing / or remind the user to backup with time machine, so no I will not get me one of your machines, enough about that, I had a client who had this problem, (ps / something allhave to remember is that all customers are idiots and do not know what a computer realy are, that is why it remains "the rule 101"!

    His desk was this apoblemet, and I am recommending not to open up his mac becausethis would guarantee his disappearance, he had also no backups at something so long story short, he was fu ***,,

    However, he had all his business accounts on the computer and much much more, so hemade ​​the choice to give me permission to open up the machine, I went through all theguides that were on the Internet and Disk Utility was not helpful at all, nor disk Wari disc to start up, even when I plug in the drive as an external drive on another mac wanted itabsolutely does not come up.

    However, so when I connected the disk in a PC with Windows 7, install a program thatmade ​​it possible to see the disk in my computer but could not go into it because then it said that there was something wrong, but then I thought for a bit spruce, windows can see all unknown hard disk format "RAW" guidelines for adding, then it's just to make a RAW backup (google it) and Woll! now i have a copy of all his data, would also like to point out that this may take time, so be patient.

    [would also like to point out that if you choose to open the your mac, there is great risk that your warranty disappear, do so at your own risk!],

    so if you really have to have a backup of data you need the following;

    a PC whit windows

    a Controller that convert SATA to USB

    a program that makes creating a driver for HFS + disks

    a back-up software for RAW drives

    and last but certainly not least, patience.





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