2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2012 4:14 PM by kmdynamo
kmdynamo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My MacBook is from 2008, and I have a new Air on the way. Today I shut my Mac down, came to school and when I pressed the power button instead of the Apple logo coming up a folder with a question mark on it was flashing. I pressed the power button to turn it off, then it did the same thing when I booted it up again. Finally loaded on the 3rd try, and I just shut it down again and it booted up fine.


Just wondering what this may be, is it having difficulty finding the harddrive?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • 1. Re: Start up my MacBook and get a folder with a ? on it
    frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6 (9,980 points)

    That folder with the question mark icon means that the MacBook can't find the boot directory. That can either mean it can't find the hard drive or the Operating System data on the hard drive is somehow corrupted.

    Put your install DVD into the optical drive (CD/DVD drive) and reboot. 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. As soon as you hear the boot chime, hold down the "c" key on your keyboard (or the Option Key until the Install Disk shows up) until the apple shows up. That will force your MacBook to boot from the install DVD in the optical drive.

    Or if you are running 10.7 Lion, boot from the recovery partition (Command +R on boot) and use Disk Utility to repair your OS 10.7 partition.

    When it does start up, you'll see a panel asking you to choose your language. Choose your language and press the Return key on your keyboard once. It will then present you with an Installation window. Completely ignore this window and click on Utilities in the top menu and scroll down to Disk
    Utility and click it. When it comes up is your Hard Drive in the list on the left?

    If it is, then click on the Mac OS partition of your hard drive in the left hand list. Then select the First Aid Tab and run Repair Disk. The Repair Disk button won't be available until you've clicked on the Mac OS partition on your hard drive. If that repairs any problems run it again until the green OK appears and then run Repair Permissions. After repairing use Startup Disk from the same menu to choose your hard drive for restarting from your hard drive.

    If your hard drive isn’t recognized in Disk Utility then your hard drive is probably dead or dying.

  • 2. Re: Start up my MacBook and get a folder with a ? on it
    kmdynamo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok thanks so much I'll try it! Should I do this only if I get the folder with the question mark coming up, or should I try it regardless?