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Start up: blinking folder with question mark?

5998 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012 3:40 PM by BGreg RSS
Kez323 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 10, 2012 5:33 AM

Hi

i started up my mac today and it has a blinking folder with a question mark in it,

 

im guessing its the hard drive thats crashed?

 

i restarted it and held down the option key and no "Macintosh HD" was there, so i then tried to reformat it by putting in the disk1 that came with my imac but that gives me a error too.

after putting in disk one and clicking install it has the installing bar for a few minutes. (INSTALLING BAR. NOT THE CHECKING DISK).

 

After a few moments it says "Install Failed" "The Installer cannot prepare the volume for installation. You may need to prepare your disk using Disk Utility."

 

Any help asap?;)

 

- Kez

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,880 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 5:51 AM (in response to Kez323)

    Sounds like the drive is dead. Hope you have everything backed up.

     

    But can't hurt to try Disk repair and PRAM reset.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1440

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 5:52 AM (in response to Kez323)

    This is the Apple note on the question mark on folder problem, which means the system can't find anything to boot from.

     

    Have you tried booting to the OS X install disk (boot holding the C key down), then bring up Disk Utility (from Utilities on the menu bar). Does that see your hard drive? If so, repair the hard drive.

     

    Another test would be to run the Apple hardware test.

     

    If you confirm Disk Utility can't see the hard drive and the Apple hardware test gives you an error, then yes, your hard drive has most likely died.

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 9:01 AM (in response to Kez323)

    Edit: Also if my hard drive had died, and i took it into the apple shop(uk) how much would it cost to get fixed?

     

    I might guestimate a new drive at an Apple store is around £65 and double that to include installation labor, so perhaps around £130. Note the Apple store will likely keep your existing drive as a trade-in. Even though it's not working, some people are concerned with that due to personal data on the disk. 

  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
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    Nov 10, 2012 3:40 PM (in response to Kez323)

    It can mean several things. The "AMOT" portion of the message says that one of the fans inside the iMac isn't working, typically the one on the hard drive. One person had that error which turned out to be a RAM issue. You could reset your RAM to see if it makes a difference, however, my guess is that this is related to the hard drive issues. If the fan isn't working the hard drive could have been cooking itself.

     

    See this on how to reseat the memory, essentially just pulling each memory card out then pushing it back in. Then run the Apple hardware test again.

     

    Assuming that doesn't fix it, I would take it in for service to he Apple store, as there's not much more you can do.

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