started up my Macbook Pro 2009 13" and got the blinking folder with question mark.
This is the firmware telling you it can't find the bootable OS your assigned to it via System Preferences > Startup.
This could have a variety of meanings, or simply the firmware forgot what to boot from.
The first step is to hold the option/alt key down on the builtin or wired keyboard and boot the computer into Startup Manager and see if OS X is selection, then boot from it and reset the startup volume again.
ran First Aid from disk utility (booted from install disc)....... repair failed
decided to format from disc utility...... went to erase....... got the following error:
- "Disk Erase Failed with the Error Assert: Internal Error or unimplemented"
This could mean the drive is failing.
Any way, fortunately, everything is saved to an external drive via Time Machine (Whew!).........
Don't whew just yet. If the drive is bad and a corrupted OS X and software is on the TimeMachine drive, what are you going to restore with?
TimeMachine is terrible backup system, it relies too much on the software to be pristine and doesn't do well when it's corrupted.
Cherry picking files out of a corrupted TimeMachine drive is a pain, impossible if it's Filevaulted.
With a bootable clone, at least if the software gets corrupted, one can easily grab just users files out of it.
If you erase the internal boot drive, you might be erasing the only copy of your data you have if TimeMachine is also corrupted because of the issues on the boot drive.
Is this a hard drive failure?
I would say so. Replace the drive and try TimeMachine to see if it will restore properly, many have poor restore outcomes.
Don't erase the internal drive, and if TimeMachine fails, get a SATA to USB adapter and connect that to the old internal drive and access your files directly.
Trying to do so on a corrupted TimeMachine drive is a ngithmare.