9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2008 2:10 PM by dwb
Jared Sager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
my macbook starts up into the grey screen (no logo or indicator) and will eventually go into the flashing folder with the question mark. After hours of scouring forums I have tried the following things:

restart holding c with install disc in -> macbook spins disk, thinks, ejects disk
restart holding option -> grey screen, this time with movable cursor, does not advance from there. i left it for about ten minutes- should i leave it longer?
reset PMU as per Apple article -> no effect
reset PRAM as per Apple article -> no effect

i'm beginning to become resigned to the fact that it might be an HDD issue. i feel as though i should still be able to boot from disc. i could be wrong. just wondering if anyone has ANY other suggestions before going to Apple for repairs.

MacBook 13-inch: Black 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • Simon (UK) Level 4 Level 4 (3,565 points)
    The flashing folder indicates there's no bootable partition available to startup from. Even if it was a HD issue, there's no reason why you can't startup from your install dvd. Make sure you have the 'C' key pressed early enough otherwise it will attempt to find something on the HD. You can also try starting up with the disk in holding the Option key instead. It should see the disc this way too.
  • dwb Level 7 Level 7 (21,300 points)
    Actually it is possible for a bad drive to keep the computer from booting from the DVD.
  • Jared Sager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    okay, that makes more sense because i know it's not the timing of my c pressing. i had tried it before hitting power, after hitting power but before the grey screen, after power right before/during/and after the sound, and it just keeps ejecting the install disc. i tried the disc on a different computer and it booted from dvd no problem holding c. option is the same thing- it thinks about it, shows me a black cursor (as opposed to going immediately to the flashing question mark), but doesn't proceed from there.

    am i at the point where i take it in for repair? there's nothing else to "reset"?

    the only other thing i can think of is the RAM. if i had one bad RAM stick would this occur?
  • dwb Level 7 Level 7 (21,300 points)
    Assuming you are under warranty contact Apple - the drive will have to be removed and tested. It is probably fried though we have seen a few instances where the drive's contents were damaged but physically okay so just a reformat and installation was required.
  • a1387 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    this exact same thing is happening to my computer. It's horrible I've tried everything the manual suggests as well as tips I've read on the net. Even tech support can't figure it out. Suggestions?
  • Jared Sager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    is there a way to reformat and reinstall myself? this is a problem on my friends Macbook i'm trying to solve for her. i also have a Macbook- is there a way to use Target Disk Mode to do anything? she's kind of resigned to losing all of her data at this point so it's not an issue. her comp is no longer under warranty and we only have a reseller here in town not an Apple store and i've heard they can be pricey.
  • Jared Sager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    you've tried everything i did in my initial post?
  • a1387 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    yep nothing seems to be working. I think Apple needs to repair it at this point. I'm just really worried about losing all my files.
  • dwb Level 7 Level 7 (21,300 points)
    If the computer is under warranty the cost is carried by Apple. If it isn't, here's what I'd do...then again, I'm a tech and have access to lots of equipment. First I'd remove the drive (easy to do. turn off the computer, remove the battery, remove the little gate, remove the drive. The instructions are in the little booklet that came with the computer) and put it into an enclosure, connect to another computer and run drive diagnostics. If the drive can be repaired I'd format it, clone from my backup, and return to the computer. If the drive is dead I'd buy a new drive, clone from my backup, and be back up and running. There's a third, remote possibility - that the problem is the logic board and not the drive. But it is remote.

    What I'm getting at here is that yes, you can do it yourself but...you probably don't have an enclosure for a 2.5" drive so you'll probably just have to assume the drive is toast and buy a new one - check out NewEgg or Macsales.com. Without the external drive enclosure you give up the chance of restoring the drive and recovering data. Then again, if you can't anyway you'll have wasted $$$ on an enclosure you didn't need.

    Instead of worrying about what you've heard, call the local store and get a quote on replacing the drive and installing a drive that you bring yourself. That'll give you a ballpark figure to work with and you can move forward from there.