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  • jjbri Level 1 (0 points)

    I have all these probs, and tried all suggested solutions but failed. Except one, the installation disc fix. I can not find mine. Have appt later this AM in nearby Genius Bar. Is the disc absolutely critical for them to fix?

  • kobi105 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi. i stupidly went into my hard drive, after backing everything up, and put all my files in the trash to try and empty my computer. i then turned my computer off (also stupidly) and when trying to turn it back on it goes to the white screen and switches between a picture of the apple then a folder with a question mark and then a circle with a line through it. i think this is because i put the necessary startup files into the trash. is there any way to reinstall those files?

  • smithy31 Level 1 (0 points)

    Tried solution 2, its the only one that had any luck, and still flashed with the folder...

  • rspiker Level 1 (0 points)

    my hard drive doesnt even show up in the disk ultility and none of those options helped. Still getting the white screen  with question mark folder

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    If the disk does not show up in Disk Utility, that disk does not exist or, in a good situation, its contacts are broken. First check disk connection and, if OK, its integrity.

  • rspiker Level 1 (0 points)

    i took the hard drive out and plugged it into my newer macbook pro. I used the disk utility and repaired and verified it and it said it was all ok. so i plugged it back into the mid 2010 mac and used the disk ultility and the hard drive showed up this time. so i restarted the computer without the cd and i am still getting that folder with a question mark.

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    This means you had a simple contact problem, solved by taking it out and putting it back. That bad contact may revert, but it is simple now to realize the cause.

  • bhosk1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having this ? Folder problem as well. I tried all of these things and none of them helped except the repair disk option. It recognized my hard drive but when I hit repair disk after about three seconds it says:

    invalid node structure. The volume macintosh HD could not be verified completely and then it says error: Disk utility can't repair the disk.

    I've tried like 30 times now and it says the same thing every time.will somebody pleeease help!?

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    In the overwhelming majority of cases when ? shows up at boot = disk must be replaced.

    In rare cases, it may mean a bad contact, which means the disk is good, but the contacts must be cleaned. Also in rare cases, the system is corrupt.

    Therefore, you have three basic causes, briefly described above. The easiest way is to install system unto an external disk or even flash drive, if 16 GB or more, 8 Gb or less do not suffice. If an external disk is OK, then you may proceed with checking whether a bad contact is the cause or the whole disk. Take it step by step, there cannot be a clear and safe solution without taking it gradually.

  • rspiker Level 1 (0 points)

    In my case what happened was the cable from the hard drive to the logic board is bad. At least that is the next step. The first step is replace the hard drive because in most cases that is the first step. If it still does not recongize the hard drive then it could be the wire to the logic board which is the step i am on now. The last step is getting a new logic board put in. These steps came directly from the apple store when i went in to ask what i needed.

  • Blaze11372 Level 1 (0 points)

    i need help with my macbook 2007 i erased the hard drive and then tried to install osx snow leopard and it wont install plase help i get a folder with a question mark and i dont have the original disk i have the disk to my mac book pro please help

  • frederic1943 Level 6 (9,980 points)

    If you are trying to use a gray install disk from your MacBook Pro it won't work. Those disks are made specifically with only the drivers for the Mac that they shipped with.

    10.5 Gray Disks.jpg


    You need a retail Snow Leopard install disk like this.


  • iciclesteve Level 1 (0 points)

    flashing ? in a folder on my kid's MacBook.

    tried resetting PRAM, same result.

    tried booting in safe mode, same result.

    tried booting holding apple button, same result

    tried booting in target disk mode, appears to work. shows up in system profiler, but nowhere on desktop (external devices are checked). tried a different cable. tried a different desktop computer. tried hotplugging. all same result.

    tried booting up using various versions of OSX disks. all self ejected

    interestingly, a disk in the MacBook drive does show up on the desktop, just not the hard drive.


    any idea on where to go from here? thanks in advance.



  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    A flashing ? basically tells you: ‘I do not have a boot system disk’, this often means the internal disk is damaged or, in rare cases, that its contacts are bad (sometimes connection may interrupt).

    tried booting in target disk mode, appears to work’. Of course, your mac seems OK otherwise. If you connect two macs from the same generation, must be both intel macs, via a firewire cable, restart the healthy mac in target mode and your kid’s mac is pressed option/alt key after restart, wait, you should boot from the other mac; this is a good indication that your kid’s mac is OK, and that it needs a new disk or check whether contacts are bad.

    You should also be able to boot from a boot system disk by pressing key C after chime, but note that it MUST be the original disk your mac included in its package or a generic (labelled ‘retail’) boot DVD. This will not work with another mac’s boot disk.


    I do hope I was clear, if not please come back and tell me what was not clear. If you are familiar with booting a mac in target mode, you should be able to diagnosticate your ill mac quite easily. If a white or black MacBook, you can easily replace the disk by yourself, see instructions in or download Mactracker, identify your model, and follow the links there. Essentially, you must take battery off, unscrew the L-form metal fix on two sides, then pull disk out from the lateral side. You may first try to pull it out, clean contacts, put it back and see whether there is a simple connection problem (rare case, but not impossible). A better way to check disk is to put it into an external case, some are very cheap and is worth buying one, you may put any SATA disk there as a backup, external disk.

    If your internal disk is indeed good, and is a problem of contact, buying a new disk and an external case is not a bad investment, you may use the disk as an external one. On this occasion you may upgrade your disk with a new generation one, SSD or, if more space is needed, with a rotational+SSD hybrid, they are cheap enough and, now, realiable.

    Good luck.

  • iciclesteve Level 1 (0 points)

    I did the reverse target disk mode. and i am typing this from the Macbook now, but it is booted up via firewire from the desktop. i can see the macbook drive in the system profiler, but still not visible in the disk utility. and not visible from the desktop.


    i checked the start up disk opptions in the system preferences. it does not see the Macbook drive either.


    any other thought on how to get inside that drive?