Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next 76 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2016 8:04 AM by Chrislaptop Go to original post
  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    If not visible in the DU that disk does not exist for the system, as described

    booting from another disk via fw in target mode, sys profiler reads the config of the boot disk, i.e. the other computer, not the config of the computer you work with. your mac and your system are those running the system, i.e. the other mac.

    therefore, again: your disk is damaged or, at the best, has bad contacts. at this stage, you need not further check via target mode and firewire, you must now check the disk.

  • paul1paul Level 1 (0 points)

    I know this is an older thread, however I just wanted to note to anyone who's reading this more recently that if you are having this problem a lot, then your boot drive is most likely failing. This happened to me and I reinstalled the OS (Mountain Lion) and had some success initially, but it's happening yet again and I have to get the hard drive replaced. I have Apple Care, but the hassle *****. Anyway, hope this helps anyone. You can check based on error codes you get in Console (if you know how to check on that) etc.

  • macjan1980 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just want to share this story.

    I have a Mid2009 Macbook Pro (MBP) - model A1278


    - Got the questionmark sign by starting up the laptop

    - Disk Utilities didn't reconized the HDD

    - Opened the MBP, removed the HDD, put it in a External Sata drive case

    - Connected the drive via USB to the MBP

    - Disk was reconized by Disk Utilities after starting up with Mac OS Dvd

    - Repaired disk

    - Put back the disk, but still question mark sign

    - Called Icentre and they told me that the cable from the Mainboard to the HDD might be defective. The SATA driver on the mainboard hardly never fail (they told me)

    - Purchased a new HDD cable via Ebay (nr 821-0814-A)

    - Replaced the HDD cable to the original HDD and laptop restarted.

    - Due to the fault, the HDD might have damages.

    - I bought the following disk: Seagate Harddisk 2.5" 500GB, SATA300, Hybrid 4GB, ST95005620AS


    Yesterday after all software installations I got all the time the spinning colored wheel, but today my MBP is working fine and I hope it stays like this.


    Hope this info is helpfull for others who have the same problem as I had.

    Most of the time you got the questionmark sign, you software is corrupted or your HDD cable is defect.


    MBP Mid2009 can go up to a max of 500Gb (is what Icentre told me and is what you can find on the internet)



  • pleasehelpapple Level 1 (0 points)

    please help me the computer still doesnt respond i tried everything please reply me fast i have work to do hard disk is not fried i think?

  • brandoncote Level 1 (0 points)

    UMM my laptop is a school laptop and battery doesnt stay in im using tape at the moment to keep it in but when it freezes (THIS HAS HAPPENED TWICE INCLUDING TODAY AS THE SECOND) i shut it down manually then restart but then a blue question mark folder blinks BUT when i take battery out and put it back in then restart it runs fine. IS THERE A REASON WHY THIS HAPPENS????????????????????

  • brandoncote Level 1 (0 points)

    its also being brought in somewhere soon i dont know when but just wanna know if theres an easy solution IT ALSO DOES A CLICKING SOUND WHEN STARTING UP and its not an expired hard drive because i had one just months ago on this exact laptop

  • brandoncote Level 1 (0 points)

    another thing you can ask anything about apps that might cause this

  • benacaca Level 1 (0 points)

    Update to original post. Unplug everything, starting with power cord, ending with the ethernet cable while the question mark folder is flashing. Replug in everything in reverse order in which they were unplugged. It should restart without much of a hitch.

  • Cincinnatiat Level 1 (0 points)

    Holding down the option key worked. Thank you!!!

  • J21617 Level 1 (0 points)


    So I did step #3 and I clicked disk utility. Then I clicked the disk that comes up on the left side of the window. It says to click repair and verify, but it won't let me click it.

  • adrian.dsouza3 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Matt,


    I'm experiencing the fatal startup error.. question mark in a folder. The Shift Key, C Key and PRAM reset don't do anything, the Option Key tries to connect me to Apple's wireless support but fails after I connect to wifi.


    Here is a picture of the Activity Monitor showing Terminal, Finder, and Chrome "Not Responding' before I tried to force close Chrome from Activity Monitor:

    Activity Monitor before Startup Error with  Question Mark in Folder_2011MacBookPro.jpg

    Here is a picture of the force close action that never finished (forcing me to reboot).

    Fail to Force Close before Startup Error with Question Mark in Folder_2011MacBookPro.jpg


    I'd love to hear whether you think this hard drive is toast or possibly salvageable.


    Best Regards


  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    ? = no system disk

    In the hapy instance, a bad contact (rare instances), the most probable: bad disk; soluiton: replace it.

    A simple way to test case is to connect two macs via firewire or thunderbolt, if there are (not all macs have FW) and start damaged mac in target disk mode (press T on startup), which turns it into an external disk. If no disk pops up on the good mac, the verdict is to at least check the disk, rather replace it.

  • lukedubb Level 1 (0 points)

    You seem to know what you're talking about concerning  this thread. I was deleting some photos off my Macbook earlier today and I got the pinwheel. Usually when something happens along those lines and the pinwheel wont go away I can get up to the Finder on the top right and manually Force Quit. That wouldn't work, which is odd because my computer has NEVER completely frozen like it was a PC, so I decided to shut it down. On startup I just got a grey screen. No pinwheel or apple logo, and definitely no folder with ?. I've tried the first two you said a dozen times. Nothing happens. Option doesnt work, T doesnt work. Unfortunately my CD drive has never worked so I cant do a disk start up. Upon writing this reply I now am looking at something on the screen that looks like a 'Y'. A circle in the middle, two lines on the bottom stem, two lines on the left stem, and a solid block on the right stem. No clue what that is. Please help!

  • Nick Baldwin Level 2 (245 points)

    This is the FireWire symbol, and shows that the MacBook is booted in Target Disk Mode.

  • Cattus Thraex Level 4 (1,715 points)

    @Nick Baldwin. If you just stop at this point, he/she will not understand very much. TArget Disk Mode is a function which is achieved by pressing T after chime. If you did not press any such key, then you keyboard may have an issue, and presses T all the time, perhaps some other keys too.

    @lukedubb You have another issue then, perhaps your keyboard. Essentially TDM turns your mac into an external drive (disk or optical drive, if any), so with a 2nd mac around connected via firewire or, with newer macs, via thunderbolt (if there) you may check the faulty mac. Is there a 2nd mac around?