12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 6, 2012 9:01 PM by rkaufmann87
JRsiMac Level 1 Level 1

iMac won't turn on. Only a clicking sound and a grey folder with flashing question mark.

Help.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
Solved by rkaufmann87 on Feb 6, 2012 9:43 PM Solved
You can re-download Lion from the Mac App Store if you have already paid for it. Please look over  http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/02/re-download-mac-os-x-lion-from-app-store/ for instructions on how to re-download Lion.
Reply by iCare on Feb 6, 2012 9:20 AM Helpful
Your iMac is actually turning ON as proven by the grey folder with the flashing question mark. The flashing question mark indicates that your system is unable to find a bootable volume. The clicking sound that you hear is probably coming from your hard drive while it tries to recalibrate. I suspect your hard drive has failed. What model imac do you have? If it's under warranty I suggest taking it in for service. Hopefully you've been maintaining a regular backup of your data as all users should. I lost my data once and it was a valuable lesson. I back up regularily now. If your iMac came with install disks then you can boot from them, choose your language when asked, then pull down the Utilities menu to launch the Disk Utility application. The Disk Utility application will allow you to verify whether your hard drive has an issue. Usually a clicking sound, assuming it's coming from the hard drive, is a sign of a bad hard drive. If your system has Lion installed then you can hold down the Command and R keys when you restart the system, then launch the Disk Utility application from the menu that appears.
Reply by rkaufmann87 on Feb 7, 2012 5:30 AM Helpful
Your welcome.

All replies

  • iCare Level 4 Level 4

    Your iMac is actually turning ON as proven by the grey folder with the flashing question mark.

     

    The flashing question mark indicates that your system is unable to find a bootable volume. The clicking sound that you hear is probably coming from your hard drive while it tries to recalibrate. I suspect your hard drive has failed.

     

    What model imac do you have? If it's under warranty I suggest taking it in for service. Hopefully you've been maintaining a regular backup of your data as all users should. I lost my data once and it was a valuable lesson. I back up regularily now.

     

    If your iMac came with install disks then you can boot from them, choose your language when asked, then pull down the Utilities menu to launch the Disk Utility application. The Disk Utility application will allow you to verify whether your hard drive has an issue. Usually a clicking sound, assuming it's coming from the hard drive, is a sign of a bad hard drive.

     

    If your system has Lion installed then you can hold down the Command and R keys when you restart the system, then launch the Disk Utility application from the menu that appears.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9

    In short  your system has had a HD crash and the HD needs to be replaced, if the machine is covered by AppleCare call them today and they will help arrange getting it fixed. The phone number is in your owners manual or  you can use the AppleCare Contact Info link to find it. If your machine is not covered by AppleCare then make an appointment at your local Apple Store or AASP to have it  professionaly diagnosed and have the HD replaced. If you have been backing up then restoring from the backup will be quite easy. Let the Apple Store or AASP know you have backup and they should be able to help you restore. If you have not been backing up then you will soon find out why this is the single most important thing you should do to preserve your data on any computer.

     

    Good luck.

  • JRsiMac Level 1 Level 1

    There has been progress. I erased and reinstall all software up to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and everything seems to be working so far. My problem now is that I can't seem to reinstall OS Lion which I bought previously. Command + R with Restart does not give me a Utilities window.

    Any ideas?

  • JRsiMac Level 1 Level 1

    There has been progress. I erased and reinstall all software up to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and everything seems to be working so far. My problem now is that I can't seem to reinstall OS Lion which I bought previously. Command + R with Restart does not give me a Utilities window.

    Any ideas?

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9

    You can re-download Lion from the Mac App Store if you have already paid for it. Please look over

     

    http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/02/re-download-mac-os-x-lion-from-app-store/

     

    for instructions on how to re-download Lion.

  • JRsiMac Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for your help. Only thing was that I had trouble finding the "App Store". First looked on the Apple web site and then on iTunes with no luck, but it was sitting there as and icon wating to be clicked in my Applications folder in Macintosh HD. Nontheless, a 10 for your help!

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9

    Your welcome.

  • JRsiMac Level 1 Level 1

    Hi iCare, Both you and rkaufmann87 were right about the HD. although I got the Mac going last night the clicking and stalling returned for another visit this AM.....going to replace the HD. Thanks.

  • taz101 Level 1 Level 1

    That is known as the "CLICK OF DEATH"  Back-up,Back-up,Back-up,Back-up,Back-up,Back-up,

  • iCare Level 4 Level 4

    If you would like more information about the condition of your hard drive I suggest downloading a copy of SMART Utility. The application pulls the SMART (Self-Monitoring,, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) logging files that are maintained by most major hard drives. If will tell you a great deal about the number of errors your hard drive has encountered. It may be helpful info for the service provider you go to. You can use the application in the demo mode to gather this information.

     

    http://www.volitans-software.com/smart_utility.php

  • BobbyB Level 1 Level 1

    I got the same problem,white screen with grey folder sign and question mark!!!! Is there any way I can fix it at home?????

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9

    BobbyB wrote:

     

    I got the same problem,white screen with grey folder sign and question mark!!!! Is there any way I can fix it at home?????

    Please carefully read Flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac for trouble shooting instructions.

     

    Also please begin your own thread, while you may have similar symptoms the cause be be completely different.

     

    And finally in order for anyone to really help you, you need to complete your profile so we know more about your system. Please click the Profile Update link for instructions.