8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2012 10:22 AM by poflynn
poflynn Level 4 (1,300 points)

Hello - When I startup I'm getting the Question Mark folder icon.  I can't get past this to do anything else at all. 


A little background, Three days I got the Spinning Beachball couldn't do anything and Cmd-Opt-Esc did nothing; I had to use the power button to turn off. Restarted and all was fine. But then it happened again.  And each time the "PC Connection" light on my cable modem was not lit.  Last night I left the machine to sleep on its own but it would not wake up this morning. I held the power button and nothing happened; held it again and it started up but just displayed the Question Mark.  (TimeWarnerCable recently upgraded their speed this week but that wouldn't cause this would it?)


Please help!


You should see below that I'm still on Tiger; my iMac is about four and a half years old.

iMac7,1 2.4 GHz; 2GB, Mac OS X (10.4.11), Tiger iLife '08 Alesis IO|14 FW Interface
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,365 points)

    Hi ...


    The question mark folder can mean several thiings. One the hard disk is failing or has failed, or, you Mac can't find a System Folder to boot from. Try starting up while holding down the Option key. That should prompt the Startup Manager window where you can select the startup disk. If that doesn't help, check out this support link >  A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac


    (TimeWarnerCable recently upgraded their speed this week but that wouldn't cause this would it?)


    Not related.

  • poflynn Level 4 (1,300 points)

    Thank you, I'll try that.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,365 points)

    Ok ...

  • poflynn Level 4 (1,300 points)

    Okay, so got home and checked the mouse and keyboard, un and re plugged them in; unplugged the GarageBand controller I had connected and my printer, which has been troublesome lately.  Started up and... fine, no problem.  Now I just have to hope it doesn't happen again.


    I will be updating shortly to Lion (after first updating to SnowLeopard).  But if their is a hard disk problem that wouldn't help, would it?


    Here's the quite lengthy error report that appeared after I started up and logged in.  Perhaps someone can decipher it?


    panic(cpu 0 caller 0x001A49CB): Unresolved kernel trap (CPU 0, Type 14=page fault), registers:

    CR0: 0x8001003b, CR2: 0x00000000, CR3: 0x00fa1000, CR4: 0x000006e0

    EAX: 0x00000000, EBX: 0x039b1500, ECX: 0x00000000, EDX: 0x00000000

    CR2: 0x00000000, EBP: 0x25133ef8, ESI: 0x039b1500, EDI: 0x00000000

    EFL: 0x00010246, EIP: 0x00848ca6, CS:  0x00000008, DS:  0x00000010


    Backtrace, Format - Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)

    0x25133ce8 : 0x128d0d (0x3cc65c 0x25133d0c 0x131f95 0x0)

    0x25133d28 : 0x1a49cb (0x3d2a94 0x0 0xe 0x3d22b8)

    0x25133e38 : 0x19b3a4 (0x25133e50 0x39c6ef0 0x25133e98 0x13597b)

    0x25133ef8 : 0x9064e1 (0x39b1500 0x297 0x25133f28 0x907564)

    0x25133f28 : 0x909e92 (0x39c0b00 0x39c0ba4 0xaa 0x0)

    0x25133f58 : 0x90a268 (0x39c0b00 0x0 0x25133f78 0x19e23a)

    0x25133f78 : 0x13d989 (0x39c0b00 0x0 0x19e23a 0x385df5c)

    0x25133fc8 : 0x19b21c (0x0 0x0 0x19e0b5 0x385f3b4) Backtrace terminated-invalid frame pointer 0x0

          Kernel loadable modules in backtrace (with dependencies):


                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOStorageFamily(1.5.1)@0x51b000

                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOAHCIFamily(1.0.3)@0x845000


    Kernel version:

    Darwin Kernel Version 8.11.1: Wed Oct 10 18:23:28 PDT 2007; root:xnu-792.25.20~1/RELEASE_I386


    Model: iMac7,1, BootROM IM71.007A.B03, 2 processors, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz, 2 GB

    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, ATI,RadeonHD2600, PCIe, 256 MB

    Memory Module: BANK 0/DIMM0, 1 GB, DDR2 SDRAM, 667 MHz

    Memory Module: BANK 1/DIMM1, 1 GB, DDR2 SDRAM, 667 MHz

    AirPort: spairport_wireless_card_type_airport_extreme (0x14E4, 0x88), Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (

    Bluetooth: Version 1.9.5f4, 2 service, 0 devices, 1 incoming serial ports

    Network Service: Built-in Ethernet, Ethernet, en0

    Serial ATA Device: WDC WD3200AAJS-40RYA0, 298.09 GB

    Parallel ATA Device: MATSHITADVD-R   UJ-85J

    USB Device: Built-in iSight, Apple Inc., Up to 480 Mb/sec, 500 mA

    USB Device: Keyboard Hub, Apple, Inc., Up to 480 Mb/sec, 500 mA

    USB Device: Apple Optical USB Mouse, Primax Electronics, Up to 1.5 Mb/sec, 100 mA

    USB Device: Apple Keyboard, Apple, Inc, Up to 1.5 Mb/sec, 100 mA

    USB Device: IR Receiver, Apple Computer, Inc., Up to 1.5 Mb/sec, 500 mA

    USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, Apple, Inc., Up to 12 Mb/sec, 500 mA

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,286 points)

    But if their is a hard disk problem that wouldn't help, would it?

    Correct. it would likely be worse.


    Boot off your *original* Install Disk while holding down the *d key*, (not c key), then run the extended Apple Hardware Test. Some disks require you to use the Option key at bootup to select AHT.

  • poflynn Level 4 (1,300 points)

    Here's what finally happened, if anyone's interested.


    Doing the Apple Hardware Test didn't work, it kept stalling partway thru.


    Was FINALLY able to startup from the install disk holding C key (it kept ejecting the disk several times) and did a Repair to the Hard Disk using the Disk Utility, and that seemed to do the trick.



  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,286 points)

    Great to hear, thanks for the report!

  • poflynn Level 4 (1,300 points)

    Actually ended up having to replace the hard drive.