7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 30, 2012 10:12 AM by BDAqua
Sjeppie Level 1 (0 points)

Hoe to recover the OS X 10.5 when the Mac doesn't boot (only questionmark and folder on screen)

MacBook Pro mid 2009

My data is safe luckily

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Could be many things, we should start with this...


    "Try Disk Utility


    1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc, then restart the computer while holding the C key.

    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu at the top of the screen. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)

    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.

    3. Click the First Aid tab.

    4. Select your Mac OS X volume.

    5. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."




    Then try a Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.


    (Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive.)

  • Sjeppie Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi BDQua

    Unfortunately the Mac won;t boot from the Install disk either. It simply ejects the disc after half a minute of 'fiddling around the disc' which you can hear from the outside. After that the question mark and folder sign re-appear.


    Any other thoughts?

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Does it boot to Single User Mode, CMD+s keys at bootup, if so try...


    /sbin/fsck -fy


    Repeat until it shows no errors fixed.


    (Space between fsck AND -fy important).


    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck...



  • Sjeppie Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your VERY quick response.

    The issue however is that the machine refuses to boot, no matter what key combinations I push and whether I load the install disc or not. I always end up on the grey/white screen with the flashing question mark and the folder icon.

    So anything else I could try (then bringing it to the repair shop)?



  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    I can only think of one last hail Mary...


    Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)...



  • Sjeppie Level 1 (0 points)


    Even Mary cannot help out here. Still the same phenomena: grey screen with flashing question mark & folder.

    It's time to return the mac to the apple store for hardware check/repair.


    Thanks anyway for your prompt support.


  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Good luck with it.