6 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2012 11:11 PM by Ronda Wilson
The Brazilian Level 1 (0 points)

I have the flashing question mark folder on boot of my 2004 G4 1.33Mhz IBook.

I've changed the hard drive and also the ribbon cable but it does not make any difference.

For a few days before this occured the machine was hanging in mid operation and I was

seeing the multi-coloured wheel.

Can aqnyone diagnose the fault for me?

iBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Soto Level 3 (650 points)

    In most cases it means the computer cannot find your HardDrive...which is very bad.. but


    try this...


    Resetting PRAM and NVRAM

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
    3. Turn on the computer.
    4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
    5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    6. Release the keys.
  • The Brazilian Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried the PRAM and the situation remained.

    Accessed Disc Utility from the OSX cd and it doesn't see the hard drive at all.

    I know the drive is ok cos I put it in a caddy and can run it fine on our other iBook as a usb drive.

    Also changed the ribbon cable but that doesn't alter things.

    Does this point to the logic board?

  • Soto Level 3 (650 points)

    Strange that it works on another computer, have you started the computer up in safe mode?

  • The Brazilian Level 1 (0 points)

    Same thing happens, after a pause on black screen I get the grey and then the folder

  • Soto Level 3 (650 points)

    sorry, if it wasn't for the fact that it works as a drive for another computer, i would say it was dead.  Not sure what it could be. I guess check the connections in the cable when you hook it to the current computer. 

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    Hi, and welcome to Apple Support Communities.



    The Brazilian wrote:


    What does the flashing question mark folder actually mean?


    What it means is that the iBook can't find the operating system in order to start up.


    Have you tried starting by holding down the x key as the startup chime is ending?


    Check out Apple's suggestions for dealing with the flashing question mark:




    Maybe something there will help.