4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 18, 2012 1:53 PM by Kappy
tool Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)

I am trying to diagnose a flashing question make on startup for an Early-2008 MacBook. I have tried everything I can think of to try without enoug t apart to check connections to cables. This computer was dropped from the desk to the floor and then it wouldn't get past just the gray screen (before even the apple would show up on startup) - after a while he just shut it down and called me to look at it.

 

I have tried everything I can possibly think of from trying to boot in safe/verbose mode. I tried to start from the discs that came with his computer to try to run Disk Utility, or to try to run AHT.

 

Absolutely everything I tried would not get me past just the gray screen but after I let it sit idle for about 5 minutes or so - I saw the flashing question mark in a folder.

 

Since it took a fall, and everything else I tried failed to produce any kind of progress what-so-ever,  I am kind of thinking I may need to get inside to check the connections to the HD. I'm not afraid to go about this myself but does anyone else have any other ideas that I may have overlooked before I do this?

 

It is out of warranty or otherwise I would obviously have him take it somewhere but I know i can do it and save him money in the long run if that's all it is.

 

Thanks for any help/advice.

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (46,675 points)

    If the Mac was dropped, the ? indicates that the disk was probably damage in the drop if not more then that.

     

    If I were doing this I would take out the disk and test it first since it is most sensitive to a drop.

     

    Allan

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (251,095 points)

    Here are possible causes:

     

    1. Corrupt or failed hard drive.
    2. Critical system file(s) are damaged.
    3. Some other hardware failure.

     

    I would first boot into Safe Mode then repair the hard drive and permissions. Restart normally. If this doesn't resolve the problem, then reinstall OS X. If this doesn't resolve the problem, then repartition and reformat the hard drive and reinstall OS X. If this doesn't resolve the problem, replace the hard drive.

  • tool Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)

    Thanks Kap,

     

    I cannot get the computer to start up with absolutely anything. No disc will allow me to start up to check Disk Utility, or to re-install the OS - and I can't run AHT.

     

    All I see is the gray screen, period. :/

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (251,095 points)

    That is very likely the sign of a failed drive or other hardware failure. Given you say it will not boot from an installer DVD or the AHT, I'm betting on the latter.