7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2012 7:03 AM by Philip Amato
Philip Amato Level 1 Level 1

As soon as I switch on, I get the flashing ? sign and nothing else happens. What can i do?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6

    See this Apple note on steps to take.

  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6

    That folder with the question mark icon means that the MacBook can't find the boot directory. That can either mean it can't find the hard drive or the Operating System data on the hard drive is somehow corrupted.

    Put your install DVD into the optical drive (CD/DVD drive) and reboot. Be sure to either use the disc that came with your Mac, or, if you installed a later Mac OS X version from disc, use the newer disc. As soon as you hear the boot chime, hold down the "c" key on your keyboard (or the Option Key until the Install Disk shows up) until the apple shows up. That will force your MacBook to boot from the install DVD in the optical drive.

    When it does start up, you'll see a panel asking you to choose your language. Choose your language and press the Return key on your keyboard once. It will then present you with an Installation window. Completely ignore this window and click on Utilities in the top menu and scroll down to Disk
    Utility and click it. When it comes up is your Hard Drive in the list on the left?

    If it is, then click on the Mac OS partition of your hard drive in the left hand list. Then select the First Aid Tab and run Repair Disk. The Repair Disk button won't be available until you've clicked on the Mac OS partition on your hard drive. If that repairs any problems run it again until the green OK appears and then run Repair Permissions. After repairing use Startup Disk from the same menu to choose your hard drive for restarting from your hard drive.

    If your hard drive isn’t recognized in Disk Utility then your hard drive is probably dead.

  • Philip Amato Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Frederic,

    thanks for the information. I went into utilities and First aid. On the left I can see The hard disc icon 5.1gb hl-dt-st-dvdr.... and below the disc icon Mac osx Install disc 1. I clicked on the Disc ! but the repair disk remain grey.

    I also clicked on verify disk permisissions and I get this information : Verify permissions for "Mac OS X Install Disc 1" . In red I get  " Error: No vali packages".  Do you think there is any other solution or is my hard disc dead?

    Last week i bough 4 gb ram and installed them. All was ok until today. Another problem is I got a new battery and the battery does not charge.

  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6

    It sounds like you're looking at the install DVD not the hard drive. Here's what my MacBook looks like when I repaired my external drive.

    Disk Utility Repaired.jpg

  • Philip Amato Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Frederic,

    thanks for your suggestions but unfortunately this is what I am seeing. Repair Disk permissions etc are all in grey. Only the verify disk permissions is accessable.

  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6

    But do you see a hard drive or just the DVD drive and the install DVD?

  • Philip Amato Level 1 Level 1


    sorry for the delay in replying. Problem is the har drive is dead!!!!! Sent it for replacing.


    Thanks for your help.