5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2012 1:17 PM by John Galt
guelphguy Level 1 (0 points)

The article for the "Flashing question mark..." doesn't say what to do if you can't boot from the CD at all.  Nothing works.

It turns on and shows the folder icon with a flashing question mark and nothing happens.  I can reset the PRAM and I can press the Disc eject button to get the OS CD out of the machine after I have inserted it to try to boot from CD but it does nothing else. 

What next?

 

Thanks

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,968 points)

    Your Mac has to find an OS to load from some device. If your optical drive is not reading your original System Restore DVD for some reason, and its internal hard disk drive is unreadable, then try connecting an external drive with a bootable OS, or connect another Mac using FireWire Target Disk Mode. This will be useful for recovering its contents, since it is likely your Mac's hard disk is in need of replacement anyway.

     

    Make sure your System Restore DVD is the correct one for your Mac, clean, and relatively scratch-free.

     

    It would help if you provided details regarding which specific Mac you are using.

  • guelphguy Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info...

    Here is the machine info...

    iMac (20-inch Mid 2007)

      Serial Number:   QP******X88

     

    I don't have the original CD that came with it but I put in a OSX Tiger CD to see if it could boot from that and it wouldn't boot.

    Can someone point me to some directions on how to make a bootable disk using my newer iMac with Mountain Lion (at work) and then I can try it?  Also, if I have connected another drive to a USB port, how do it get it to boot from that USB?

     

    Thanks

    Sam

     

    <Edited by Host>

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,968 points)

    I don't have the original CD that came with it but I put in a OSX Tiger CD to see if it could boot from that and it wouldn't boot.

     

    No, it won't.

     

    ... Also, if I have connected another drive to a USB port, how do it get it to boot from that USB?

     

     

    Use Startup Manager. The volume must contain a version of OS X that can boot your Mac. If you do not have one, and you lack your system's original System Install DVD, you have to purchase a version of OS X that will boot your Mac.

     

    Try this one:

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC573/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard

  • guelphguy Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.

    I actually purchased Mountain Lion from the App Store when it came out for my home computer so I will make a bootable USB from that.. I think I have to re-download it to get the installer again.  Then I will try the Startup Manager.  I assume that if the Startup Manager doesn't work then there is something more serious wrong with the computer?!

     

    Thanks

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,968 points)

    Yes, and yes you will have to download Mountain Lion again if you already installed it on another Mac. You do not have to pay for it again.

     

    Here are the relevant instructions regarding the creation of a bootable USB - resident installer: OS X: About Recovery Disk Assistant

     

    If you already have another Mac though, try FireWire Target Disk Mode. Your existing hard disk will have to be repaired before installing another version of OS X. As I wrote earlier, if it requires repair it may be in need of replacement anyway. Approach this task with the goal in mind of recovering its existing contents for later restoration on its replacement.