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Question: blinking white folder with ? mark on start up

I have a late 2013 iMac 21.5 and i wanted to put osx lion on it witch was the original os on there but because Sierra was on it I was unable to so I thought if I remove the hard drive and plug it into a docking station and then plug that into my 2015 iMac I can erase the drive then try restore it with lion but I don't know what I've done but now when I put it back it won't load pass the ? folder please help

iPod touch, iOS 6.0.1

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Mar 1, 2018 2:54 PM in response to bubble 78 In response to bubble 78

Put the drive back into the computer. Then do this:

Internet/Network Recovery of El Capitan or Later on a Clean Disk

  1. Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the (Command-Option-Shift-R) keys until a globe appears.
  2. The Utility Menu will appear in from 5-20 minutes. Be patient.
  3. Select Disk Utility and click on the Continue button.
  4. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (usually, the out-dented entry) from the side list.
  5. Click on the Erase tab in Disk Utility's main window. A panel will drop down.
  6. Set the partition scheme to GUID.
  7. Set the Format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  8. Click on the Apply button, then click on the Done button when it activates.
  9. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu.
  10. Select Reinstall OS X and click on the Continue button.


1. To install the version of OS X that was currently installed use Command-Option-R.

2. To install the original factory version when the computer was new use Command-Option-Shift-R.

Mar 1, 2018 2:54 PM

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Mar 1, 2018 3:02 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

I tried that but it comes up with a padlock so I phoned the college where I bought it there were having a it auction so I bought three iMacs two are fine this one was fine to when I turned it on it was a fresh install of Sierra so I had to set it up as a new Mac see I bought this one as I also have a 2006 Mac but the screen busted and logic board so I thought where the 2013 mac runs lion I could plug my hard drive from that in this one as my new Macs won't support it . I just don't know what I did wrong when I erased the drive why I can't get it to boot up again

Mar 1, 2018 3:02 PM

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Mar 2, 2018 10:30 AM in response to bubble 78 In response to bubble 78

Macs prior to Late 2011 models cannot perform Internet Recovery. What you need for the older Macs is a Software Recovery DVD that came with them when they were new. The school from which you bought the machine should have included the DVDs without which you cannot install OS X on an erased drive. Depending on what year it is from and what OS X version was factory installed, you might then be able to use the retail Snow Leopard DVD from Apple.

You can purchase Snow Leopard through the Apple Store:Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.). The price is $19.99 plus tax. You will be sent physical media by mail after placing your order.

After you install Snow Leopard you will have to download and install the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 to update Snow Leopard to 10.6.8 and give you access to the App Store.

Mar 2, 2018 10:30 AM

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Question: blinking white folder with ? mark on start up