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Question: iMac doesn't boot past white screen with folder and question mark

I have an older iMac that I am trying to revive. When I attempt to turn it on, it boots to a white screen that flashes a folder with a question mark in the middle of it.


I have attempted to use multiple different key combinations to try and boot into safe mode, or disk selection, and none will work. Some key combinations will instead boot to a white screen with the cursor and no folder, but that is at.


I am replacing the hard drive and trying to boot onto a bootable USB, but since they key combination will not boot to the screen I need, I cannot get a new macOS installed.


Is it possible that there is something else going on, or is this iMac just toast?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)

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Apr 22, 2018 5:28 PM in response to Asianbuddy27 In response to Asianbuddy27

The question mark indicates the computer cannot find a startup volume. The HD may be dead or maybe not. Restart in the Recovery Partition (Command + R) and run First Aid in Disk Utility. If errors appear, that confirms the HD is damaged and likely in need of replacement.

Apr 22, 2018 5:28 PM

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Apr 22, 2018 7:02 PM in response to rkaufmann87 In response to rkaufmann87

I know the old hard drive is dead, so I am replacing with a working SSD. Regardless, the keyboard command, including Command + R, is not working. Is this because I still need to get some sort of macOS installed first on the SSD?

Apr 22, 2018 7:02 PM

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Apr 23, 2018 5:44 AM in response to Asianbuddy27 In response to Asianbuddy27

You will need either an upgrade Snow Leopard DVD (still available from Apple.com for $19.99) or the original DVDs that shipped with the computer. You can boot the computer from the DVD and then format your SSD and use the DVD to install OS X on the SSD.

Apr 23, 2018 5:44 AM

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Question: iMac doesn't boot past white screen with folder and question mark