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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
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    4
    Awful folder with ? appears at startup of PowerMac G4
    I know, I know you are probably thinking if I'm having trouble with a PowerMac G4, then you would suggest burning it and throwing it away. However, this was my first mac and I can't put it down yet. I had not experienced many problems with my 16 year computer until recently.
    The last operating system that was installed was Tiger. Currently when I start the computer up I get the awful folder with a blinking question mark Can you please assist me in possibly recovering my mac? Someone mentioned purchasing Disk Warrior, but I didn't want to purchase something if it wasn't going to cure my problem. By the way, I consider myself to be an intermediate mac user so please don't go too technical on me

  2. #2

    s2odin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 23, 2010
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    836
    Specs:
    C2D 2.26 | 500GB Seagate Momentus | 2GB 1066 (soon to be 8)
    A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac

    Basically, try to boot from the install disc and repair the hard drive. Try resetting the PRAM as well. If the hard drive health is 100% and there are no errors and the PRAM reset doesn't work, it might possibly be a bad SATA cable.
    USAF E-2. 1C6X1 - Space Systems Operations. 19 days until BMT.
    Upgrade your MBP HD
    Tritton AXPro FS

  3. #3

    50voltphantom's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2010
    Posts
    164
    Specs:
    20" iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo - eMac 1.42 GHz (RIP) - iMac G3 400 MHz - iPad 2 16GB
    ^I second that.
    Mac Specs: 20" iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo 4 GB RAM 500 GB HD OS 10.6.8 Magic Trackpad- eMac 1.42 GHz (RIP) - iMac G3 Grape 400 MHz 1GB RAM 40GB HD OS 10.4.11 iSub - iPad 2 16GB - iPod Classic 120 GB - iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen 1GB - Apple TV 2

  4. #4

    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,112
    Specs:
    Mac Mini (Late 2014) 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3
    For less seasoned users who happen upon this, that blinking question mark means that no "blessed" System Folder can be found. Repairing the hard drive may remove the obstacle preventing that.

  5. #5

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
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    1,513
    Your going to boot from the OS system disc..hold down the C key on a restart after you insert the disc. May be time for a new battery as well.

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    21,722
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    You do have the Tiger install disc?

    After doing as suggested, boot from the disc and go to Utilities in the Menu Bar, select Disk Utility and run Repair Disk. Perhaps the hard drive has failed. You have had a good run from the drive, maybve time for a new IDE/PATA drive.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for all of your suggestions. However as I tried to do that I was quickly reminded of something. My computer does not have a internal or external dvd player. So I guess you ask how did I install it the first time? I thought outside the box and put my hard drive in a friend's computer and installed it that way. The new delimma that I have now is that I do not have access to my friend's computer again. Do you have any other suggestions? Is is possible for me to perhaps purchase some type of recovery disk for Tiger? Or is there somewhere I could perhaps download some type of recovery disk and put on a cd?

  8. #8

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Quote Originally Posted by udabney View Post
    I thought outside the box and put my hard drive in a friend's computer and installed it that way.
    Thats why its messed up. Why is there no DVD drive?

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    Posts
    4
    I would have to disagree as for that being the reason the computer will not start. The computer worked just fine after the install of Tiger. The blinking folder is a problem that I have recently encountered. As for why it doesn't have a dvd drive...I'm not sure. You would need to ask Apple why they didn't have a dvd drive on all of their G4 models.

  10. #10

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts
    1,513
    Some G4 models require firmware updates before they are upgraded. All the media system disc your asking about will be on DVD. Being you need a DVD drive for Tiger..your going to have to install one.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2011
    Posts
    4
    How would you suggest I do that if I can't get the computer to start up?

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
    Posts
    9
    The first time you encounter the flashing question mark can be distressing; means the computer can't find the software to start the booting process. The only thing I've ever found that totally cures this is a reinstall of the system. You will lose everything on your computer though. There may be a way to reinstall a new system while keeping the old system (and all files) on the hard drive in a separate file folder. Good Luck.

  13. #13

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