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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Flashing ? / not registering hard drive / OS disk not helping

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Member Since: May 06, 2008
Posts: 1
TomChapman is on a distinguished road

TomChapman is offline
I have been browsing the web for the answer and have come across this informative site and am preying your collective insight will be able to solve my predicament.

When I boot my Macbook I get the a flashing question mark folder. I have tried a number of ways to sort this out and get the system to register the location of the hard drive to no avail.

The main issue is that even when I put in the OS installation/repair disk it will not register there is a hard drive to install too. It is like it has vanished all together. I have tried to restore etc but the system only recognises the installation disk and so will not even let me format the drive that I know is in there. I would be prepared to format the whole lot if there is no way of saving the hard drive, but as it is not backed up I would much prefer to have a pop at saving what's on there.

I have tried using the target / host and external hard drive method which annoyingly will not work.

As you can see I am struggling and any help or information would be very gratefully received.

Very best
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Member Since: Jan 27, 2008
Location: Estero, FL
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With the install disk, after selecting languages, go to the menu bar under Utilities-Disk Utility. You should be able to initialize the HDD from there.

When all else fails, try everything!
The Rep System and you.
Life's a joke...If you're not laughing, then you didn't get it.

June 2008

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Member Since: Apr 05, 2008
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tatt001 is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook1.83GHzC2D 4GB Ram 320GB HDD DL Superdrive iMac C2D 2GHz 3GB Ram 1TB HDD DL Superdrive

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You could try pulling the hard drive out & reinstalling it?
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Member Since: May 09, 2008
Location: San Juan, PR
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kaffeboy is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook 1,1 - 2GB RAM - 120 GB HDD

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I did something really stupid.
We'll thing is I have a first generation 2.0GHz Core Duo Macbook with 2GB of RAM and 120HD (it came with 512 RAM and 60GB HDD stock).

I upgraded to Leopard a couple of months back and I decided to buy a 120GB hard drive when I bought Leopard (since Leopard is a big OS). Everything worked fine.
Last night, I was going through some things. After loading Ubuntu 8.10 on the Live CD, I realized I had 7.10 on my old drive. So I wen't and shut down and swap drives. When I did this, the old drive wouldn't go back in. After looking and looking, I realized that the two rubber pieces that go on either side of the hard drive were no longer there and had gone down. I couldn't get them out, so I went to get myself a pair of tweezers. I got them out, but it was 2:00am and superglue nowhere to be found. I tried remounting my original (Leopard) hard drive back in, since I had given up on the hd swap. Turns out, that when I turn it on, instead of booting into the Apple with the white background, all I get is the firmware lock asking for a password.
After several attempts, I tried taking it apart again, pulling the Hard Drive and pushing it back in. No luck . I tried the old "Put the disc in to use Disk Utility" fix, it didn't even recognize the disk in the optical drive. I'm running out of options and I'm in my last week in my university. I'm graduating and I have a couple of final assingments due NEXT WEEK. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to drop me a line or an email.

Feel free to PM me, since currently I have no computer.
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Member Since: Apr 05, 2008
Posts: 48
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Mac Specs: Macbook1.83GHzC2D 4GB Ram 320GB HDD DL Superdrive iMac C2D 2GHz 3GB Ram 1TB HDD DL Superdrive

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You will need to take macbook apart. Re-seat the rubber guides, while its opened up you can check if the HDD & optical drive cables are secured.

Not that difficult 1/2 hour max
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Member Since: May 12, 2008
Posts: 3
swim*judy is on a distinguished road

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My macbook did the same things that you were describing. I tried everything--finally took to Apple store and they confirmed that the hard drive crashed. I am 6 months out of warranty. Data may or may not be recoverable and it will probably be expensive.

Can anyone let me know how to shop for a new HD? Do I have to have a specific type for macs? I have searched for 2.5" 160 GB, 5400 RPM and get many different brands and types. I just need some advice. I know I do not want to get Seagate; that is what was in my computer that crashed after just 18 months.
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