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  1. #1
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    Cupcakes's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 15, 2008
    Posts
    15
    Specs:
    "13 Macbook
    Unhappy When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    My laptop froze, and I turned it off. I turned it back on and it made the normal chimes that it was turning on, but it just stopped at the white screen. After about five or ten minutes, a flashing question mark in a folder appeared. I've looked on the internet, this doesn't seem to be too uncommon, and it says that it can't find the system software?

    I've looked on the internet and I can't find anything that works. A solution on apple.com said to insert your repair disk. Hmm, can't find that. I think that got lost when I moved. I called Apple, but they couldn't really help me since my warranty ran out. They said just to hold down the option key and a few other steps that would happen after something appeared. But when I tried holding down the option key, nothing appeared except my cursor.

    Help? Thank you!

  2. #2
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    eric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2006
    Location
    twin cities, mn, usa
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    8,708
    well, it's more likley a dead hard drive than corrupted system files.

    your options?

    1) take it to an apple store and they can run the diagnostics you can't due to the lost disks. the end result will likley be you walking out with a new set of Leopard disks and a new HD in your mac and a hefty bill for the service.

    2) buy a replacement set of disks from apple - i believe it should run you 40 bucks. run the diagnostics yourself - this will likely tell you your HD is shot. if so, go get a new one (they're pretty cheap now, about 150 bucks should get you 250 - 320 GB) and replace the failed one. it is blindingly easy to do, and instructions with pictures can be found on ifixit.com
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  3. #3
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.

    Member Since
    Feb 03, 2009
    Posts
    6
    Eric- where's the best place to just buy the new HD? I have a laptop iBook that crashed and won't remount, even when I firewire it to my good laptop. I was just going to give it away to a friend's sister who is autistic. It has that cheetos smell that some of the laptops get... but the little kid won't mind. Is it worth buying a new HD for it? Or would I be better, as I asked in another post, just turning the dang thing into an ant farm and finding a used Mac online to give her?

  4. #4
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    eric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2006
    Location
    twin cities, mn, usa
    Posts
    8,708
    if it suited your needs, it's probably worth salvaging. even if you don't want it, you could get some cash for it on craiglist or ebay. but getting it to run with a new HD should be easy enough as long as you have the restore disks or a good copy of OSX.

    you can get a hard drive anywhere they sell internal hard drives - bestbuy, office max, tons of places online. just comparison shop and look for a decent price and a name you know - you'll get 100 different opinions on who makes the best hard drives, bottom line is, you're very likely to get a good one that will last you a while, though there is always the small chance you 'll get a lemon.
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  5. #5
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    Cupcakes's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 15, 2008
    Posts
    15
    Specs:
    "13 Macbook
    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    well, it's more likley a dead hard drive than corrupted system files.

    your options?

    1) take it to an apple store and they can run the diagnostics you can't due to the lost disks. the end result will likley be you walking out with a new set of Leopard disks and a new HD in your mac and a hefty bill for the service.

    2) buy a replacement set of disks from apple - i believe it should run you 40 bucks. run the diagnostics yourself - this will likely tell you your HD is shot. if so, go get a new one (they're pretty cheap now, about 150 bucks should get you 250 - 320 GB) and replace the failed one. it is blindingly easy to do, and instructions with pictures can be found on ifixit.com

    Agh - exactly what I did not want. Losing all my junk! Well, thanks for the advice! I'll call an Apple store to get an estimate of the cost, which is probably hefty, like you said. Are all hard drives the same size and stuff, or will I need to get a specific type? I'll also need to buy some Leopard disks because I've lost the Tiger ones.

  6. #6
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    rogerinlondon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 02, 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    398
    Specs:
    iMac Retina 5K 4GHz i7 24GB RAM MacBook Air 11-inch 1.6GHz 4GB RAM
    Take it to an Apple store if you can. My wifes MacBook, 20 months old and out of warranty had a crack next to the keyboard/trackpad and then also the hard drive died.

    I took it in to the Apple store here and they fixed both issues for free!

  7. #7
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.

    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2009
    Posts
    51
    You will need a 2.5" hard drive...a laptop hard drive, any "computer" store will have them.

  8. #8
    When I start up my laptop, a flashing question mark in a floder appears.
    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,398
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcakes View Post
    Agh - exactly what I did not want. Losing all my junk! Well, thanks for the advice! I'll call an Apple store to get an estimate of the cost, which is probably hefty, like you said. Are all hard drives the same size and stuff, or will I need to get a specific type? I'll also need to buy some Leopard disks because I've lost the Tiger ones.
    If you keep the old HD after replacing it, you may be able to salvage some files if you put it in an external case. This all depends if the HD is shot and if so, how bad it is.

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