Complete Noob with a OSX Issue

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Hi

I have a complete Noob question and im not too technically minded, but any help would be great.....


I Have an iMac and if i remember right it was running MAC OSX 10.4.. standard software that it came with. I Had an issue a couple of days ago where i had a flashing Folder with a question mark inside on start up. I googled it from my ipad and it said it was a problem where the Mac couldnt find the start up disk, and to rectify the problem, hold the "Option" key while the mac is Booting.

This worked the First time, it again happened last night. I tried the Option Key again but this time it didnt work, I jumped on the Apple website which told me to insert my Start up Disk CD that i got with the MAC, problem is i cant find it....

The questions i have are...

1. Am i able to buy/replace the start up disk CD?

2. Can i just buy OSX leopard or Jaguar instead and install that?

Once again...sorry for the noob questions and thanks for your help in advance
 

chscag

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Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
It sounds like your hard drive has failed. And yes, you will need a start up DVD in order to do repairs. First, you probably need to replace that defective hard drive and second, reinstall Tiger. If you haven't been making backups, chances are you lost all your data and applications.

A Tiger retail disk is what you need and can probably find one on eBay. The retail disk is black not gray - silver so be sure to buy the right one. A Leopard retail DVD is going to cost over $100 on eBay so you probably will be better off with the original Tiger. Forget Panther, it will not install.

Do the repairs yourself? Go to iFixit: The free repair manual.
 
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PPC Mini, 10.4.11. Intel Mini, 10.6.8. MacBook Pro, 10.14.6. M1 MBA 11.6.3 iPhone 5 iOS 12.5,
If you have an Intel iMac with at least 1gig of RAM, you could always buy the Snow Leopard disc for $29.
 

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