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jswimboy
Jun 18, 2007, 09:35 PM
hey guys,
well i just got back from vacation and I tried turning on my macbook, but it wouldn't startup. it made a clicking noise and all that appeared was a white screen and a folder with a flashing question mark inside it. I then put in the apple disk it came with and went to 'disk utility,' but it wasn't able to find my hard drive. Is there any way of retrieving the data on my hard drive, or even better, fixing my macbook? luckily, for me, my warranty just expired while I was on vacation, and I'm not able to talk to apple customer service without paying 50 bucks. any help would be much appreciated.
thanks.



tico24
Jun 19, 2007, 04:28 AM
I had that problem 2 weeks ago with my macbook. Had to take it to the apple store and they replaced that hard disk.

It sounds like the heads have gone on your hard disk - so no, you wont be able to get any data back. This is why backing up your data is so important.

It cost me around £200 and 2 hours to get the job done if that helps.

showtime
Jun 19, 2007, 04:52 AM
Same thing happened to my friend. Your hard drive probably died.

mad jew
Jun 19, 2007, 05:11 AM
If you have access to another Mac, try Target Disk Mode (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58583). It's not guarantied to work, but it's probably worth a try. Good luck. :)

heySparky
Jun 20, 2007, 11:58 AM
You could also try starting up with your system DVD (or CD) disc that came with your Macbook, then use Disc Utility to check the hard drive, but I suspect that previous opinions that the HD is gone bad are correct. Disc Utility will verify that it that is the case.

docc
Jun 20, 2007, 12:29 PM
You could also try starting up with your system DVD (or CD) disc that came with your Macbook, then use Disc Utility to check the hard drive, but I suspect that previous opinions that the HD is gone bad are correct. Disc Utility will verify that it that is the case.

He mentioned that he already tried that.

Its definitely your HD and i'm sorry that happened. Well, since you're warranty expired, the only way to get it sorted is to get it fixed by Apple and they are definitely going to hit you where it hurts. If they charge you something like $500 +, just consider getting a new updated Macbook if you can afford it. No sense spending $500 on an older one just for a HD.

eBay the rest as i'm sure you can always get a good amount for the RAM, shell etc.

Nick012
Jun 20, 2007, 12:56 PM
He mentioned that he already tried that.

Its definitely your HD and i'm sorry that happened. Well, since you're warranty expired, the only way to get it sorted is to get it fixed by Apple and they are definitely going to hit you where it hurts. If they charge you something like $500 +, just consider getting a new updated Macbook if you can afford it. No sense spending $500 on an older one just for a HD.

eBay the rest as i'm sure you can always get a good amount for the RAM, shell etc.

Or the OP could just by a new HD and swap it in. Macbook HDs are user serviceable. A 2.5" drive shouldn't be too expensive at all and theres a how-to on the apple website.

alethea
Apr 8, 2008, 07:34 PM
hey guys,
well i just got back from vacation and I tried turning on my macbook, but it wouldn't startup. it made a clicking noise and all that appeared was a white screen and a folder with a flashing question mark inside it. I then put in the apple disk it came with and went to 'disk utility,' but it wasn't able to find my hard drive. Is there any way of retrieving the data on my hard drive, or even better, fixing my macbook? luckily, for me, my warranty just expired while I was on vacation, and I'm not able to talk to apple customer service without paying 50 bucks. any help would be much appreciated.
thanks.

Hi all. Hopefully posting on the bottom of an old thread won't prevent this from being noticed!

So virtually this same thing happened to me today. My MacBook has seemed a bit sluggish and buggy of recent, but I figured it was a software thing. Was using my MacBook as usual today when it froze. I had to force quit it, and when I restarted, there was no chime -- just a few small clicks and a solid light gray screen. After a prolonged period (1-2 minutes?) a folder with a question mark comes on a starts blinking. I've tried just about everything I can possibly find. Every reset imaginable, firmware resets, RAM resets. I've tried to boot (both D and C) from my install disk but this does NOTHING -- does not take me to Disk Utility.

I am 100% sure that my hard drive has failed, but I'm afraid it could actually be much more than that given the inability of the computer to boot from a CD/DVD. My biggest question is whether I should go to smalldog.com or somewhere similar and buy a new hard drive to install myself or sell the machine for parts on EBay and buy a new computer. Is it worth my investing $140 in do you think? It's only 2 years on but has been kind of buggy from the start.... Random application crashes often recently, particularly Safari.

fsalum
Apr 11, 2008, 09:16 PM
Hi all. Hopefully posting on the bottom of an old thread won't prevent this from being noticed!

So virtually this same thing happened to me today. My MacBook has seemed a bit sluggish and buggy of recent, but I figured it was a software thing. Was using my MacBook as usual today when it froze. I had to force quit it, and when I restarted, there was no chime -- just a few small clicks and a solid light gray screen. After a prolonged period (1-2 minutes?) a folder with a question mark comes on a starts blinking. I've tried just about everything I can possibly find. Every reset imaginable, firmware resets, RAM resets. I've tried to boot (both D and C) from my install disk but this does NOTHING -- does not take me to Disk Utility.

I am 100% sure that my hard drive has failed, but I'm afraid it could actually be much more than that given the inability of the computer to boot from a CD/DVD. My biggest question is whether I should go to smalldog.com or somewhere similar and buy a new hard drive to install myself or sell the machine for parts on EBay and buy a new computer. Is it worth my investing $140 in do you think? It's only 2 years on but has been kind of buggy from the start.... Random application crashes often recently, particularly Safari.

It happened the same to me today. Any key does not work (option, C, D, shift) and it does not show the option to boot from the DVD.

I believe it was not a problem only in the HD since the DVd option to boot doesnt show.

Tomorrow I scheduled a genius bar and will take my macbook there. Let's see what happens.

Hope to not lost my harddisk, I didn't have backup :(

alethea
Apr 12, 2008, 10:54 AM
Just to let you know, in my case it was indeed the hard drive (and only the hard drive). Once I reset the PRAM some of the boot commands came back, although it took a VERY long time of holding the key down for the computer to recognize a CD/DVD. The Mac Genius told me that the hard drive's going completely dead had had the effect of locking up the memory, because the computer kept trying to find the hard drive before it would do anything else. If it's your hard drive and you've got MacBook (or at least if you don't have AppleCare), I'd recommend buying the hard drive from a third party and doing the install yourself. It was VERY easy.

All that is to say you may have lost your data. I luckily didn't lose anything except a few weeks' email ... I had back things up piecemeal in various places and was able to find most of my important documents.

Good luck!

ais7
Jan 2, 2010, 07:07 AM
so that flashing question mark on the screen happened to me to and i did the first step in putting in the disc but didnt help now i cant get the disk out of my laptop?? help!! how do i get the cd out ive tryed everything and how do i fix my laptop completely? i have the laptop over 3 years now

jbrenn
Jan 2, 2010, 07:31 AM
so that flashing question mark on the screen happened to me to and i did the first step in putting in the disc but didnt help now i cant get the disk out of my laptop?? help!! how do i get the cd out ive tryed everything and how do i fix my laptop completely? i have the laptop over 3 years now

It sounds like the hard drive is dead. if you hold the mouse button down then turn on the computer it should eject the cd. We need to know what model computer you have before we can recommend the currect part to fix it.

csdibiase
Jan 2, 2010, 01:23 PM
in my experience, clicking usually means that the hard drive has lost the ability to track the heads on the platters or physically move the heads. Grinding usually means a head crash outright. In your case the data might be recoverable though I doubt it's a self repair.

To get your mac going again you'll need to replace the drive.

To recover your data you might be able to pop the drive in an external USB/Firewire enclosure and get it to spin up enough to read some data from. Alternative there are data recovery services that would try things like replacing the control board on the drive to see if it renders the drive readable. Failing that then something mechanical when wrong and data recovery costs go up very quickly.

Unless the heads have ground the magnetic material off the platters data is always recoverable for a price :) Anything short of the kids baby pictures or a multi-million dollar project files would probably not be worth the cost

fluffyx
Jan 2, 2010, 04:56 PM
If your drive is clicking, you definitely cannot recover the data yourself.

Sorry to continue to tack on to a very old thread, but data can almost always be recovered for a reasonable price. We work with a national data recovery firm whose rates are a fraction of the cost of most.

Da Swede
Jan 18, 2010, 10:34 AM
Not sure if i should do a new post for this but here goes...

My boss has turned on his MacBook Pro (2-3 years old, 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo) this morning to get (after about 5 minutes of grey screen) the flashing folder & '?'. He said it was working fine last night too! It doesn't make any clicking or grinding noises though like some other posts have mentioned (that i can hear anyway)

I can get it to boot from the Leopard DVD and run the Disk Utility. It sometimes can find the hard drive, sometimes not, but it won't give me the option to do anything, saying 'unrecognized filesystem' when i try to verify it.

The system Profiler utility is also able to run and picks up all the Hardware and OS X software components.

Is there anything i can do to resurrect it/save the data, or is it beyond repair? Is it worth purchasing DiskWarrior (i've heard it's very good?)

Any help muchly appreciated :)

Thanks

coast1ja
Jan 18, 2010, 11:06 AM
Not sure if i should do a new post for this but here goes...

My boss has turned on his MacBook Pro (2-3 years old, 2.4GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo) this morning to get (after about 5 minutes of grey screen) the flashing folder & '?'. He said it was working fine last night too! It doesn't make any clicking or grinding noises though like some other posts have mentioned (that i can hear anyway)

I can get it to boot from the Leopard DVD and run the Disk Utility. It sometimes can find the hard drive, sometimes not, but it won't give me the option to do anything, saying 'unrecognized filesystem' when i try to verify it.

The system Profiler utility is also able to run and picks up all the Hardware and OS X software components.

Is there anything i can do to resurrect it/save the data, or is it beyond repair? Is it worth purchasing DiskWarrior (i've heard it's very good?)

Any help muchly appreciated :)

Thanks

sounds like a dead hard drive. It is possible to recover data, but it is very expensive for a professional to do. One thing I have heard of working is to put the drive in the freezer. I know it sounds crazy, but most hard drives die when the read/write head crashes and hits the disk itself. Freezing the disk makes things contract, and hopefully frees the head from the disk. Then you can hook it up to something and try to get the data from it. You will only have a few minutes before it thaws and the head parks again.

Not sure if it'll work, but it's worth a try if there is something on there that is valuable and wasn't backed up.

gmuratti
Jan 31, 2010, 01:55 PM
Hello everyone, so I have the same problem, flashing folder on startup, mac os doesn't wont to stat on my macbook pro so... I try everythink to fix....doesnt help, the last what I try is to install Windows 7 on mac, and its work, so.... I hink maybe its not a hard drive problem, maybe somethink else......dont know yet.

Hmac
Jan 31, 2010, 02:05 PM
My daughter's MacBook developed that "click of death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_of_death)". In her case I was able to boot it up from DiskWarrior and get most (not all) of the data onto a USB backup before it died completely. That's not a universal possibility - sometimes you can get some data off a clicking drive, sometimes the failure is just too catastrophic.

iFixit has step-by-steps for hard drive replacement. Get the new drive from NewEgg. The OEM drives are cheaper.

Mike Macintosh
Jan 31, 2010, 02:14 PM
Ya your Harddrive is gone, hopefully you had a backup, if I were you I would consider putting in a new Harddrive yourself, their are plenty of sites out there that will tell you how to do such.

JoshBoy
Feb 2, 2010, 08:27 PM
Hi all, I have the same problem with my first gen white macbook. I had a spare HDD (from my PS3) and placed that into it once again trying all the keys to boot from the cd but nothing would work, once I get it to see the disk in the dvd drive I think i will be sweet but cant even get there, any help or ideas?

eloisalopez
Feb 13, 2010, 12:14 AM
I have the same problem. I bought a new hard disk and let it installed in my macbook. The problem now is that i dont have a program. My macbook doesnt have a software. So, the new HD is useless until I get a software. Any suggestions?

moel
Feb 13, 2010, 01:10 AM
Install the software from the DVD's that came with your mac?

bjmcbrid3
Feb 17, 2010, 06:45 AM
I opened my laptop today and it was frozen with the spinning silver disc, and when I powered it off, it clicked and came up with the blank screen with the flashing folder. For some reason, the programs had been shutting down occasionally and I was having to force quit a lot of programs. I'm going to the Apple Store today to see wassup and will be pissed if the computer is dead after only 4 years of service.

m0nkeyb0y
Feb 17, 2010, 07:17 AM
hey guys,
well i just got back from vacation and I tried turning on my macbook, but it wouldn't startup. it made a clicking noise and all that appeared was a white screen and a folder with a flashing question mark inside it. .

You're in luck. Apple just announced an issue with Macbook Harddrives that result in no boot+flashing question mark.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/16/apple_announces_macbook_repair_program_for_hard_drive_issues.html

Hmac
Feb 17, 2010, 07:22 AM
I opened my laptop today and it was frozen with the spinning silver disc, and when I powered it off, it clicked and came up with the blank screen with the flashing folder. For some reason, the programs had been shutting down occasionally and I was having to force quit a lot of programs. I'm going to the Apple Store today to see wassup and will be pissed if the computer is dead after only 4 years of service.
Your computer isn't dead, just your hard drive. Easy replacement, you'll be back up and running in a jiffy, assuming you have a current backup of your hard drive.

zbg8000
Feb 17, 2010, 10:16 AM
The repair extension is now on their site. Hopefully some people will get costs covered. http://www.apple.com/support/macbook/hd/repairextension/

gdot
Mar 15, 2010, 11:41 PM
hey guys was just reading this but have you guys tried reformatting the hd? put in the os disc then under utilities go to your harddrive and erase or what not and it re formats it then the OS can be reinstalled.
not too sure this worked on my mac and crossing my finger that it will keep working for the year to come since i couldn't find the subgroup for my harddrive when i was in the utilities folder (i think this signals a hdd failure)

but it worked for me, so i guess no harm to try :D

2colors
Mar 29, 2010, 10:56 AM
Hi,

I've went through everything everyone here has... the question mark folder sign has appeared and my computer doesn't work. I've had a professional look at the hard drive and tell me it was fried so I bought a new one.

I've now fit in my new Seagate 500GB HD. When I insert a OS X install disc, my computer chimes, and the apple logo appears. It asks me what language... but then tells me Mac OS X cannot be installed onto this computer. I can go into disk utilities and a number of other near useless applications but cannot accomplish more. I have also, through disk utilities, reformatted (erased) my new hard drive just in case.

After that I looked up what to do and attempted using a Snow Leopard install disc... which didn't even reach the language selection or even a beginning apple logo. It went straight to the question mark folder icon.

So... that didn't work so I continued looking. I then realized that possibly, my firmware isn't up to date. I can't get into the computer, 'nor can I update through firewire slave mode so continued looking more. I finally found out about the FirmwareRestorationCD.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2213

As it says, I downloaded the correct dmg and burned it onto a disc. It then says to hold the power button and continue holding. Then, the sleep LED will blink 3 times quickly, 3 times slowly, and 3 times quickly again. While the LED is blinking, insert the FirmwareRestoration disc and release the power button. The computer will then make a loud beep (not intro chime), the apple logo will appear, and under it will be a progress bar of your restoration.

I did everything as it says... but when I hold down the power button the LED blinks rapidly (more than 3 times) and then stays on without blinking. Then there is the loud beep and the computer boots up... without me even inserting the disc. When I DO insert the disc during the blinking, it does the same... the apple logo DOES NOT appear... and once again the dreaded question mark folder icon appears blinking.

I've lost everything on my last HD, invested in a new one, professional help, AND Snow Leopard, but STILL my computer ceases to work properly. I'm desperate and need as much help as I can get. Any is much appreciated.

Thanks.

Pax
Mar 29, 2010, 11:31 AM
A few questions (some quite dumb)
What model?

I'm a bit confused by your post. Can you confirm that you can insert an install DVD, run Disk Utility, and format the new internal HDD? ie Disk Utility recognises the drive

Have you formatted the drive as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) aka HFS+ and GUID Partition Table? I don't think it's possible to install OS X on anything else. Note that new disks are (always?) formatted for Windows not Mac.

Have you tried running Hardware Test from DVD? Does it show anything abnormal?

fluffyx
Mar 29, 2010, 11:04 PM
Are you using the same discs that came with your MacBook? Is it possible that you're mistakenly using discs that came with a different MacBook? That error message will appear if you're using a disc not designed for your particular Mac.

You can always take the computer to an Apple Store and see if they'll install the operating system for you. Bring your old hard drive, just in case. They can also determine if your MacBook qualified for a repair extension program that would mean free replacement of your old drive :).

mach42006
Mar 31, 2010, 12:28 AM
I too went through this...three times in the past 6 weeks with my MBP. My system was a bit over 2 years old, and the HD died, and they replaced the HDD through AppleCare. Last week–five weeks after the first hard drive replacement–I get the "click of death" that one user referred to, and the question mark folder. They replaced my hard drive once again, and I just got it back last Wednesday. Yesterday–five days later–I get the "click of death" again, and another failed HDD. So yet another trip to the Apple store today, and I ended up walking away with a brand new MBP.

So I went through the same thing three times. I'm convinced that there had to be something else going on inside the computer causing the HDD to fail, though I have no idea what; I find it hard to believe that these HDDs were just faulty, one failing after five weeks, the next after five days. One faulty hard drive, sure, but not three.

highflyer23
Apr 29, 2010, 06:46 AM
i just had the same problem with my 13" Macbook. all i did was hold down the (option Key and the power key) at the same time till it sounds like its starting up then release. that got me to a screen with a big pad lock on it, with a little box for my password. typed in my password and it started up fine with all my files and music still there. Hope it works for anyone else with the same problem ;)

emmymac.15
May 19, 2010, 08:34 PM
well this has happened to me at least 5 times with my white 13 inch macbook. it does the whole ticking/folder thing for a few days and then suddenly its fine again. such a waist of 1500 bucks, esp. with only one year apple care.

JoshBoy
May 19, 2010, 08:55 PM
Ok, As i have posted here before i had a HDD issue with my white macbook and that was fixed by apple due to the fact a lot of them were failing. I just also had to replace the HDD in my iMac but this time I did and found a few new things.
1) Place SL in the drive
2) Restart it holding down the "C" key (keep holding and do not let go, it can take up to 2 mins but feels like 5)
3) Do not proceed to try and install SL, instead up the top go to disk utilities, look for the HDD and format it in the correct format
4) Exit disk utility
5) Proceed as normal with install

If you do not do these steps the macbook will NOT see the HDD at all, you must format it.

You do not need the disk that came with your macbook, a copy of SL will work.

Hope this helps

JoshBoy
May 19, 2010, 08:57 PM
well this has happened to me at least 5 times with my white 13 inch macbook. it does the whole ticking/folder thing for a few days and then suddenly its fine again. such a waist of 1500 bucks, esp. with only one year apple care.

BTW your HDD is on the way out, I would replace it now. Timemachine your HDD, replace the HDD now. Clicking and slow speed are the two main signs that the HDD is about to crap itself. :eek:

xsharkbiscuit
May 26, 2010, 10:04 PM
I was using my macbook last night when suddenly it froze up with the beachball icon. Forced shut to reboot it and heard the clicking sounds followed by the blinking folder with a question mark.

I googled for solutions and bumped into different forums and we all have the same problems. It's a hard drive issue. I tried EVERYTHING that was suggested but unfortunately none of them worked in my case.

Until I bumped into this link: http://www.apple.com/support/exchange_repair/macbook.html

Macbooks bought in 2007-2008 have hard drives recall. So just bring your mac to the genius bar. I was there today, they checked my computer and replaced it with a brand new hard drive FOR FREE even my warranty expired two years ago. I was in and out in five minutes!

I had my files backed up though so no problem. They can't guarantee recovering your files ( they will try though) if you didn't back your files up. But atleast your macbook will be working like brand new in no time.

I hope this helps. I know the feeling when my hard drive failed last night and I was so bummed but today, it's fixed!

Good luck.

KerryOShea
Jun 24, 2010, 03:56 PM
You're in luck. Apple just announced an issue with Macbook Harddrives that result in no boot+flashing question mark.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/16/apple_announces_macbook_repair_program_for_hard_drive_issues.html

My Macbook displayed the dreaded blinking question mark this morning after freezing...tried several remedies to no avail then spotted your post. A quick phone call determined that my Macbook is indeed among those recalled by Apple and is at the shop now, getting a new hard drive installed at no cost. I'd never have known about this if you didn't post it, so thanks so much!

rosed4179
Jul 15, 2010, 05:21 AM
I have a new i5 15" macbook pro, my first mac and i am now seriously regretting it.

I bought mine from a guy who sells wholesale on ebay. The unit was completely brand new, seals all intact etc. After 7 days i got the flashing folder with question mark on start up.
After switching it off then immedeatly back on it booted ok. The next day it did it again. I know its going to do it because there is no whirring noise from the cd rom after i press the power button.

My unit only fails to boot when shutdown and left for a period of time i.e 1hr +

The unit has been in 3 time for repair, first time they re-installed the operatings systems, then they replaced the harddrive, yesterday they replaced the cable connecting the harddrive. When i got it home last night, suprise suprise, it did it again.

Does anyone else have any ideas as to what i can do to resolve this?

Many thanks in advance.

P.S im a complete noob to macs so english please ;]

JoshBoy
Jul 15, 2010, 06:17 AM
I have a new i5 15" macbook pro, my first mac and i am now seriously regretting it.

I bought mine from a guy who sells wholesale on ebay. The unit was completely brand new, seals all intact etc. After 7 days i got the flashing folder with question mark on start up.
After switching it off then immedeatly back on it booted ok. The next day it did it again. I know its going to do it because there is no whirring noise from the cd rom after i press the power button.

My unit only fails to boot when shutdown and left for a period of time i.e 1hr +

The unit has been in 3 time for repair, first time they re-installed the operatings systems, then they replaced the harddrive, yesterday they replaced the cable connecting the harddrive. When i got it home last night, suprise suprise, it did it again.

Does anyone else have any ideas as to what i can do to resolve this?

Many thanks in advance.

P.S im a complete noob to macs so english please ;]

Wow dude,

That looks like just a whole lot of bad luck. I never had a problem with my macbook for 4 years until the HDD went on it (in that time I had some massive issues with a PC before getting rid of it)
I had my imac HDD go on me recently however over all I am super happy with all my macs (also have a macbook pro)
Apple will usually just replace the whole thing if you are having massive issues with a product.
The only thing left is the logic board and you will have a whole new computer! (sorry i should not joke)

Is apple covering it all under warranty?

rosed4179
Jul 15, 2010, 06:39 AM
Wow dude,

That looks like just a whole lot of bad luck. I never had a problem with my macbook for 4 years until the HDD went on it (in that time I had some massive issues with a PC before getting rid of it)
I had my imac HDD go on me recently however over all I am super happy with all my macs (also have a macbook pro)
Apple will usually just replace the whole thing if you are having massive issues with a product.
The only thing left is the logic board and you will have a whole new computer! (sorry i should not joke)

Is apple covering it all under warranty?

All the work so far has been covered by warranty so i guess so..
I take it the logic board is like the motherboard?

Im trying to get a replacement but because i didnt buy it from an apple store im not sure where i stand.

I was super happy too, when it worked.

Also when i got it back yesterday i noticed a scratch on the bottom chassis, yet again i need to go back and play my face. really not happy with the after care

DebRohweder
Aug 3, 2010, 01:00 PM
Removing the battery pack for
10 minutes worked for me. But there may still be
Issues with the hard drive that need attention.

thompiloto
Oct 25, 2010, 05:48 PM
My daughter have had the same problem that all of you had with yours Macbook HD. She have tried, like you, the same things and ways trying to get her data back. ( Disk Utility, reinstall etc)
Yesterday a friend told her about that site from UBUNTU. This is a Linux
system that runs in mac. And better: You don't have to install it in
your mac.
I won't be long in explanation because you all can find every thing in the
link:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

Just follow the steps and you will be done.

I 've just receive from her a email saying her MacBook was working again and that she have got all data backed up. (Yes, She didn't have a backup )

Good luck and save your files.

Thom

chenny812
Dec 20, 2010, 08:22 PM
This happened to my macbook and my really smart IT friend said its just the harddrive "arm" thing getting stuck. Sometimes it gets unstuck if you gently shake the comupter (while off). It worked several times for me. Good luck.

mac1027
Feb 13, 2011, 06:37 PM
I had the similar problem today. I had to force my computer to shut down. Then when i tried to start it up again, there was a click noise, then followed by a white screen with a folder with a flashing question mark.

I waited an hour or so, then tried to turn the computer on again, and this time i was successful in starting up my computer. Because i was able to successfully boot up my computer--is there still something wrong with my hard drive???

Thanks.

JoshBoy
Feb 13, 2011, 06:41 PM
I had the similar problem today. I had to force my computer to shut down. Then when i tried to start it up again, there was a click noise, then followed by a white screen with a folder with a flashing question mark.

I waited an hour or so, then tried to turn the computer on again, and this time i was successful in starting up my computer. Because i was able to successfully boot up my computer--is there still something wrong with my hard drive???

Thanks.

Back up your hard drive NOW. It is the click of death. Your HD is on its way out, It would not surprise me if it happens again in the next week. I have had the HD go in one of my macbooks and in my imac and it is all the same. My advise is timemachine it and go upgrade and replace the HDD now (its very easy to do with a macbook)

Chers

Josh

skidmarc
Feb 13, 2011, 06:58 PM
Yep, once your HDD starts clicking it's pretty much over with (though some data may be salvageable). Do what the previous poster stated: backup and start looking for a new drive.

jrios76
Feb 22, 2011, 09:06 PM
Well this has happened to me several times. It often happens when my macbook overheats, or the lid is slammed.

Try this before replacing your hard drive or using the cd that came with your macbook to re-install the operating software.

This last time it happened I couldn't even start it up after cooling off. It just kept clicking. I panicked because for some reason I can't seem to back anything up. Rather the issue is I can back it up but cannot pull it off of my mac external drive. I bought a new one for a mac thinking it was better but it's not like a regular hard drive and I have to figure out how to view the items without downloading the entire file back onto my computer only to put them back on.

Anyway at your own risk try by making a fist and LIGHTLY (lightly will not harm your computer) pounding on the area just to the right of the mouse pad as it is loading up. If the hard drive is loose then this may fix your problem. This is a temporary solution until you can move all of your data onto a hard drive. WD-Mac is not a good external hard drive by my observation.

Its worth a try, after all it is free. Why waste your money if your hard drive needs a little swift kick in the pants.

mhuque07
Jul 24, 2011, 08:55 AM
symptoms:

1. Computer freezes (beach ball)
2. After forcing to reboot by holding down the power button, the question mark folder appears.
3. After inserting the mac installation dvd, no hard drive is shown, not even in the disk utility.

solution:
It is NOT a bad hard drive. Simply replace the hard drive cable and you are good to go. :)

VashonOz
Sep 9, 2011, 10:23 AM
This seems to be the thread that won't die! Good for me I hope.

Machine is 2006 MacBook (768 MB RAM, 250 MB HDD)

# This machine just displays the blinking folder/question mark icon when started.
# Can NOT boot from any DVD but my TechTool CD booted and I was able to verify drive (TT reported the drive was fine but "not visible or not mounted"--can't remember exact wording.
# All alternative boots (single user, safe mode, verbose, etc) do NOT work
# I CAN mount the drive in Firewire Target disk mode on my MBP
# I CAN reformat drive via Firewire Target disk mode
# I CAN reinstall the OS (in this case Leopard but I tried Panther as well) via Firewire Target disk mode
# I reseated the RAM chips

After two reinstalls with different disk formatting (HFS Extended journaled and not journaled) I am right back to where I started--flashing icon, can't boot from DVDs, and no alternative boots.

This machine originally shipped with something like a 60-80 GB drive so this not the original drive. I have no idea whether the 250 GB current drive was installed by Apple as part of the recall/repair thing or installed by third party.

Any wisdom would be appreciated.

JaySmth
Feb 15, 2012, 11:48 PM
I will offer 1 final remark to all of this.

I have had this problem before (clicking, failure to boot etc.) Disk utility has not worked on this most recent try, nor has target disk mode to transfer.

PREVIOUSLY when this has happened usually all it took was for me to remove the battery/shut it down for a short time and then restart and everything was fine.

THIS TIME, none of the above hopeful solutions worked, EXCEPT, shaking it gently/knocking on it to the right of the trackpad.

I've had my macbook for nearly 4 years now and was heartbroken that my harddrive had died (partly because I hadn't backed up my computer recently, but mostly because I was worried about the cost of repair since Applecare was past). That being said, when I'd experienced this in the past I've always come out on top somehow. Now, after finally being able to reboot thanks to the gentle shaking/knocking I am in the process of completely backing up my laptop and will begin shopping for a new hard drive.

To all those who experience this problem the easiest way to prevent all worries is to consistently back up your computer (if that's not possible due to the amount of data or lack of a external hard drive just back up important documents, photos, music ect. to flash drives or CD/DVDs). Also - assuming that you're no longer under warranty (check with the Geniuses first even if you think you aren't because I've heard of defective hard drives in some models resulting in them being replaced for free) - consider buying a new hard drive from Amazon or somewhere else, as I plan to do, and installing it yourself. I have not yet gone to Apple to ask what it'd cost for them to put in a new hard drive but I expect it to be overpriced. The reasons for you to do this are: (a) a new hard drive is relatively cheap (especially with the rise of the online marketplace, and especially the quality of goods, reviews, and customer service provided by Amazon); (b) the reported ease of installing a new hard drive on your own (again, I have not yet done this, but there are lots of instructions available online and it appears be really easy and only take 10 minutes or so to do yourself) and; (c) WHEN APPLE REPLACES YOUR HARDDRIVE THEY WILL SWAP IT OUT FOR ANOTHER, WHICH MAY BE RECONDITIONED/REFURBISHED, RATHER THAN NEW, AND THEY WILL KEEP IT! Apparently, according to the fine print we sign when getting our products fixed:
"In servicing your product, Apple may use new, used or refurbished parts or products. Apple will retain the replaced part or product that is exchanged under service as its property, and the replacement part or product will become your property."
What this means is Apple will give you a part (it may be new, but is more than likely used or "refurbished", code for used), this part will become your property and whichever part they took out (whether or not it was better quality, more expensive etc.) becomes their property. This is particularly disturbing since your hard drive most likely contains a large amount of your personal information and you have no idea what steps, if any, are being taken to remove, destroy, or otherwise safeguard your personal data. If you buy and install your own new hard drive not only are you likely to save money, you will also maintain possession of your failed hard drive and supervise the deletion/wiping/destruction to make sure your data doesn't fall into bad hands. Plus, you could just go through the fun of burning, smashing etc. it on your own :p

JoshBoy
Feb 16, 2012, 01:17 AM
Seriously people. Reading over this all after so long I am surprised at how many people do not use time machine. I now back up my MacBook, MacBook air, iMac, MacBook pro all via timemachine. Spend the 70 bucks on the external and do it. Enough said.........

JJjosh
Jun 5, 2012, 09:53 PM
Im getting the flashing ? during start up. I hit "alt" and the only option is gives me is internet recovery, This currently does not seem to be working even with a connection. No drives so up at all so i'm assuming its the HDD. Im traveling at the moment and don't currently have my start up disk with me (Traveling light). I was also very spooky as it happened at the airport. The public side of the airport I was on going fine. Then I forgot to power down and threw it in the X-ray machine, Opened up in the departure lounge buggered. I did ask the X-ray chums if it had any magnets in the "death-ray" they confirms it didn't so I think its just a coincidence. Am I best to go to the Genius bar and take the hit as I don't currently have an address so won't be able to self fix and still got 5months on the road. I have got a copy of most of photos however just everything else is going to be shot. Advice is going to be more than welcome.

JoshBoy
Jun 5, 2012, 10:11 PM
diskwarrior is always a good option as it may help you on the road to get the stuff off you need and then reformat

JJjosh
Jun 5, 2012, 11:08 PM
Is does mean my Harddrive is buggered if I can't find it on start up correct? and it could not possibly be anything else, don't really want to be wasting money while traveling? So would it be wise to try and get a New Harddrive http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-7200RPM-Hybrid-ST750LX003/dp/B00691WMJG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top, Getting a enclosure for the old one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002JQNXZC/ref=oh_o01_s01_i01_ Then trying to move the data over? Would that work?