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Old Aug 27, 2013, 06:35 AM   #1
aaron5566
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Macbook Air 2012 Question mark of Death

Hi guys, my 1 year old macbook has just experienced a "Question mark of death". I was just playing games on Windows 8 with bootcamp, then my laptop hanged so I long pressed down the power button until it shut down. Upon restarting, I've lost both of my OS and a folder with a question mark came up instead... Has anyone experienced this before? Anyone know any solutions ? I don't have important data in there but it would be great if they could be recovered.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 06:57 AM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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Tried pressing the OPTION key yet after the startup chime sounds?

Have you tried any of these steps?
Mac doesn't boot

Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck

Troubleshooting: My computer won't turn on

A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 08:22 AM   #3
aaron5566
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The thing is, I can't even boot into Mac OS. It's just stuck at the folder with flashing question mark. I do hear the startup chime but after that no apple logo or anything just the flashing question mark...
Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 09:10 AM   #4
Mr Rabbit
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Try holding the option key while pressing the power button, holding option until you eventually get a screen similar to this...



Basically any bootable volumes will be listed here, by default you would see your Macintosh HD volume and your recovery volume. If you don't see any volumes listed, only the wireless network drop down box, then you might try using Disk Utility, by booting to Internet Recovery, to see if your internal SSD is found by the system.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 09:25 AM   #5
aaron5566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Rabbit View Post
Try holding the option key while pressing the power button, holding option until you eventually get a screen similar to this...

Image

Basically any bootable volumes will be listed here, by default you would see your Macintosh HD volume and your recovery volume. If you don't see any volumes listed, only the wireless network drop down box, then you might try using Disk Utility, by booting to Internet Recovery, to see if your internal SSD is found by the system.
Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. I'm trying this right now. Hopefully it restores my Mac atleast... Fingers crossed.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 11:11 AM   #6
aaron5566
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No luck. Can't seem to find my partitions... Gonna go to the Apple Store tomorrow.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 11:24 AM   #7
rjkgr
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okay i think he was answered so im going to ask how long is a mba 11" 2012 suppose to last? because mine barely hits 3 hours
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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Hello aaron5566,

Were you able to boot into internet recovery as suggested above? Once the machine has booted that way you can get to disk utility and it should list the SSD device, and any partitions below it. Sometimes partitions can get wiped out with the device being "ok", and the SSD can be repartitioned. But it's hard to say without knowing what disk utility shows you. I have had the same problem, which ended up being a bad SSD.

Please see this thread:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1623616
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 12:49 PM   #9
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjkgr View Post
okay i think he was answered so im going to ask how long is a mba 11" 2012 suppose to last? because mine barely hits 3 hours
It depends on your screen brightness, CPU activity and some other factors:
______________________________________________________
This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
  • BATTERY INFORMATION
  • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
  • AC POWER
  • CALIBRATION
  • BATTERY LIFESPAN
  • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
  • CHARGING
  • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
  • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
  • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY


______________________________________________________
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 12:54 PM   #10
Mike in Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron5566 View Post
No luck. Can't seem to find my partitions... Gonna go to the Apple Store tomorrow.
Dont forget to take your TM backup or clone with you. If they get your SSD working again they can reload all your stuff on it.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 01:44 PM   #11
HarryWarden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
It depends on your screen brightness, CPU activity and some other factors:
______________________________________________________
This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
  • BATTERY INFORMATION
  • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
  • AC POWER
  • CALIBRATION
  • BATTERY LIFESPAN
  • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
  • CHARGING
  • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
  • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
  • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY


______________________________________________________
Yeah, access "System Report" (Click on Apple in top left, About this Mac, More Info, System Report, Power) to see what your battery's health is listed as. Given that your computer is only a little over a year old at best, it should rightfully still be listed as "Normal" under the Condition heading. I own a 13-in. 2012 MBA that is listed as such with 29 cycles.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 01:59 PM   #12
newdeal
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Its a bad SSD but the question I have is what manufacturer your SSD was?
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 01:59 PM   #13
magbarn
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Once you boot into internet recovery and you can't see your SSD, you probably have had a SSD failure.
Let me guess... you have a 64gb or 128gb SSD model?
Unfortunately, according to my informal searching here, it seems to be too common for 2012 MBA that have the Toshiba/Sandforce SSD drives to have a premature failure.

See this thread here where several others also have had SSD failures and so far all have been 2012 64gb/128gb Toshiba/Sandforce drives. Really hope Apple is keeping count of these failures and will do 'goodwill' out of warranty repairs as the failure rate (yes, it's anecdotal) seems to be too high for these drives.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 02:11 AM   #14
aaron5566
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I went to the Apple Store today, still waiting on what the problem is. But I do think it's a SSD problem. I entered Disk Utility, and tried to repair my partitions but I couldn't find my Mac or my Windows partition. There goes 200...
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 02:23 AM   #15
grame
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If I had no Applecare I would order an OWC and do it myself - as somebody earlier said, it comes with a 3 year warranty. If I had a Macbook Air with a Toshiba 128GB I would be pretty paranoid about backing up. For so many to fail so catastrophically so soon after purchase is shocking. That it seems to occur just outside of the 12 month warranty period is horrible.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 06:42 AM   #16
Edmilan
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I also had the same problem, 11" MBA 2012 base model. After syncing and backing up using tile machine, i closed the lid of the air to put it on standby (i don't really shut down/ turn off my mac). After a couple of hours, i opened it and viola! A big question mark sign in place of the apple logo. Tried pressing the options key/cmd+R on boot up but the disks won't show up. Internet recovery showed errors. Luckily, the laptop was still within warranty (11months in, 1 month left) so i sent it back for repairs free of charge. Unfortunately, we don't have an apple store close by where i live so i sent it back to the retailer and they sent it to apple for repairs. I'm still waiting for the laptop (since 7/11/13), although apple said it's already repaired. Am still waiting for my retailer to pick up my laptop so i can test it.

Last edited by Edmilan; Aug 28, 2013 at 06:53 AM.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 01:07 PM   #17
rjkgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
It depends on your screen brightness, CPU activity and some other factors:
______________________________________________________
This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ by GGJstudios
The F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
  • BATTERY INFORMATION
  • BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE
  • AC POWER
  • CALIBRATION
  • BATTERY LIFESPAN
  • CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH
  • CHARGING
  • WHAT IS A CYCLE?
  • BATTERIES ARE NOT COVERED
  • BULGING OR SWELLING BATTERY


______________________________________________________
computer brightness is full and how do i figure out on mac the computer activity.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 01:24 PM   #18
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjkgr View Post
computer brightness is full and how do i figure out on mac the computer activity.
Using Activity Monitor to show you CPU and RAM usage
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 02:25 PM   #19
CoMoMacUser
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Originally Posted by rjkgr View Post
how long is a mba 11" 2012 suppose to last? because mine barely hits 3 hours
My 13" gets six to seven with tasks such as email and browsing. Three seems awfully low even for an 11".
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 06:36 PM   #20
newdeal
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did the toshiba drives use sandforce controllers? if so colour me not surprised at all

ah yes anandtech states The Toshiba drives use a rebranded SandForce SF-2200 controller sandforce is terrible. now I must check to see if my sandisk ssd uses sandforce also in my 2013 model
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 05:22 AM   #21
aaron5566
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Just got a quotation from Apple. 400 pounds... Currently deciding whether to go forward with it or buy a new one? Crazy. It's half the initial cost of my laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newdeal View Post
Its a bad SSD but the question I have is what manufacturer your SSD was?
I had a Toshiba 128gb SSD. Am I just super unlucky as I thought SSDs don't fail as often as hard drives or is there a problem with the 2012 line up?
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 06:34 AM   #22
magbarn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron5566 View Post
Just got a quotation from Apple. 400 pounds... Currently deciding whether to go forward with it or buy a new one? Crazy. It's half the initial cost of my laptop.



I had a Toshiba 128gb SSD. Am I just super unlucky as I thought SSDs don't fail as often as hard drives or is there a problem with the 2012 line up?
AFAIK, the vast majority of 2012 MBA SSD failures have been 64/128gb Toshiba Sandforce SSDs. 256/512gb drives were Samsung and I havent heard of any failures in those drives yet. The 2010/2011 MBAs with Toshiba drives weren't sandforce BTW and not surprisingly haven't heard of widespread failures...

2012 rMBPs thankfully didn't use sandforce drives so far don't seem to have this problem.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 07:55 AM   #23
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Appel replaced mine with another Toshiba SSD. Is it the same model SSD - i.e same controller? Or is it different?
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 09:21 AM   #24
magbarn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grame View Post
Appel replaced mine with another Toshiba SSD. Is it the same model SSD - i.e same controller? Or is it different?
Most likely it's the exact same model.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 10:56 AM   #25
aaron5566
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Do you guys think I should repair it or get a new laptop? It's half the initial cost of my laptop... In a dilemma now.
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