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Old Feb 17, 2010, 10:16 AM   #26
zbg8000
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The repair extension is now on their site. Hopefully some people will get costs covered. http://www.apple.com/support/macbook...pairextension/
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 11:41 PM   #27
gdot
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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
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:56 AM   #28
2colors
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Angry

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.

Last edited by 2colors; Mar 29, 2010 at 11:02 AM.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:31 AM   #29
Pax
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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?
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 11:04 PM   #30
fluffyx
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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 .
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 12:28 AM   #31
mach42006
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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.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 06:46 AM   #32
highflyer23
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Thumbs up

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
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Old May 19, 2010, 08:34 PM   #33
emmymac.15
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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.
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Old May 19, 2010, 08:55 PM   #34
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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
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Old May 19, 2010, 08:57 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmymac.15 View Post
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.
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Old May 26, 2010, 10:04 PM   #36
xsharkbiscuit
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SOLUTION: Blinking folder with question mark on startup.

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/exchang...r/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.

Last edited by xsharkbiscuit; May 26, 2010 at 10:08 PM. Reason: more info
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 03:56 PM   #37
KerryOShea
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Thank You Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by m0nkeyb0y View Post
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...ve_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!
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 05:21 AM   #38
rosed4179
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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 ;]
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 06:17 AM   #39
JoshBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosed4179 View Post
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?
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 06:39 AM   #40
rosed4179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshBoy View Post
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
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Old Aug 3, 2010, 01:00 PM   #41
DebRohweder
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Talking Battery Removal Success

Removing the battery pack for
10 minutes worked for me. But there may still be
Issues with the hard drive that need attention.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 05:48 PM   #42
thompiloto
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A MacBook with that flashing folder question mark was saved by UBUNTU

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
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 08:22 PM   #43
chenny812
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Easy Fix

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.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 06:37 PM   #44
mac1027
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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.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 06:41 PM   #45
JoshBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac1027 View Post
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
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 06:58 PM   #46
skidmarc
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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.
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 09:06 PM   #47
jrios76
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alternative solution to macbook won't start up - flashing folder question mark

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.
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Old Jul 24, 2011, 08:55 AM   #48
mhuque07
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Bad hard disk cable

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.
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Old Sep 9, 2011, 10:23 AM   #49
VashonOz
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2006 MacBook Won't Boot

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.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:48 PM   #50
JaySmth
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Failing Harddrive - "Click(s) of death" aka "Folder with Question Mark"

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
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