Blinking folder with questionmark at startup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by -mattias-, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #1
    About two hours ago my MacBook Pro shutdown, as it had no battery left. When I got home I plugged the power cord in and started my Mac up. But instead of the normal startup screen, the only thing I got was a blinking folder with a questionmark.

    I did some research and tried booting it up holding down the option key, but instead of the startup manager, Internet Recovery appeared. So I put my OS X Moutain Lion disc in (burned it on a disc) after the blinking folder appeared and it loaded it up. I then tried Startup Disc, but it only shows the OS X Mountain Lion disc and nothing else. Have also tried open Disc Utility, but here it only shows

    SuperDrive
    Mac OS X Install ESD
    --------------------
    disk1
    Mac OS X Base System

    So I'm pretty lost. Read something about it could be the hard disc being dead, or maybe just a cable not sitting right, but I'm am not sure about anything.

    So I'm hoping you could tell me what's wrong and hopefully a solution. My warranty has ended, so I cannot take it back.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #2
    That symbol you are seeing means the system can't find an OS to boot to. Most commonly this is a bad drive as you suspect. It can also be a bad drive cable or bad logic board, but this is much less common.

    If somebody erased or corrupted the OS somehow, you could get that message. But if you were just using the machine (and not tinkering with the OS install) and this happened, that is very unlikely.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    "So I'm pretty lost. Read something about it could be the hard disc being dead, or maybe just a cable not sitting right, but I'm am not sure about anything.
    So I'm hoping you could tell me what's wrong and hopefully a solution. My warranty has ended, so I cannot take it back."

    This is why you should have something called a "bootable backup clone".

    They are easy to put together for less than $100.

    If you had one close-at-hand, you'd have a quick-n-easy way to get booted up again and to start working on the problem.

    Having said that, it's possible that the internal drive has had a hardware failure. You might try opening the back and GENTLY wiggling the connecting cable to hard drive (where it connects to the drive). DO NOT attempt to open the back unless you have the RIGHT SIZE screwdriver -- using the wrong size could strip the screws.

    Another thought:
    Have you tried (I think it's called) an "SMC reset"? Google this to find out what to do.

    Again, if you had a BOOTABLE BACKUP, you would be in a far better position to diagnose and solve your problems, then where you are now.

    Once you get up and running again, putting one together should become your #1 priority….
     
  4. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #4
    And I think you're HD is "OK" hardware wise, the battery ran down and might have caused corruption on the HD, nothing more, it would be an extreme case of coincidence that right now the HD dies.

    The bad news so it seems you don't have a bootable backup, if you did problems like these could be easier solved, a better alternative than Disk Utility is Diskwarrior, many times it can repair a disk while DU can't.
    But, it is an expensive Application.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #5
    Have never heard of a bootable backup clone, sadly. But can't really use that to anything konw.

    But I have tried resetting the SMC, but nothing happened.

    But if the HD is not dead, how come I can't see it in Disc Utility?
     
  6. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #6
    If the machine runs off Internet Recovery and your USB ML key, that points away from logic board failure. The fact Disk Util cannot even see the drive leaves the drive cable or drive itself as the cause. The drive itself failing is much more common that the cable failing.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #7
    Wouldn't the Apple Harware Test be able to figure this out?
     
  8. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #8
    Yes, that is an excellent idea. Here is a page that might help you.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #9
    After I did the SMC reset the fans have bern really loud when booting up.

    Also, when booting up I hold option+D, then I come to the hardware test, but after having selected language it says Apple Hardware Test is not supported. Don't know what to do?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #10
    Tried the Apple Hardware Test (extended), but it said no troubles found?
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #11
    Diskwarrior is a great piece of software but there is no version for 10.8 yet but I have it.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #12
    Install OS X on an external, even a USB stick (Min. 8GB) would do, start from it and see if everything works, then the disk might show up and you could try to repair with DW.

    ????

    DiskWarrior 4.4 works on 10.8, no problem here.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    #13
    Will try do it tomorrow, thanks.

    But just thought about something. I've read Disk 1 - Mac OS X Base System is a recovery partion on my HD. But how come Disk Utility can see this, if it cannot see the other partion of my HD?
     

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