Folder with interrogation mark (?) at startup. Macbook.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 66217, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    When I try to start the MB this folder appears. I went to a Service Center and they told me that they would try to make it work at their central computer or something like that. But that the chances are low for it to work.
    I am worried of loosing the documents I had. (I have a backup but is like 3 weeks old:( )

    Have anyone here had this problem? And where you able to retirve your data?


  2. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    can't you just restart and press alt/option key to manually select startup drive? i thought that would fix it... unless of course, the main harddrive has gone bad

    note: i believe that folder with question mark means they can't find Operating System on the presumed startup drive
  3. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    The problem is that it is not finding any drive. I insert the Install CD and it starts running, but when it reaches the part of selecting the drive you would like to install the OS X, the drive does not appear.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    That sounds like a dead or disconnected drive.
  5. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    Once you boot from the installer, then select Disk Utility from the menu bar at the top (in a pull-down) and check the HD. If Disk Utility doesn't see the drive, then the drive is hosed. If disk utility can see it, try to fix the drive from there. But, you may want to replace it as it might have problems anyway.
  6. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I suppose it is gone for good.:(

    I've heard that recovering data from a dead hard drive is expensive. Would this enter in the warranty, or they are only going to give me a new hard drive?

    Could this problem have been started by the security update from yesterday? I can't find any other thing that could have caused this.

  7. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    File recovery is indeed expensive. All depends on how critical those files are to you.

    Try Disk Utility from the installer DVD. You might be able to at least get the drive up to recover files.

    Also. Invest in a external HD to make backups to.
  8. jahdio macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2006
    I had this exact same problem. The Apple Support man (what a savior) saved my bacon. I hope I'm not too late and you are still searching for answers. Here's what to do:

    - As long as the computer is on, it will accept a disk, so turn it on, insert the install disk, then reboot, while holding the C key (or Option, then select the dvd)
    - You should see a window beginning to guide you through the install process for OSX. Ignore this, and click the options button in the lower left corner of that window.
    - Choose "Archive and install". This will archive your current installation of OSX, and install a new one. When everything is up and running again, you should still have all of your settings, apps, and personal files in their locations. There will be a folder named "Previous Install" or something similar in your root folder I believe. You can just delete this whole folder, and all should be well!

    Forgive me if these instructions are inaccurate, this happened to me at the beginning of september, and i don't exactly remember the process.

    Good luck.

    EDIT: you might try taking the battery out and making sure the drive is fully pushed into its cave.
    I just saw the part about disk utility not being able to see the drive, and I am sorry for that. mine showed up, and I was able to verify it, repair it, and in the end, reinstall the os while keeping my files on the drive.

    ps: you wouldn't happen to have installed Crossover recently? I had, and the next time I tried to boot my macbook, this happened.
  9. macnelio macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    I'm having the exactly same problem with a little difference. Apparently, there is no problem with the disk. The Leopard installer finish without problems. BUT, when the system restarts, the mac isn't use the new installed to boot and instead of it uses the Leopard installer AGAIN. And then I'm walking in circles for 2 days.

    I don't know what to do. Is there a some kind of special way to install the Leopard? I mean setting some type of partition, or mount the partition in a specific directory or something like that?

    Really thanks for any help, and I'll follow these steps Jahdio! Thanks!
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    doesnt work if the computer cant detect the drive in the first place though

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