flashing "?" and folder symbol on start-up

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hyperfresh, May 11, 2008.

  1. hyperfresh macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    I am getting the dreaded flashing "?" and folder on start-up (can't start-up my MacBook). I have tried repairing with disk utility and an error occurs. Then I tried reinstalling OS X and the destination drive window doesn't show my drive! Disk Utility sees it, but no matter how long I wait, Installer doesn't offer it in the "Select Destination" step of install... any help here?
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Might be time for a new drive.

    You can try the more advance drive repair utilities, think some have a free trial that'll show if the drive can be repaired.

    But, if you cannot format the drive -- might be a goner.
  3. hyperfresh thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2008
    Its less than a year old and was working great. It never crashed; just started blank and moved to flashing "?" last time I started up. So you think try a different disk repair software than disk utility?
  4. vansouza macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2006
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    I hope this is not really stupid, but did you try an Archive and Install and see what that process does for you.?
  5. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    This same things happened to me last night. I had the flashing question mark, very frustrating that I couldn't boot up, even worse I couldn't re-install Leopard. My Leopard disc is the upgrade disk so it looks for a copy of OS X in order to be re-installed. Since my iMac came with Tiger I had to use the full Tiger install disc and boot to Disk Utility and it saw my hard drive but I had to erase it and re-install Tiger first and then Leopard again.
    Now I realize I need to buy a full copy of Leopard so if this ever happens again I won't need to use my Tiger disc.
    So, make sure to use the full version disc of whichever OS you need to re-install and you most likely will have to hit the erase button before installing.

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