Flashing folder with question mark

Discussion in 'iMac' started by skay2, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. skay2 macrumors newbie

    skay2

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    My iMac late 2009 failed again.

    It has been working extremely well since I switched to a new SSD in Oct last year.

    One day, it refused to boot up. I tried everything : Recovery mode, target disk mode etc but nothing works. All I have on the screen is a flashing folder with a question mark. I even suspected the new Kingston SSD is up to no good. Called them up and they sent me a brand new one. I swapped the old with new but same thing happened, flashing folder with a question mark.

    I do not want to just pack the 10 year old iMac up without a fight? Please help.

    SK
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    The "flashing folder" means that the system can't find a bootable OS.

    You said that you swapped in a replacement SSD.
    How did you install OS X on that new SSD? Installer DVD? Bootable USB installer?
    Which OS X system did you try to install?

    Did you load a system on that new SSD before you swapped it in, or after the swap? Did your OS X install go OK, or did you immediately have a problem with the boot on that first restart after installing OS X?
     
  3. skay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    skay2

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Back in Oct last year when I put in a new blank SSD (the old HHD failed), I installed it from time machine back up. It was an OSX Yosemite. The process went smoothly and it has been wonderful until a week ago. I have not experienced any problem since the new SSD was put in.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    Do you now mean that you don't have a problem (and everything is working fine), or that you have not experienced a problem - until now, when you again see the flashing folder when you try to boot (and you can't boot to anything on the new SSD.)

    If you are again having a problem, can you boot to your OS X installer, and run Disk Utility to see if the new SSD is visible to the system?
    If you get nothing, even from the new SSD, then try replacing the SATA cable...
     
  5. skay2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    skay2

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Sorry. I must have confused you. It is the first SSD that has been working fine until last week. It went into flashing folder with question mark. I thought it is a defective drive, I contact Kingston and they sent me a new one. I put in the new one and it also went into the same flashing folder.

    Since it is not booting, I cannot launch disk utility. I cannot go into recovery mode and when I hook up my macbook pro to it, the target disk mode does not work.

    And thanks for the suggestion, I will try replacing the SATA cable (if it is inexpensive) and keep you posted.
     
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #6
    Can you boot from a USB drive? Can be any drive from an external to a USB stick as long as it has a bootable OS up through High Sierra.

    Can you reset the NV RAM (PRAM on a PPC)? If so, and it behaves, time to pull the motherboard and replace the battery. A CR2032 is fine. Usually these will exhibit black screen or GPU problems when the battery gets bad enough so this is a Hail Mary. Still worth a try.
     
  7. Zandros macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #7
    This is not necessarily helpful, but target disk mode can be used in both directions. Have you tried both booting the iMac from the MBP and the MBP from the iMac?
     
  8. ssls6 macrumors 6502a

    ssls6

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #8
    Shut down, unplug, press and hold the power button for about 30s, plug it back in, see if it will power up. If it does, you may want to ensure you have a clone or up to date backup.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    It's time to start shopping for something new (or at least newer).
    Ten years is about "all you can expect" from an iMac -- and is far longer than most folks get.
     

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8 July 17, 2019