Flashing Mac OS folder (with "?")

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by paddler494, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. paddler494 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #1
    I recently purchased a Quicksilver machine from the original buyer. It came equipped with Panther. After getting it online I contracted a virus (should have loaded an antivirus program first). So I did a hard shutdown, since I couldn't close anything. When I restarted I went to options and made a bonehead move in selecting something that doesn't let me restart any farther than a "flashing folder with a Mac icon and question mark on it. Any idea how to rectify this?

    Sincerely,
    DBat
    Spokane, WA
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    Flashing ? means either your HDD is dead or missing, so the initial crash was probably due to your HDD failing oppose to getting a virus.
     
  3. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #3
    You can try reinstalling the OS, but that depends on the hard drive even mounting or being recognized. Start up with the option key held down or try booting to the software restore disc if you have it. If the hard drive isn't seen in the startup manager or by accessing Disk Utility (either under the Installer menu or Utilities), chances are you need a new drive. If the drive is visible, try the reinstall. For best results, in case you wanted to basically start from scratch, consider performing a clean install by formatting the drive first and then loading the OS.
     
  4. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #4
    No, you didn't.

    Try holding down the option key at start up and see if you can select a different drive.
     
  5. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Try running the hardware test to see if it is a software or hardware failure. Hold down the D key while the DVD that came with your Mac is in the drive.
     
  6. paddler494 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #6
    Good info

    The DVD tray is locked. Can't open it. Tried to find a manual button, not like the older Power PCs with the paperclip button? I pressed "Option" while loading and got a LOCK and and arrow pointing to the right. Good news is that mouse works in this mode. Any verdict on status of computer? My first thought, had I been able to load the OS DVD would have been to rewrite the OS. I have two drives and the OS is the only thing on the Primary drive.
     
  7. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #7
    Hold down the eject key or F12 to open the DVD Drive.
     
  8. paddler494 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #8
    No luck so far

    Thanks all for the help, I appreciate it. Anything is better than nothing. I tried F12 and eject upon startup and after startup, I tried 'D' and 'option', held down separately while starting up. Nothing. Unfortunately, I didn't get any documentation with the computer. Does the Padlock icon give a clue as to the problem ?? (When started with option key held down?
     
  9. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #9
    The padlock indicates that there's a firmware password enabled on the system which disables the startup keyboard shortcuts. Bypassing it is a pretty simple process. Add or remove a stick of RAM from the computer, hold down :apple:+option+P+R until the computer restarts 2-3 times, power it off, replace the RAM. Then try the startup key options again.
     
  10. paddler494 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #10
    Woo Hoo! Thanks JediMeister

    That did it! So no disk problem, not sure what the problem was but, that was the answer.
     

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