Hi all, I'm seeing a flashing question mark folder at start up. I know what it means, but I'm struggling to get any response from the computer when I follow the usual tips regarding fixing this kind of issue. It's a Macbook Pro early 2009 model with DVD drive, supplied with 10.5 but prior to dying was running (I think) 10.8. The computer didn't exhibit any signs of imminent hard drive failure BUT ... prior to it dying I encountered a few failed backups via my Time capsule and I'm wondering if this is possibly a contributing factor, and perhaps it's somehow screwed up the location of the startup disc. .....or hey.... maybe the drive really has just totally died. Here's what's not working.... - Holding down the option key at startup does nothing (no startup manager, no flashing folder, just a grey screen) - I can't engage recovery mode, pressing command-R does nothing (just a grey screen) — not entirely sure this would work on a mac of this age anyway but I thought I'd try. - Safeboot (shift at startup) is not working (flashing folder and question mark appears after 30 seconds or so). - Reset PRAM does nothing - Verbose / single user modes do nothing (flashing folder and question mark appears after 30 seconds or so) - I don't have the original install DVDs to hand, but I have the original installation disc image on an external firewire drive. I plugged in the drive and held down the option key at startup to see if I could select the drive as a temporary startup disc but nothing happens (just a grey screen) - I've tried booting the faulty mac in target disc mode .... I see the target disc mode icon flashing on the faulty mac but no drive is appearing on my other Macbook. I'm pretty much out of options. I've tried a few other things not listed above, none of which have worked. The computer seems so unresponsive that I can't even decipher whether or not the hard drive is dead, although I'm sure it's likely it is. Is there not a way that I can boot off my time capsule somehow? I also tried plugging this in via USB and holding down option at startup but nothing is happening. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!