flashing question mark folder on bootup

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
Hi
I just got a mac and am trying to install Lion but everytime I start the machine without trying to install I get a flashing question mark folder on bootup.

I have tried various remedies but nothing seems to work and I was told I may need to replace the SATA cable or logic board.

I tried from install OS 10.6 fromj DVD, and USB key with Lion version and held down c key but only get a question mark folder each time.

When I leave usb Lion stick in mac and reboot holding option key I get a folder with “EFI Boot” written under it and if I click on EFI Boot I get gray screen with 3 flashing icons repetitively flashing consecutively after each other...question mark folder/apple logo/circle with slash going from top left to bottom right similar to a no smokiung sign

When I hold down the option key at bootup with no disk in mac the mouse arrow appears on screen and nothing else.

Anyone able to help me out please
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Hi
I just got a mac and am trying to install Lion but everytime I start the machine without trying to install I get a flashing question mark folder on bootup.

I have tried various remedies but nothing seems to work and I was told I may need to replace the SATA cable or logic board.

I tried from install OS 10.6 fromj DVD, and USB key with Lion version and held down c key but only get a question mark folder each time.

When I leave usb Lion stick in mac and reboot holding option key I get a folder with “EFI Boot” written under it and if I click on EFI Boot I get gray screen with 3 flashing icons repetitively flashing consecutively after each other...question mark folder/apple logo/circle with slash going from top left to bottom right similar to a no smokiung sign

When I hold down the option key at bootup with no disk in mac the mouse arrow appears on screen and nothing else.

Anyone able to help me out please
Holding C at boot is only appropriate when booting from an optical disk. When booting from USB media like your Lion installer, you must hold Option. What happens when you hold Option with the Snow Leopard 10.6 DVD in the drive? It should show as a bootable option.

The prohibitory symbol is indicative of a damaged system. This can occur from something as simple as bad permissions of system files to something as serious as corruption or utter removal of system files. It does not sound like a SATA cable or Logic Board problem since it is happening on the Lion USB. It is extremely easy to accidentally mess up the restore process of the Lion Installer.
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
Thanks

Thanks for your reply but is there anyone who can advise me on how to solve this without having to bring it to a computer technician
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,196
8,835
California
Thanks for your reply but is there anyone who can advise me on how to solve this without having to bring it to a computer technician
It is hard to say. Like you mentioned, it could be a bad drive, bad cable or even a bad logic board. The fact it won't boot from any source is not encouraging.

What year model Macbook is this?
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
cant be 100% positive as I got a copy from a friend to test mac when Tiger DVD wouldn't install
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
I am not sure but it spins when the macbook starts.
I have also tried with a usb optical drive and get the same results.
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
I am on a limited budget to get this Mac running so have you any idea how much a usb installer would cost, or how much it costs to download and activate the iso image
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I am on a limited budget to get this Mac running so have you any idea how much a usb installer would cost, or how much it costs to download and activate the iso image

You would get it off the Mac App Store. Do you have another Mac that can be used to create the disk?
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
I am not sure if the cable I have is compatible as its a standard ethernet cable which I have used on Windows computers to connect to the internet when troubleshooting or updating systems
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I am not sure if the cable I have is compatible as its a standard ethernet cable which I have used on Windows computers to connect to the internet when troubleshooting or updating systems

A FireWire cable can be used to start the problematic MacBook off the other working one.
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
ok I will try that later.
Is there any special steps I should follow or just connect them and switch them on
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
ok I will try that later.
Is there any special steps I should follow or just connect them and switch them on
You insert the FireWire cable into each MacBook. You start the good MacBook and hold T until the FireWire logo appears. Then start the problematic one and hold OPT and select the hard drive of the other MacBook. See if it works okay with it over FireWire.
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
It didnt work. The good Mac just booted normally when I held T and I checked the network settings after I started the other Mac but it wasnt showing up
 

denismen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2014
14
0
no there is no "target disk Mode" option.
That whole bottom part of screenshot is not there