Four months, two hard drives, one clean install, and I still get the flashing Q-mark!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PercyOl, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. PercyOl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    #1
    Hi guys, I'm typing this (really slowly) from my iPod, because I can't get on my MBP right now, so if you have any advice at all, please lay it down.

    I upgraded to snow leopard when it was released. I was already getting the occasional question mark, but after the upgrade things got worse. I was told at beat buy that my HD was shot. One week later, I had a new HD....and a month later, more freezes and question mark folders.

    I read online that I should do a clean install...do I did that. About two weeks later, the question mark folder was back, and worse than ever.

    I don't know what to do. My HD is practically new, it can't be failing already, right? I'm at a loss for words, and I'm frustrated beyond belief. Help!
     
  2. ItsAdot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Location:
    Belgium
    #2
  3. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #3
    It could be a bad drive, but I think we need to diagnose other potential issues. Is the memory in the MBP stock or upgraded? If upgraded, replace it with the stock and see if that improves things.

    Same answer. See if it could be a memory issue before blaming the drive.
     
  4. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #4
    it means that darwin (a mac's bootloader) cant detect mac os x. like if u completely wipe a pc hard drive, and try to boot it without and operating system it says operating system not detected or something like that. thats what that question mark and a folder means. so if this thing keeps popping up take it to apple.
     
  5. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a

    Penguissimo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Darwin is the UNIX-like underpinnings of Mac OS X, not the bootloader.


    Percy, the freezes are a bad sign :( But Tony is right that it's worth diagnosing other stuff first. Sometimes the flashing question mark can be as simple as the computer having lost track of where to find the boot disk. Try these steps:

    1) Try holding down Option while powering on. This tells the computer to scan for all available boot drives; if yours shows up, then just select it and you should be good to go!

    2) If you can get the computer to boot after this, go into System Preferences: Startup Disk and make sure your hard drive is selected. Sometimes if no disk (or the network option) is selected, it can confuse the system.

    3) If your drive doesn't show up in step 1, or it goes back to the question mark after a reboot, then your next step is to zap the PRAM. Hold down Command, Option, P, and R, then power the computer on. You'll see the screen come on, then flash off again, and you'll hear another startup chime. Keep holding the keys until you've heard three or four startup chimes.

    4) If you still can't get it to boot from the hard drive, try booting from your restore disks. Instead of reinstalling, though, go to the Utilities menu and select Disk Utility; if it detects your internal drive, then perform a repair on it. If it throws up lots of errors it can't fix, you might have a hardware problem on your hands. If it doesn't detect your internal drive at all, we're definitely into "hardware problem" territory.

    Unfortunately, most electronics are going to fail either early or never (or in the case of hard drives: early or waaay down the road), so it is entirely possible that your new drive is just a bad one and you'll need to have it replaced under warranty.
     
  6. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    #6
    then what is the name of the bootloader? because i have done lots of work with hackintoshes and ive watched videos, techs saying the bootloader is called darwin, blogs saying its darwin. everything ive read says its darwin.
     
  7. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a

    Penguissimo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    http://refit.sourceforge.net/info/boot_process.html

    Darwin is the kernel.

    Also it appears that your "work with hackintoshes" consists of having installed OS X on a USB hard drive and connecting it to a PC, then threatening to install it on a Time Capsule when that didn't work.
     
  8. thelowbrow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #8
    Same issue.

    I'm having the same problem with my 17" Powerbook G4. I am able to access the drive via another mac using firewire, but holding down option or C does nothing. The question mark folder comes up very quickly, as if it never gave it an opportunity to boot from CD. RAM is seated correctly, and I know the keyboard is plugged in, because holding down T allows me to use firewire. Any other ideas on what the issue could be?
     

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