Help with flashing question mark

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bluebeetle1, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. bluebeetle1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2012
    Every time I turn my macbook on it gives me a flashing grey folder with a white question mark on it. I heard I need to put the startup disc in it, but I don't have a start up disc, I can't find it. Am I screwed? Is that it?
  2. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Maybe. Do you have any backups? If not, there is a chance you're screwed. You can always try booting a LiveCD version of Linux to grab the files if the installation of OS X is messed up. If the hard drive itself is messed up, you probably won't be able to get the data.

    That said, have some hope as you could have a startup disk setting that was changed. Have you tried reading this:

    Also, what version of OS X are you running? Lion 10.7? Snow Leopard 10.6?
  3. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Follow the steps here:

    If the safe boot and PRAM resets don't work and you don't have the install disc to run Disk Utility, you can boot to single user mode by holding :apple:+S on startup and letting go when you see white text on a black background. At the command line prompt type /sbin/fsck -fy. Reference:

    If you need to reinstall or format the drive, Mac OS X 10.6 is still sold, so you can purchase a disc for $29 U.S. if need be, or if the computer is less than 5 years in age you can order replacement discs of $16 each from AppleCare.

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