So before this gets deleted since it looks like other threads, please read into the present issues because I have searched everywhere for the answer to this. It's an iMac A1224 and I get the flashing folder/question mark on startup. When I booted from an install drive and tried to find the hard drive with Disk Utility the only thing it show for an internal drive is "Media". It's a hard drive that cannot be partitioned or have it's partitions changed. It says that there is 0 space on the disk. I took the hard drive out of the iMac and used a USB to SATA cable and can read the hard drive perfectly when it's being used as an external drive. The user files are all there, but I cannot tell if any system files are corrupted. However, once I put it back in, I get nothing. Trying "Option" on boot up gives me nothing except any external drives I plug in to use as install disks. This isn't my computer, it belongs to a friend of my wife. I can get all the user data off I'm fairly certain, but would love to bypass wiping the drive and doing a fresh install. Not even sure that it would work. Could the cable to the Motherboard be shot? Could there be an issue with the motherboard itself? Thanks for any help anyone can give. I'm new here so I hope I posted this in the right spot.