iMac question mark folder, install failed

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Hey guys, I'm new here. Have just bought my first imac 24", its 2006 model I think, but I'm having trouble with it. So, I'm having the question mark folder error, and I'm trying to install a new OSX on to it, not fussed about any files being kept or anything else, just straight up clean install.

Because I have dont have the disc, i have download a 10.7.2 dmg and burned it to a DVD, and have no success (it starts to load but goes to a grey screen with the mouse) and I cant boot from usb for some reason. Is there anything else I can try? I don't have another mac so everything is done on a windows machine, and have a windows keyboard so unsure of the apple keyboard buttons.
 
Last edited:

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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That ? means the Mac cannot find an OS to boot from and is most commonly a bad drive. Reinstalling (even if you could) will not fix this. I see a new hard drive in your future. :(
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Thought so, Ive had a look about pressing C when booting and it should show the hard drive but its just a grey screen with the mouse, guessing the hard drive is meant to show up there? and the USB stick? what hard drive does it take as I may have a spare.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,306
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Thought so, Ive had a look about pressing C when booting and it should show the hard drive but its just a grey screen with the mouse, guessing the hard drive is meant to show up there? and the USB stick? what hard drive does it take as I may have a spare.
That machine uses a standard SATA 3.5" drive.

That C key boot is actually to boot from the CD/DVD installer if you have one.

Holding the option key (ALT on a Windows KB) would give you the choice of booting to a USB key.

If you have access to a Windows machine, you might be able to use TransMac to make yourself an installer on a USB key.
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
I created through powerISO as transmac wouldn't work, I'm going to swap the hard drive and see how I get on tomorrow, (10:00pm UK and up at 5!) if it's as simple as a windows machine I should have no problem :)
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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I created through powerISO as transmac wouldn't work, I'm going to swap the hard drive and see how I get on tomorrow, (10:00pm UK and up at 5!) if it's as simple as a windows machine I should have no problem :)
If you can get it to boot to the Lion installer, just start Disk Utility and erase the disk to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)... then quit Disk Util and click install OS and wait for the install. That should fix you up.
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Which osx is lion? As I said, not very good with Macs, tried installing hackintosh at one stage on my laptop, that didn't end up going well lol
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Have now installed a new hard drive, went to format it and it unmounted and failed, now I cant see the hard drive anymore? How do I get it to mount?
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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Have now installed a new hard drive, went to format it and it unmounted and failed, now I cant see the hard drive anymore? How do I get it to mount?
Hmm... quit Disk Util then launch it again and see if that recognizes the drive.
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Found it again, but still failed to erase it, bloody nightmare this is!! I also now cant get it to choose what I boot (ALT and power) did get it to boot USB but still wont erase the hard drive, may try popping another one in.
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Hmm... quit Disk Util then launch it again and see if that recognizes the drive.
Sorry for double post, got another hard drive installed, and it works fine, but trying to install and it comes with 'you need at least 2gb memory'. I think its trying to install on a disk2? no idea what that one is, but it has mac osx base system and 1.38gb on it? Can i delete that or do I need it?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,306
8,950
California
Sorry for double post, got another hard drive installed, and it works fine, but trying to install and it comes with 'you need at least 2gb memory'. I think its trying to install on a disk2? no idea what that one is, but it has mac osx base system and 1.38gb on it? Can i delete that or do I need it?
Lion needs 2GB of system RAM to run. See this. From this it looks like that system only came with 1GB by default, so unless someone updated the RAM to 2GB, Lion is going to be a no go. You could upgrade the RAM to 2GB yourself.
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Oh I see! so thats what it means! right, thanks for the help, will get some more RAM for it when I get paid (friday :D) and will let you know how I get on, massive thank you for your help!
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
So! Got it working! updated the RAM to 4GB, was working fine and then it froze on a youtube video, tried loading the system again and now I'm getting a blank screen with a pinwheel.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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So! Got it working! updated the RAM to 4GB, was working fine and then it froze on a youtube video, tried loading the system again and now I'm getting a blank screen with a pinwheel.
Can you command-r boot to the Lion recovery partition and from there use Disk Utility to check the drive?
 

Chaz.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 25, 2014
10
0
Can you command-r boot to the Lion recovery partition and from there use Disk Utility to check the drive?
Tried repairing the drive and reinstalling lion, but it froze after going to sleep. Have been able to safe boot it and worked, will see if anything may be causing the problem after a restart