iMac showing a folder with a "?" when attempting to start up

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Yumunum, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #1
    My family's iMac (it's an older, white one) won't boot up all the way. When you turn it on the computer makes some clicking noises, and then a folder with a "?" on it appears over the blank white screen. The icon flashes in about 1 second increments and nothing else happens. It just does that till I tap the power button then it immediately turns off. I tried booting in safe mode, resetting PRAM, getting the drive chooser to come up so I could select Macintosh HD, but nothing happened when attempting any of those things.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I'm worried the HDD hit the end of the road. I'm not sure what the clicking sounds mean.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
  3. Yumunum thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #3
    There's an external hard drive and multiple other Macs in the house. So are you suggesting I use an external hardrive to run as the iMac's main hard drive? We might just get a new internal one installed. The main concern now is the data that might be lost. The last Time Machine backup was awhile ago. (I know see why I might want to invest in a Time Capsule for my laptop :S)
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    Okay.
    If you had an available external HDD, you could have installed Mac OS X onto it and see, if you could recover data from the internal HDD, but as you have other Macs in your household, you could start the problematic iMac in Target Disk Mode and connect it via Firewire (types of Firewire below) and to another Mac and maybe repair the HDD there or even recover data that way.
    Btw, you can replace the internal HDD yourself, here are the guides to it: http://www.ifixit.com/Browse/iMac

    [​IMG]
     

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