Little Question Mark folder before OSX boots...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Ryan McCanical, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Ryan McCanical macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2004
    I just bought a 12" powerbook and after using it for 2 days, I get the network icon flashing for about 5 seconds, and then a little OS9 looking folder icon that has a question mark on it for a few more seconds? What does this mean? I would check my manual except that I came home from school for the weekend and left it back at school. Thanks for the help.
  2. jane doe macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2004

    Shut it off,
    Turn on the power, when you hear the chime, hold down command (apple key) option P and R till you hear two more boot chimes

    that will take care of that little problem :)
  3. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001
    I'm not sure of the solution above but what I see the problem is that the Mac is trying to do a network boot. In OS X go to System Preferences: Start Up Disk and then select a local drive to boot off.

    Edit: Come to think of it zapping the p-ram will probably reset the start-up disk, so your mac may still look for a valid disk on start up, so be sure to check the Start Up Disk preferences.
  4. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    A flashing question mark usually means that the computer cannot find a startup folder, this may have changed with Panther on computers which do not have OS 9. Sometimes some computers show this every time, however if your computer gets stuck on a flashing question mark this is bad, either your system is dying or your HD is going.
  5. jane doe macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2004
    The PRAM is confused on what the startup volume should be when it goes past POST. It goes thru a series of checking IO and then picks the HD.

    It's not a failure of a hard drive or anything like that. It's fine. Simply reseting the PRAM or selecting the startup drive in the system preferences should fix it.

    Hope this helps you out.

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