Macbook Air booting with question mark and folder

Kashyap Pavra

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2016
7
0
Hello people I am in a big trouble my mac is booting with a question mark and a folder.

The story starts when I installed Linux in my mac with 20GB linux partition and 100 GB mac os x El capitan partition. Then I felt Linux is boring so I decided to delete it.So I just deleted the partition from Disk Utility.Where I got a recovery HD but it was not merging with the main drive.So I restarted my mac and Here I got this thing with question mark and a folder on booting.

I have a linux usb drive which might help.
So please help me recovering this thing and I also dont want to lose any of my data on my mac please help
 

tentales

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2010
771
1,184
Hello people I am in a big trouble my mac is booting with a question mark and a folder.

The story starts when I installed Linux in my mac with 20GB linux partition and 100 GB mac os x El capitan partition. Then I felt Linux is boring so I decided to delete it.So I just deleted the partition from Disk Utility.Where I got a recovery HD but it was not merging with the main drive.So I restarted my mac and Here I got this thing with question mark and a folder on booting.

I have a linux usb drive which might help.
So please help me recovering this thing and I also dont want to lose any of my data on my mac please help
You just learned the lesson not to experiment with your primary system if you don't know what you're doing.
You probably deleted the wrong partition and you didn't create a backup on a bootable external drive first.
Your data might still be salvageable, but first you need to do an internet recovery:

Hold
Command+Option+R

AFTER power on and proceed with instructions.
 

Kashyap Pavra

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2016
7
0
Thanks for your reply but after getting into internet recovery will my mac download a whole new os.??
If yes then how much internet data will be used and if no then what will happen in internet recovery and how much internet data will it consume?
[doublepost=1460804245][/doublepost]
You just learned the lesson not to experiment with your primary system if you don't know what you're doing.
You probably deleted the wrong partition and you didn't create a backup on a bootable external drive first.
Your data might still be salvageable, but first you need to do an internet recovery:

Hold
Command+Option+R

AFTER power on and proceed with instructions.
Thanks for your reply but after getting into internet recovery will my mac download a whole new os.??
If yes then how much internet data will be used and if no then what will happen in internet recovery and how much internet data will it consume?
 

tentales

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2010
771
1,184
Thanks for your reply but after getting into internet recovery will my mac download a whole new os.??
If yes then how much internet data will be used and if no then what will happen in internet recovery and how much internet data will it consume?
[doublepost=1460804245][/doublepost]

Thanks for your reply but after getting into internet recovery will my mac download a whole new os.??
If yes then how much internet data will be used and if no then what will happen in internet recovery and how much internet data will it consume?
It only downloads into memory and gives you access to Disk Utility, Terminal, etc.
From that point you can try to access the drive and make adjustments.
You'll have to do your own diagnosis on what you did to your working system and research online for a remedy.
Here's a start:
http://www.theinstructional.com/guides/disk-management-from-the-command-line-part-1
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

If all of this is too overwhelming and you're afraid you'll do more damage, I suggest take it to an AASP https://locate.apple.com/country
and go from there.

Good luck.
 

Kashyap Pavra

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2016
7
0
It only downloads into memory and gives you access to Disk Utility, Terminal, etc.
From that point you can try to access the drive and make adjustments.
You'll have to do your own diagnosis on what you did to your working system and research online for a remedy.
Here's a start:
http://www.theinstructional.com/guides/disk-management-from-the-command-line-part-1
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

If all of this is too overwhelming and you're afraid you'll do more damage, I suggest take it to an AASP https://locate.apple.com/country
and go from there.

Good luck.
Do you have any idea how much data will it use because I dont have a wifi so I will be downloading it from my mobile wifi hotspot?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,441
10,247
California
Do you have any idea how much data will it use because I dont have a wifi so I will be downloading it from my mobile wifi hotspot?
There are two stages to this. When you first command-option-r boot to Internet recovery, you will be asked for your wifi password then a 650MB recovery utility will be downloaded and launched in RAM. That gives you Disk Utility etc so you can format your disk. Then in that utility you will click reinstall OS... and that will download and install the OS for you. That second download of the OS is about 7GB.
 

Kashyap Pavra

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2016
7
0
Thankyou for the reply
[doublepost=1460833699][/doublepost]
There are two stages to this. When you first command-option-r boot to Internet recovery, you will be asked for your wifi password then a 650MB recovery utility will be downloaded and launched in RAM. That gives you Disk Utility etc so you can format your disk. Then in that utility you will click reinstall OS... and that will download and install the OS for you. That second download of the OS is about 7GB.
I have the OS and I am going to install it but I need to backup my data,so how can I back up even if I its not even booting?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,441
10,247
California
I have the OS and I am going to install it but I need to backup my data,so how can I back up even if I its not even booting?
What you can try to do is when you get to that recovery screen from Internet recovery, start Disk Utility then if the Macintosh HD volume is still there you may be able to copy it to an external drive using the restore menu choice under the Edit menu. So select the external drive you want to copy it to then select restore in the menu, then select Macintosh HD as where you are restoring from. It should look like this if your external drive is called Backup like in my example. Then click restore and that should copy Macintosh HD to the external drive where you can try and recover data after you install the OS.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 12.22.49 PM.png
 

Kashyap Pavra

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2016
7
0
What you can try to do is when you get to that recovery screen from Internet recovery, start Disk Utility then if the Macintosh HD volume is still there you may be able to copy it to an external drive using the restore menu choice under the Edit menu. So select the external drive you want to copy it to then select restore in the menu, then select Macintosh HD as where you are restoring from. It should look like this if your external drive is called Backup like in my example. Then click restore and that should copy Macintosh HD to the external drive where you can try and recover data after you install the OS.

View attachment 627143
I will be not installing OS from internet,It will be from a bootable CD/USB then will I be able to get into disk utility?
 
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