MacBook not booting, stuck out of country (was: Help !!!)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by XP Defector, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #1
    Yesterday my Macbook just hung, noticed a black screen and the beachball. Rebooted now I get that flashin folder icon with a question mark. Its stange, my HD told no tell tale signs of dying, no whizzing or strange noises. Anyway the problem is I'm travelling around the world, and foolishly did not pack my OSX starup disc.

    Any other suggestions, advice most welcome. I might just have to send the poor thing home :(

    Cheers.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Are you in a remote or populous place? The easiest thing to do would be to go to an Apple store wherever you are (they shouldn't have any issue with helping you with a foreign Mac) and use the Genius bar, if at all possible.

    We do ask that, even in "justifiable" situations, you don't ask for help in obtaining or using pirated software, FWIW. Sorry.
     
  3. XP Defector thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #3
    Of course, I understand.

    Do you know what the flashing folder of death actually means?

    For a while now, sometimes it would appear for a few seconds before it booted. Can system files really just 'go' missing? I'm quite concerned about the internal HD, but like I said, didn't display any obvious signs that it was on its way out.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    I believe it means a failure to find a startup volume -- not necessarily that the disk is bad. Some people...

    http://www.fixya.com/support/t1380353-flashing_folder_icon_startup

    ... seem to observe that it sometimes happens when the partition table on Intel Macs gets messed up. Although I can scarcely see why your partition table should get jacked in the middle of an international trip.

    Unfortunately, the solutions seem to involve reformatting the drive if you can't get it to boot, which you should be able to do with most any startup / retail install disc that has Intel binaries on it, although you'd need either your specific system's system restore disc or a retail Leopard disc (and only if your computer came out before Leopard) to get the re-installation to work.

    If you get your hands on a startup disc, it might also be possible for you to look at using Repair Disk in Disk Utility to see if any logical problems with the boot drive can be repaired without reformatting.

    This is all assuming that your drive didn't fail. It is possible I guess that it did. :(
     
  5. XP Defector thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    #5
    Not sure if this helps, but when I hold the computer to my ear and boot, I hear the hard drive making a 'tick tick tock' sort of noise, then it goes silent once the folder icon appears on screen. I'm pretty much guessing it is a failed HD - would you agree?

    What a time for this to happen in the middle of a trip, now porting around a very expensive paper weight lol.

    Anyway, thanks for the support!
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Actually, if the noise is fairly faint -- like the sound of a marble being dropped on a tabletop -- that's a normal sound that lots of HD's make when they're not failed. It's what you'd expect in the alternative case -- the drive spins up, OS X fails to find a bootable volume on it, and so it spins it back down. It's hard to tell whether it's failed until you can get a boot disc, etc, to check it with....

    Hope your trip takes you close by an Apple store soon. :)
     

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