macbook screen turns white - starts ticking - envelope with "?"

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by grankate, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. grankate macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    I was reading a recipe the other night and my Macbook started ticking, the screen went black, then a white screen came up with a blinking envelope with a "?" in it. This happened once before when the computer was about a year old. I took it to the Apple store and they repaired it. The problem is that store is 2 hours from me. Does anyone know what this is and how to fix it? I have hit different keys and nothing takes me out of that screen. My biggest concern is my pictures and music are on it. I plan to buy another computer (anything but Apple) if I can't come up with a fix for this. Is there any way to get my music on my Iphone onto another computer? Thanks for any help.
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
  3. bluskale macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2010
    I will second the broken HD idea... especially with the clicking noise you hear. It is possible, although expensive (like new computer expensive), to send your drive to a data recovery service, which may, or may not, be able to recover some data off of it. Your best bet is to have made regular backups on an external hard drive.

    Sometimes you can semi-recover a dying harddrive with all sorts of odd tricks, and do a quick file transfer to another device. I once was able to do this, but only while the laptop base/keyboard was oriented vertically, and icepacks were applied to the case where the hard drive was located (which is dangerous, considering condensation... but there were precious photos to be had). that only worked for about 5-10 minutes at a time before it crashed again. PITA.

    If you have the pictures and music on an iPhone, I would presume that you could pull them off again, but I don't have one, and have never looked into it.

    hard drive longevity, btw, has little to do with the computer manufacturer... it is kinda like russian roulette... you know a certain percentage of hard drives manufactured together will die by a certain time... just hope it isn't yours. If you've had other problems that are more apple-specific, then by all means, choose a product that you're more satisfied with.

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