No boot, No Install, Flashing question mark & folder :(

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ollie309, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. ollie309 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
    Hi Folks i have a powermac g5 and am having a spot off trouble.

    when i turn it on, i am greeted with a folder with a flashing icon and question mark. i have searched the net and this forum and am awair i need a os disk etc.

    when i put my osx disk in it goes to the install process, i follow all the options and at the end of the install it says restart in 30 seconds..

    it restarts and goes back to the install screen again, if i take the disk out it returns to the flashing icon and question mark


    can anyone help me?!

  2. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    Thats a sign of something really bad wrong. Have you opened the machine up to add RAM or anything recently?
  3. ollie309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
    ive just got it of my mate, he said it just needed a start up disk and it will work fine. would ask him more info but he's gone traveling for 6 months :(

    other than commenting on the fact it has generic mac parts all looking normal theres not much else i can say description wise. hard disk failer ?

    was hoping this would be a quick fix and id be up and running
  4. ollie309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
    ok, heres a little more info on my machine:

    when i run the osx 'tiger' install disk i can acess the utilities menu.

    Ive ran disk utility , first aid and all permissions appear to be fine.

    does anyone have advise of where to go from here?
  5. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    Sounds like your friend wiped the drive clean but didn't re-install any OS. That was his meaning of "it just needs a start up disk."
  6. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Doesn't sound like the OS is installed.

    It won't let you install if the drive is failing, (S.M.A.R.T fails), Buy Leopard!

  7. ollie309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
    just done it again, after archive and install it reboots and loads back into the osx tiger install menu.
    and if i take the disk out i have my old friend the flashing questionmark folder!

    i read somewhere that my mac cant find the start up info and thats why it has the folder and question mark? how can i tell it where to look.
    why is it doing this?!

    this is driving me crazy!!!
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
  9. ollie309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
  10. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    The flashing folder icon with the question mark means that it cannot find an OS to start up with. It's basically asking you "What folder has the system files in it?"

    Assuming the computer has a hard disk, and you have installed the OS onto the hard disk, then it's probably something wrong with the disk. Especially if you have done an "erase and install," and you've used an install disk that's the right one, OS not pirated etc., then there is likely something wrong with the hard disk.

    If your mate said you "need a startup disk" that can only mean that the machine either needs an OS put onto it, or that it actually needs a new (working) hard disk to put the OS on.
  11. ollie309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2007
    he said i needed a osx disk, not HD :) my copy of osx tiger is legit and all seems to be fine on install.
    Just comes back to after the install im faced with the same flashing icon. resulting in a mac that doesnt work :(

    if anyone has advise on how this can be sorted please do chip in, ill give it a go.

    failing that how much will a new HD set me back?

    *Edit seen HD prices.

    help to try and fix this would be great!!
  12. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    I am kind of stumped without being able to actually look at the thing.

    If everything is as you described it makes no sense. If there is a physical hard disk, and you can erase and install Leopard on it, then there should be nothing wrong with the disk, but I still suspect the disk anyway.

    If you could take the disk out and format it or check it with some other utility or working OS you could eliminate that as a possible problem source.

    - You could try re-setting the PRAM (hold down Cmd-Opt-P-R at boot time until it makes the "bong" sound a few times).

    - You could also try taking out the excess memory or swapping the memory in case its bad. It's *possible* that the OS and the disk are all fine but that the computer can't load the OS into the (possibly bad) memory???

    Troubleshooting is basically just a matter of carefully and logically eliminating this or that possibility until you have only one left.

    It's sounding to me, more and more like the "friend" that sold you this computer is not a very good one. :(

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