NO! not again...the flashing question mark

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by klm79, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. klm79 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Last night my computer froze completely and i held down the power button to restart. When it reloaded it took nearly 5minutes to come to the desktop..when i clicked on loaded then froze. I restarted again only to be greeted by the dreaded question mark in the folder.

    Heres the double catch: I dont have apple care, this was a gift it wasnt bought with it, and I never knew about apple care until after the deadline passed. Yes i was young and naive!

    Also, this isnt the first time this has happened. Last November this same computer conked out on me and the HD crashed. I paid $500 last time, and DONT want to do that again.

    This computer was purchased May 2006. 15 inch MBP

    Can anyone on here give me some good advice on what i should do?

    Will Apple store help me in nyc?

  2. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    hard drive needs to be replaced. :eek:

    since its out of warranty try DIY. :)
  3. marvel2 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2007
    I've seen the question mark before. The HD is probably dead as stated above. Luckily its easy to replace the HD and you dont have to worry about voiding any warranty.
  4. klm79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    How has this happened to me 2 times tho?

    Do I have terrible luck? lol

    Despite me not having Apple Care, will i get a break since I just had this replaced?
  5. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    if its within 30 days apple should be able to do it again. If not, you're out of luck. :(

    hard drives are finicky, they can go whenever they feel like it.
  6. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    How long ago did you have the HD replaced? Is the HD still under warranty? If so, take it back for replacement. Even if the MBP is out of warranty, the replacement HD should have it's own warranty.

    Notebook drives aren't that expensive, but hopefully you backed up your important files.
  7. klm79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    I had this same problem middle of last November.

    It took 3 weeks to be replaced.

    I just find it hard to beleive they wouldn't help me. 6 Months later having the exact same problem, do i just have a faulty computer? That clearly isnt my fault
  8. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    it isn't their fault either. Apple warranties their work for 30 days for out of warranty repairs. The hard drive itself might have a warranty, but getting apple to do the labor for free will be troublesome. 6 months is a long time.
  9. crobbins macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2006
    If you want to try (as mentioned earlier) you could do it yourself. It really is a pretty simple procedure. I mean it sure beats the 500 dollars you might have to pay Apple again.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    It's 90 days. ;)
  11. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    really? i forget...dont get too many out of warranty re-works here. ;)

    edit: confirmed with another tech it is indeed 90 days. Sorry for the misinformation!
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    If you were charged $500 for a hard drive replacement, don't go back there.

    The hard drive is worth $100 or less, and labour should be about an hour.
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    At this point buy a drive and DIY.

    Though, after this many, it could be unstable SW corrupting the drive. Or you are really unlucky.

    I know that a drive can get corrupted enough to go all ? on you, if you are running apps that give a lot of kernel panics and require constant restarts.

    Though the likelihood of that has diminished with the journaled system, and the faster computers these days make sure a drive write happens closer to the point when it is cached out by the system.
  14. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    Arent macbook pros like macbooks as i was told so wouldnt it take like 5 mins as i did for me...?
  15. Jabberwocky246 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Even if Apple won't honor a warranty on the replacement hard drive, it's likely that the hard drive vendor will. You will have to open up your MBP, it sounds scary, but if you take your time you won't have any problems.

    Go to and look for the guide to Macbook Pro hard drive replacement. You may not even need to remove the hard drive if you can get the serial number with it in place. Write down the serial number and run a warranty check on the hard drive vendor's web site (i.e., Samsung, Seagate). If the drive is in warranty, follow the instructions to obtain an RMA (return material authorization) number and get your drive replaced.

    Good luck.
  16. MusicallySilent macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    Macbook Process -
    Take out battery, remove a few screws, pull out hdd on caddy and it is out

    MBP Process -
    Take out a ton of screws eventually leading to the removal of the entire upper panel (keyboard wristrest trackpad area) and you can access the harddrive

    Thus a lot of people would appreciate apple integrating the macbook hdd replacement design.

    @OP, I would see about the potential of getting it replaced if it died so fast, if they won't do it for free and it will cost you a large chunk of change, just do it yourself and take the warranty the harddrive gives you one (6 months is not acceptable for a harddrive, 3 years is getting there 5 + is ideal (10 is what one of my Pentium II machines is) You may be able to find a macrumors person in your area to help you take it apart if you are lucky.

    Also are you abusive to your MBP at all when it runs, maybe the HDD takes a lot of shocks and that is causing it to crash.
  17. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    hah not as bad as an ibook u have to take like the top and bottom off with like 2032083028308208 screws.

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