Question mark folder before and after hd swap

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by nandowln, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. nandowln macrumors newbie


    Oct 7, 2015
    Hello everyone! I have a problem with my Macbook pro mid 2012 13". The problem is that a folder with a question mark in it keeps on popping up each time I boot up my laptop. It all started one day when my laptop froze and crashed after a few seconds, and when it booted itself up again, the folder came up. I brought in my laptop to my universities tech center to get a diagnosis and after a few tries to reset the laptop, they came to a conclusion that it was a hard drive failure. So they told me to get a new hard drive. The one recommended to me was the Samsung 850 Evo 2.5". So I bought one, and in the process of installing the new ssd, they STILL came across the folder with a question mark. The head of the tech department told me that it's most likely the SATA cable, but before I make any unnecessary purchases, I wanted to confirm if there really is a problem with the SATA cable or anything else.

    Sorry for the long read but thanks for the help!
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    The only way I know to see if the HD cable is the problem is to take it out the equation.

    To test connect and boot from an external drive. The easiest test is to use your backup to boot up. Another test is to put your old HD in an external enclosure and boot up. If you do that and your old HD really has failed, then it will not start up still and you have not proved the problem is the internal HD cable failure, but it would confirm the HD is indeed a problem. If it does boot then the old HD may not be the problem and it would point to the internal HD cable. The other thing to try is to put the new SSD in the external enclosure and boot, but for this to work you would need the SSD formatted for Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and OS X installed.
  3. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    A question-mark at boot up usually indicates the system cannot locate a valid "Operating system", so the failing HDD diagnosis could be correct. Does the new SSD you installed have a properly 'partitioned, and formatted boot-able' operating system on it?

    Something you could try...
    1. Boot the Mac into Single User Mode by holding down Command+S during system boot after you hear the boot chime, you know you will have successfully entered Single User Mode because you will see a bunch of white text on a black background scroll by
    2. When the Single User boot sequence has finished, you’ll find a small command prompt at the bottom of the screen prefixed by a hash sign (#), when you see that type the following command exactly:
      fsck -fy
    3. Once fsck completes, if you see a “File system was modified” message, then you should run “fsck -fy” again until you see a message stating “The volume (name) appears to be OK” – this is standard procedure of using fsck
    4. Type “reboot” to leave Single User Mode and boot the Mac back into OS X as usual

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