Question Mark With Folder on Startup

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by djmatt, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. djmatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #1
    So I have a Black MacBook with 2gb of ram and a 160 gb hard drive. I have about 1gb left on my computer. The stuff I have that is taking up the space is all stuff that I need, I cant just dump it on to an external hard drive.

    I have a problem where ocassionally I will start up my computer and instead of the apple logo showing up I see a folder with a question mark. I have to turn off the computer and let it sit and usually it will start up.

    My question is, what is the cause of this problem, and what is the fix?

    Is it the dangerously low amount of space?

    If I upgrade the hard drive, will it fix it?

    Thanks
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    It is usually caused by a dead or dying hard drive. I'd make sure you have everything backed up and then replace the drive.
     
  3. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #3
    no, it means the computer cant find the OS to boot from. a dead harddrive could however be the cause.
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Yes, that is the meaning of the symbol.

    Is what I said.

    The OP asked what the cause was, and usually, the hard drive is the cause.
     
  5. MacForScience macrumors 6502

    MacForScience

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    You need to (using an OS 9 and earlier term) re-bless your system folder. So what I would do is boot off your install dvd and go to the select startup volume and reset it to your internal hard drive. Basically what is happening is that your computer is forgetting what volume to startup from. This used to happen in OS 9 and earlier systems. (It does not necessarily mean a bad hard drive)

    Is it a bad hard drive?
    What kind of hard drive does your computer have? If it is Fujistu get a new one immediately (I have never had one these drives last more then a year).
    How long have you had the drive? What do you use the computer for? (Audio, Video work etc which taxes the hard drive) These all factor into how long your hard drive will last. Your computer is a laptop which means there is a lot of wear on the drive from being carried around (ie short lifespan).

    Cheers
     
  6. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    #7
    i had a 2007 black macbook and my hard drive did the exact same thing about 1 month ago, i had the 160 GB hard drive with like 7 GB left on it and my hard drive was toast, so i went out and bought a western digital 500 GB hdd re installed snow leopard restored from time machine backup and it was as though it has never happened, the total down time was 24 hours
     
  7. djmatt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #8
    This is the model I have, sounds like this is exactly what I need to do.

    What is the best 500gb internal hard drive to buy?

    Also can someone explain to me the difference between a regular hard drive and a Solid State Drive?
     
  8. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    A SSD has no moving parts, while a hard drive is made out of spinning magnetic platters.
     
  9. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #10
    Try searching the forums. There are many many threads on this comparing the harddrives etc. You might want to look into the xt momentus hybrid.
     
  10. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #11
    I was actually hoping my MBP came with a crap drive so I had a good excuse to buy one of those. "sadly" it came with a good one.

    love the avatar btw :D
     
  11. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #12
    Haha thanks...

    but I don't see why you don't need an new external harddrive to save your data on. Maybe it's time to pick up that hybrid and an enclosure for your current drive. ;) I am all about instigatin'.
     
  12. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #13
    I have this, the 2TB version. o:)
    http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive.cfm

    such an awesome movie!
     

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