White screen, folder with flashing question mark please help me!

Squirrelflight

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
112
2
Edit: SOLVED! It just needed the hard drive cable replaced!!

Okay so out of nowhere my MacBook Pro 2010 froze and I had to force shut it down. I turned it back on and oh boy... white screen for awhile and then a folder with a flashing question mark.

Is this the end? She may be old but she’s been working perfectly updated to the latest!!


What happened? I feel kind of panicked because here I was telling myself to save better and then this happens. I’ve got the shopping channel they have some Macs where you pay 150 a month I could do that...


But I really don’t want to right now. I’ve tried some reset stuff but it wasn’t working but tell me some resets to try just in case.


Also, i was googling and everywhere was talking like you could do stuff all there is for me is white screen and flashing folder. No options.


I’ve read there may be something I need to buy to replace inside the machine and as I don’t trust myself I could prob take it to a comp store and have them do it once I order the part.


Explain what is happening and what I can do like I’m five. Im so confused why did my machine fail me now?

Adding some details it’s a MacbookPro 2010 Model a1278 I already found on amazon for 16 the ‘flex cable’ I’ve read online you need. As I have no idea what I’m doing if that’s what it could be I’ll have to pay a computer store to do it for me haha
 
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currahee2100

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2009
172
39
Maybe the hard drive is dying? You notice it being incredibly slow at random times before this happened?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,830
30,337
Boston
for awhile and then a folder with a flashing question mark.
The flashing question mark means that the computer is not finding a boot device, either the drive or drive cable could have issues.

Do you have the original boot discs and boot off those? You can then try to run some diagnostics from that disc.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
Okay so out of nowhere my MacBook Pro 2010 froze and I had to force shut it down. I turned it back on and oh boy... white screen for awhile and then a folder with a flashing question mark.

Is this the end? She may be old but she’s been working perfectly updated to the latest!!


What happened? I feel kind of panicked because here I was telling myself to save better and then this happens. I’ve got the shopping channel they have some Macs where you pay 150 a month I could do that...


But I really don’t want to right now. I’ve tried some reset stuff but it wasn’t working but tell me some resets to try just in case.


Also, i was googling and everywhere was talking like you could do stuff all there is for me is white screen and flashing folder. No options.


I’ve read there may be something I need to buy to replace inside the machine and as I don’t trust myself I could prob take it to a comp store and have them do it once I order the part.


Explain what is happening and what I can do like I’m five. Im so confused why did my machine fail me now?

Adding some details it’s a MacbookPro 2010 Model a1278 I already found on amazon for 16 the ‘flex cable’ I’ve read online you need. As I have no idea what I’m doing if that’s what it could be I’ll have to pay a computer store to do it for me haha


New edit: omg she lives??? She’s back??? How???

Please give me an answer anyway though this has never happened before so if it happens again I want to know what to do. But omg she lives! My indestructible queen
If "she" is still up, I recommend you get all your data backed up. You likely have limited time.
 

Squirrelflight

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
112
2
Thankfully I had everything backed up before it happened so no matter what I'm good.

So 'she' has been working good BUT when I first started using it today there were a few moments where it was going slow and froze. But then it's been fine for hours since. I really hope it's okay. I kinda wanna cling to my old Macbook Pro for as long as I can! The power was very low when it happened last night so maybe it had something to do with that. i'll post again if anything changes.
 

Squirrelflight

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
112
2
Okay new update it’s going back and forth now. Sometimes it works perfectly for along time then starts slowing down and freezing.

Apps are especially hard on it now. iTunes and word give it a lot of trouble..

Oh man...

Is this really the end? It’s just a shock because it was working perfectly up until yesterday...
 

jsmith189

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,551
2,661
it was working perfectly up until yesterday...
that's all it takes.

seems like an obvious answer, but book an appointment at an apple store. like someone already said, it definitely sounds like either a cable or hard drive issue, and unless you're familiar with the internals it'd probably better to have it checked out now that it's in and out rather than when it's fully out.
 

mikzn

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2013
1,423
695
Vancouver
No offence and this is just my two cents but spending any money at all on a 10 year old laptop is throwing away good money after bad

I am pretty sure the “geniuses” at the Apple Store will tell you to buy a new one - lol :rolleyes:

You can try a new SSD maybe add some memory etc and perhaps put a new battery in but that will all be money you could put toward a new laptop. Even with all these upgrades it would it will still be a 10-year-old MacBook Pro

Unless it has significant sentimental value you’re better off looking for a new MBP - IMHO
 

jsmith189

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,551
2,661
spending any money at all on a 10 year old laptop is throwing away good money
yeah I'd agree with this. unless they tell you it's a simple and/or very inexpensive fix, I wouldn't go to the effort of having them try to fix it. being the age it is, it's likely just going to break down in some other fashion eventually anyway lol
 

Squirrelflight

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
112
2
https://www.amazon.ca/SUNMALL-821-2049-Sensor-Compatible-MacBook/dp/B01MR2KIST/ref=aw_st_pd_dx_piup_1/142-7384956-1472856?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B071VV54CD&pd_rd_r=cd59ceb6-d690-4d97-b04d-20df002fad44&pd_rd_w=PtyFd&pd_rd_wg=R8TJT&pf_rd_p=ef807770-8cfd-4555-9ee4-2f2ea187292b&pf_rd_r=161S1BPTHE2NWM2C3QDM&psc=1&refRID=161S1BPTHE2NWM2C3QDM&th=1

Okay I bought this! I have my old MacBook Pro box it came in it said 2009 on it I got it in 2010 it’s a a178 model mc374LL/a it was just 16 dollars for the cable. I watched YouTube videos and in the description of the cable itself it described all my issues.

I’m gonna call a computer store next to my work to ask them if they can put it in since I don’t feel comfortable unscrewing it myself to replace the cable. Sounds like this is the fix or if not it’s probably screwed I really hope this is the solution and I hope I got the right cable.

Also I know given the age if it’s not a simple cable replacement it’s not worth spending crazy money on I agree though I will say until today it worked still like new I’ve added memory before and it just works like new and I’d be happy to pay a small amount to have the cable put in (I bought it don’t trust myself to put it in so I will gladly pay too have someone put it in for me) but if it’s more than that I will get a new one. It’s just I kinda wanted to prolong buying a new Mac until next year as I wanted to hit a saving goal first but there are financing plans to consider...

But yeah if it’s an easy cable replacement fix (16 for cable I got on amazon and I’ll call tomorrow to see how much they’d charge to put it in for me) then I’d do it to make it last longer until I’m ready to buy a new one.

Let me know if I picked the right cable. A silver 2009 MacBook Pro
 
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Squirrelflight

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
112
2
Amazing news! The hard drive cable was a FIX! At least after using it for several hours since it is not freezing/loading slow like it was before when it would be on/boots perfectly now, it’s working totally perfectly again! Best Buy put it in for me for free I expected to have to pay for them to put it in. ^^ So happy omg! Now I can relax. I want to get a new macbook pro next year after hitting a certain savings goal so I feel better now that it’s ok.


I’ll make an update tho if the problems returns and this is just a fluke but it’s working and booting great again!! All apps are working where before they were crashing/freezing too.


I did a first aid test on the mac again and it did say again that the volume is corrupt and needs to be fixed but it’s still working perfectly so not sure what that’s about?


But yeah everything is great! She lives! For now at least, I have to remind myself maybe this is working perfect again and it’s a fluke!