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I'm not sure about this, because I have an internal CD/DVD in my macbook. But this can be a driver issue. Do you have an Apple CD drive, or an universal USB CD drive? The last one could be very tricky, because the computer needs special drivers, so it can recognise the external drive.
If you get an error that NTLDR is not found during bootup,
If you have FAT32 partitions, it is much simpler than with NTFS. Just boot with a Win98 floppy and copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files from the i386 directory to the root of the C:\ drive.
Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1
Enter in the administrator password when requested
Enter in the following commands (X: is replaced by the actual drive letter that is assigned to the CD ROM drive. COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\: COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\
This happens when your computer can't find and load the operating system. You need to start from another CD or hard drive so you can run the Disk Utility program. Try using your original operating system CD that can with your mac and press the either the control key and the C key or just the C key to force the computer to boot (start up) from the CD rather than the internal hard drive. Then ignore the messages on the CD to install the operating system and find the Disk Utility program in the pull down menus at the top. Find and select your internal hard drive for it to repair. If you cannot find it, likely your hard drive has crashed. You will need to replace it and install a new operating system on it.
In that case, your data may be lost on your old hard drive.
If you have a external hard drive, depending on the interface, plug it in to the appropriate connector (firewire for example) and boot from the hard drive, then run the Disk Utility program from there.
If you have no operating system CD, try to borrow or buy a copy, it must be of a version that will work on your model of computer.
It is very difficult to replace an Apple Superdrive and is not recommended to attempt to do so yourself unless you have pre-existing experience in doing so. Before resorting to such desperate measures, try testing your hardware with the Apple Hardware Test. You will find detailed instructions on how to use AHT here.
This looks more like an issue w/ your motherboard, since it should at least give you a file folder with a question mark if it was a hard drive problem only. Try to boot from the install CD, if that succeeds, all you probably
have is a broken filesystem (reinstall) or a broken hard drive
(replace). There are Mac Repair Guides
that show how to open a Macbook. Watch out for the ribbon cables,
those tear easily. Replacement parts are usually available on Ebay.
There are third party services that can do it for you, like Mac Repair NYC.
Shut the machine down. Find the original CD or a retail OS X installation DVD. Start the machine up and immediately hold down the option key. You will see a icon of your hard drive. Now insert the CD or DVD. If it immediately spits out, your optical drive needs replacement. If it does not, click on the U-shaped arrow button to rescan the drives. If the CD/DVD does not show up, your optical drive needs replacement. If it does, choose it and boot from it. If this actually works, you may have a software problem -- this is low probability, but possible.
Keep in mind that the CD and DVD read heads are separate. If one of those is malfunctioning, your drive will accept CDs but not DVDs, or vice versa. If you see this behavior, your optical drive needs replacement.
Hard Drive or MAMORY disfuntioning. firstly try Removing and replacing the hard drive (to make sure it connects properly) before tampering with the memory. Could be
that the hadr drive has bad sectors and cannot read the system files...