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Flashing question mark at start up

Get a flashing question mark at start up. Try to run Disk Repair from install cd, but the hard drive doesn't show up

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Re: flashing question mark at start up

Ive had this happen a couple times and it was either the motherboard needed to be pulled and placed back in securely or the board cooked. I havent seen this any other way. An extension issue wont create this

Posted on Dec 31, 2007

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Re: flashing question mark at start up

The bootup permissions file has become corrupted in your system folder. Booting up and running an"archive and install" from the installation cd, or better, from an external hardrive, should solve the problem.

Posted on Oct 01, 2007

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Hold down c key wont boot from disk

If your OS disk is a DVD, and you have a CD-ROM installed, it's unreadable by the internal drive. You'll need to get an external Firewire DVD drive. Connect it, make sure it has power, then hold down the option key when you turn on the iMac. You may have to wait a bit for the DVD to read out, but you should see the DVD icon show up on the display. Select it (you may need to use the arrow keys), then press return to boot from that drive.
A flashing question mark with no readable optical disk installed says either the operating system on the hard drive is corrupted or the hard drive is bad.

Feb 14, 2012 | Apple iMac G3 Desktop


How to repair a hard drive and permissions on a mac

If you are having problems with crashing slow running or an app not opening or quitting on you this should help. <br /> First start up with the "c" key held down, this does some system housekeeping and boots in to safe boot, if this does not work or you get a folder with a question mark icon then you need to boot from a Cd (or DVD) with computer off and this works for all macs running OSX, insert the Cd into the drive when the mac is off, start with the"c" key held down until the chime or the screen lights up, when booted select language (dont worry you do not have to perform an install) the next screen has a menu along the top, select utilities and you get a new menu, select disk utility and when it has gathered information you will see your hard drive in the left of the window. Select your hard drive and then select "disk repair" run this and it will either pass the disk as Ok, repair the disk or fail it ( the repair is all about the directories where it keeps all the files, if it get corrupted the whole machine gets lost but all your information is ok) If it fails you need a 3rd party utility like DiskWarrior to rebuild your directories. Assuming this goes well then select permissionsrepair, this should be run anytime you install any software or updates (it can be run from the systems own disk utility in the applications folder but the boot disk version is better) it takes a while. When this is finished quit disk utility and from the same menu select start up disk utility and select your hard drive and then select restart.

on Oct 30, 2010 | Mac Desktops

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Question Mark in a box appears on the screen. Cannot go any further than that

this means that the filesystem on your hard drive or the hard drive has gone bad.
you can try insert the mac cd that came with your mac and hold the c button to boot off the cd.
run disk utility and see if your able to detect the hard drive and run a repair on it.
if no drive is found then you will need to get a new hard drive and replace the bad one and reinstall osx.

May 02, 2011 | Apple iMac 17" Desktop

1 Answer

Finder - question mark alternating flashing at start up

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The flashing question mark indicates that there is a problem with the operating system or hard drive. Try to boot from the Mac OS X install disc by holding down "C" on the keyboard at startup.

If the computer boots normally from the Mac OS X install disc. Go to the Disk Utility from the disc. try to Repair Permissions on the hard drive. If after a while it seemed to work then is it time to reinstall the operating system. If it fails to repair permissions and gives you a bunch of red errors its time to replace the hard drive.

Feb 08, 2011 | Apple iMac G5 Desktop

1 Answer

Grey screen with a blinking folder and question mark

Two possible things are wrong either your hard drive has gone or your system has corrupted. Put your instal disk in start it up holding down the c key. Once it has started check that the hard drive exists by go to the menu bar and selecting the disk utility. If the hard drive shows it means that it is okay run the disk utility check drive and then run the repair permissions. Then try restarting, if it works then you are back up and running again. If the drive shows up and you restart and the same thing shows up with the grey screen, you will need to reinstal your system. You do this by starting up with the instal disk holding down the c key and run the instal script. To keep your hard drive contents your will need to use the preserve users instal.

If your hard drive does not show up the hard drive is probably a gonner and you will have to purchase a new hard drive and instal a fresh system.

Hope this helps

Mar 23, 2010 | Apple Power Mac G5 Desktop

2 Answers

Can't reboot iMac and disc is stuck in the slot loading drive

Shut down the mac by holding in the power button for about 10 seconds.
Is the CD a system CD or something else?
If it's a system CD restart the mac and hold down the letter C on the keyboard. after about 30 seconds the mac should boot up into installation mode. If it does, click on the language then then at the next page go up to the menu bar and locate Utilities and disk utility. Run the disk repair then try and restart. (The flashing ? means that the computer cannot find a start-up drive with a valid system on it. The repair routine can sometimes fix that - it doesn't always though.)
If it's not a system CD and you obviously need to get it out before you can do anything else - restart the mac but this time instead of holding down the C key, hold down the click on the mouse. It takes 10 to 15 seconds (sometimes longer) but it will force the computer to eject t the CD.

Feb 14, 2010 | Apple iMac Z0CY Desktop

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Can't get imac to boot up everything looks fine then I get a black box with white lettering saying error in start-up . code number post/16/2048DIMMO/J22, thanks for any help. I ran the hard-drive test and...

Sounds like a kernel panic code. You may be missing a piece of the OS code due to a Hard Drive error from a power issue or whatever. You may need to reinstall your OS. Start up from the cd and save all your data you can to a flash drive or external hard drive and then do a clean install.

Jul 16, 2009 | Apple iMac G4 Desktop

1 Answer

Ihave a G5 Tower running OSX.3.9. Computer totally froze while saving huge quark document. I had to shut it off with power button. upon restart I got nothing but a blank gray screen and later a flashing...

Try using your OS disc, insert in your computer , power it on while holding down the C key.
You should be able get it running via the CD. Access the Disk Utiltity and attempt to repair your hard drive. If no luck, Disk Warrior may get your drive back.

Jun 17, 2009 | Mac Desktops

1 Answer

The dreaded question mark???

It sounds as if your hard drive is damaged and is not mounting. As you are running OS 9 I suggest using Norton Systemworks and run it's disc repair facility Disc Doctor. This will make repairs to the hard drive to allow it to mount. (Unless the disc is too badly damaged). If this is the case you will need to replace the hard drive and re-install all your system and applications. If you haven't backed up your info, the damaged disc can be scanned and your files saved by a computer repair shop.

Dec 27, 2008 | Apple Power Mac G4 Cube Desktop

2 Answers

Flashing apple

The flashing question mark / picasso face means your com puter cannot find a bootable volume or start up disk. Basically, it cannot find your operating system to load. That could mean a few things. Mainly it means your hard drive has failed, and is not performing properly, or cannot be detected. It could also mean the bootsector of the hard drive ( where it wrote os x when it was installed ) has bad blocks or sectors, preventing it from reading the disk correctly. if the hard drive is anywhere from 3 -4 years old or older, all of these options are likely. YOu can try to power the computer on holding down the OPTION key. THis will boot your machine into start up manager. Also try this procedure with an OS X cd or dvd inserted. If you have another macintosh running 10.3 or later, that has a firewire port, you can boot the emac into target disk mode by holding down the "T" key. The other mac should be on , and hopefully the emac will appear on the desktop fo the other computer. THis allow you to hopefuly recover the contents of the emac.

Hope this helps, KEEP ME POSTED.

Jan 15, 2008 | Apple eMac G4 Desktop

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