Middlebury

Difference between revisions of "Blinking Question Mark"

m
m (Formatting)
Line 1: Line 1:
*Symptom: Your Mac won't start up. You see a white or gray screen with a blinking/flashing question mark.  
+
*Symptom: Your Mac won't start up. You see a white or gray screen with a blinking/flashing question mark.
*Cause: The Mac cannot find the operating system. '''Most likely the hard disk has failed.'''  
+
*Cause: The Mac cannot find the operating system. '''Most likely the hard disk has failed.'''
 
*Solutions: It's worth to try the following:
 
*Solutions: It's worth to try the following:
  
'''Diagnosis'''
+
== Diagnosis ==
  
*Reset the PRAM (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379)  
+
*Reset the PRAM (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379)
*(if this is a MacBook) Reseat the hard disk (Instructions: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_HardDrive_DIY.pdf)  
+
*(if this is a MacBook) Reseat the hard disk (Instructions: http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/MacBook_13inch_HardDrive_DIY.pdf)
 
*Try putting the Mac in [[Target Disk Mode]] and connect it to another Mac, then run Disk Utility [http://www.macworld.com/article/133496/2008/05/firstaid.html How to run disk utility]
 
*Try putting the Mac in [[Target Disk Mode]] and connect it to another Mac, then run Disk Utility [http://www.macworld.com/article/133496/2008/05/firstaid.html How to run disk utility]
 
*If the owner has the original install DVD, it can be used to repair the OS (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1710). '''The Helpdesk DOES NOT have a collection of install DVDs so they cannot help if the owner does not have the install DVD.
 
*If the owner has the original install DVD, it can be used to repair the OS (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1710). '''The Helpdesk DOES NOT have a collection of install DVDs so they cannot help if the owner does not have the install DVD.
 
*If none of the above helps, then '''it is very likely that the hard disk has failed'''.
 
*If none of the above helps, then '''it is very likely that the hard disk has failed'''.
  
'''Recovering Files''' If you need to get files from the computer, you can:  
+
== Recovering Files ==
 +
If you need to get files from the computer, you can:
  
*Try putting the Mac in [[Target Disk Mode]] and connect it to another Mac to copy your files.  
+
*Try putting the Mac in [[Target Disk Mode]] and connect it to another Mac to copy your files.
**This '''may not work''', and if it does not, it is an indication that the hard disk has failed completely.  
+
**This '''may not work''', and if it does not, it is an indication that the hard disk has failed completely.
*If the data on the computer is very valuable, the owner can decide to contact [[Data Recovery#Professional_Data_Recovery_Services|a Professional Data Recovery Service]].  
+
*If the data on the computer is very valuable, the owner can decide to contact [[Data Recovery#Professional_Data_Recovery_Services|a Professional Data Recovery Service]].
 
*See below for repair options.
 
*See below for repair options.
  
'''Repair'''
+
== Repair ==
  
*If the computer is under warranty, the owner must contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: [http://www.smalldog.com/contact Small Dog Electronics].  
+
*If the computer is under warranty, the owner must contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: [http://www.smalldog.com/contact Small Dog Electronics].
 
*If the computer is not under warranty:
 
*If the computer is not under warranty:
 
** Self-repair or repair at the Helpdesk: depending on the model (any MacBook, late 2008 MacBook Pro), it may be possible to replace the hard disk at the Helpdesk. The owner needs to purchase a replacement hard disk (see [[Purchasing Replacement Parts#Apple]])
 
** Self-repair or repair at the Helpdesk: depending on the model (any MacBook, late 2008 MacBook Pro), it may be possible to replace the hard disk at the Helpdesk. The owner needs to purchase a replacement hard disk (see [[Purchasing Replacement Parts#Apple]])
** '''For a fee''', Apple or Small Dog can repair the computer: contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: [http://www.smalldog.com/contact Small Dog Electronics].  
+
** '''For a fee''', Apple or Small Dog can repair the computer: contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: [http://www.smalldog.com/contact Small Dog Electronics].
  
'''Prevention and safeguards'''
+
== Prevention and safeguards ==
  
 
Hard disks eventually fail, even when best care is taken. The best solution is to purchase an external hard drive and do regular backups. External hard drives often come with software that makes the backup process automatic. External hard drives can be purchased from http://www.amazon.com http://www.newegg.com - almost any on-line shopping site sells them these days. Good brands (no particular order): Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie...
 
Hard disks eventually fail, even when best care is taken. The best solution is to purchase an external hard drive and do regular backups. External hard drives often come with software that makes the backup process automatic. External hard drives can be purchased from http://www.amazon.com http://www.newegg.com - almost any on-line shopping site sells them these days. Good brands (no particular order): Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie...

Revision as of 19:48, 9 March 2009

  • Symptom: Your Mac won't start up. You see a white or gray screen with a blinking/flashing question mark.
  • Cause: The Mac cannot find the operating system. Most likely the hard disk has failed.
  • Solutions: It's worth to try the following:

Diagnosis

Recovering Files

If you need to get files from the computer, you can:

  • Try putting the Mac in Target Disk Mode and connect it to another Mac to copy your files.
    • This may not work, and if it does not, it is an indication that the hard disk has failed completely.
  • If the data on the computer is very valuable, the owner can decide to contact a Professional Data Recovery Service.
  • See below for repair options.

Repair

  • If the computer is under warranty, the owner must contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: Small Dog Electronics.
  • If the computer is not under warranty:
    • Self-repair or repair at the Helpdesk: depending on the model (any MacBook, late 2008 MacBook Pro), it may be possible to replace the hard disk at the Helpdesk. The owner needs to purchase a replacement hard disk (see Purchasing Replacement Parts#Apple)
    • For a fee, Apple or Small Dog can repair the computer: contact Apple directly (call 1-800-275-2273 OR visit the Apple-authorized repair center in South Burlington: Small Dog Electronics.

Prevention and safeguards

Hard disks eventually fail, even when best care is taken. The best solution is to purchase an external hard drive and do regular backups. External hard drives often come with software that makes the backup process automatic. External hard drives can be purchased from http://www.amazon.com http://www.newegg.com - almost any on-line shopping site sells them these days. Good brands (no particular order): Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie...

Powered by MediaWiki