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Macs/Apples/Mac stuck on boot up screen


My macbook is stuck at the screen with the folder with a question mark on it. I have tried a few things like the ones I found on google and so far no go. I tried pressing the command + p +r keys and it didn't work. I also tried to eject a cd and nothing. finally i tried pressing the command + option + p + r and nothing. Guys please help me. I really need this laptop.

Thanks for writing!

Your Mac has lost it's startup/system folder, meaning effectively that your hard drive with the Mac OS on it is inaccessible.  In all liklihood, your hard drive has crashed or your Mac OS X startup folder is corrupt.   You can hold down your option key on startup to get the Mac to search for usable startup folders, or boot from a Mac OS X CD to attempt repair or reinstall of the OS.

To repair the install, choose "utilities" menu when you have that option, when booting from your CD. Choose disk utility and then your hard drive, and then repair disk.  If you don't even see your hard drive listed, your drive has stopped spinning and it's physically broken, requiring replacement.

I hope you have a time machine or otherwise backup.

Good luck!


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Ed Dyer


I don't answer Mac OS 9 questions anymore, thank you. Current Tech: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.8, Some shell scripting, cron, Mac OS X Server 10.2-10.6, AD-OD Integration, Automator, Word Press Blogging, All CURRENT Mac models, iLife '09 and previous, iWork '09 and previous, Apple Remote Desktop, WiFi, iOS jailbreaking/unlocking, some MS SharePoint (design, not development) Devices: iPhone(original-4s) & iPad(through 3rd gen), AppleTV(all models), Airport Express, Time Capsule Old Skool, meaning I have this experience as a base, but don't answer questions on it anymore: Mac OS Environment 7.5.3-OS 9 (please upgrade for pete's sake!), PowerBook G3/G4(all models), Mac/Windows Networking, PowerPC 604-G4 desktop models, Outlook 2001, Photoshop 7 and previous, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX Mac OS X Public Beta-10.4, all Windows Server operating systems and use. Dabbler: Newton 2100 w/ WiFi and NSync, Yellow Dog Linux, Suse Linux (PPC), Ubuntu Linux, Vista Business


I worked in IT for ten years with a specialty in Macintosh technologies and Project Management.
I've worked with the Macintosh Operating system and various machines since my first PowerMac 8500 running Mac OS 7.5.3 in 1996. I support my friends and family in keeping their Macs healthy and upgraded. Now I use a MacBook Pro for our home media network and we're pretty much down to iPads and iPhones for daily use.
Most important: I've also worked on PCs for a number of years with various flavors of Windows(95,98,NT4,2000,2000Server,2K3Server,SBS 2K3Server,Mil,XPHome,XPPro, Vista Business), but I've always used the Mac as my platform of preference.
Publications : VPNs and Outlook(2001)

Mac OS X Certification Alliance, Linked In

Publications : VPNs and Outlook

I'm an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) through 10.4 and have the lower certs as well (ACTC for 10.1 - 10.6), an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for 10.3 (ACHDS) and a member of the Apple Consultants Network, as well as an Apple Product Professional for 2002-2009.
I have an MCP cert. from MS as well...

Past/Present Clients
Navy Federal Credit Union (Washington, D.C.) Whole Foods Market (Mid Atlantic Region) Army Times (Washington, D.C.) Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) Dodge Communications (ATL) ...and a plethora of All Coveredô clients throughout the United States of America (now a part of Konica Minolta)

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