Many startup problems are caused by a drive that just needs some minor repairs.
How to Fix Mac Flashing Folder With A Question Mark
But you can't perform any repairs if you can't get your Mac to finish booting. This guide shows you tricks to get your Mac up and running, so you can try to repair the drive with Apple or third-party software. We don't limit the solutions to just one method of getting your Mac to boot but cover any methods that could help and let you get your Mac running to the point where you could repair the startup drive or further diagnose the problem.
You can even have your Mac tell you each step it's taking during startup, so you can see where the startup process is failing. Some Mac startup problems are caused by an OS X update that went bad. Something happened during the installation process, such as a power hiccup or power outage.
The end result can be a corrupt system that won't boot, or a system that boots but is unstable and crashes. Trying again with the same upgrade install is unlikely to work because upgrade versions of the OS don't include all necessary system files, just the ones that are different from the previous version of the OS. Because there's no way of knowing which system files may have been affected by a corrupt install , the best thing to do is use an update that contains all necessary system files.
Apple provides this in the form of a combo update. This guide will show you how to obtain and install combo updates. A spare user account with administrative capabilities can help you troubleshoot problems with your Mac. The purpose of a spare account is to have a pristine set of user files, extensions, and preferences that can be loaded at startup. This can often get your Mac running if your depending user account is having problems, either at startup or while you're using your Mac.
Once your Mac is up and running, you can use a variety of methods to diagnose and repair the problem. These components are inexpensive to replace. Bad RAM can be a common culprit — on newer Macs, a blinking sequence of lights at startup can indicate this condition. Repeat for each DIMM in succession until you find the culprit.
Software now dominates the startup process. This can indicate a corrupt installation of Mac OS X or a failed or failing hard drive. Once the spinning gear appears the BSD kernel Darwin has assumed command and begins loading device drivers. Such are the workings of UNIX. What this means for us mortals is that when a Mac stalls at the Apple logo or the logo with a spinning gear, it probably has a corrupt Mac OS X installation.
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It may also be having trouble accessing an internal or external hardware component, but this is less-likely. DiskWarrior is also worth a shot this is by far my most used disk utility. Setting up a second, emergency admin account on your Mac is helpful for troubleshooting account problems. Presented in your native language, or something close. Mac crashes can take on all sorts of appearances — the Spinning Beach Ball being perhaps the most familiar — but Apple has succeeded in scaring the bejesus out of many users with this dialog. It is accompanied by the screen slowly darkening from top to bottom before a multilingual warning appears:.
Try a Safe Boot to disable non-Apple extensions.
Intel Macs can also boot from a USB flash drive which contains a bootable disk image, this can be very handy in an emergency. You can also use a clone of your Mac hard drive to boot a cantankerous system. This not only allows you to check, fix or copy data off the primary boot drive but continue working immediately when you have disk problems. Kacey — sounds like you have a bad hard drive. To follow up, just heard from the repair shop. The cable is bad. Logic board is fine.
Thanks for your guidance. You also may have a hairline fracture on the logic board or loose connector on cable.
No problems until Sunday morning. I was able to log in and clicked on Mail icon. It froze. I did a force quit. Search for:.
Skip to content I need help!! The Mac won't start and it shows flashing question mark Nick Balazs nblazes. If a flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac Toshiba I believe. How to fix common Mac startup problems [MacRx]. If your Mac doesn't start up. Back Answers Index. MacBook Air 13" Mid 1.
How to fix a Mac with a flashing question mark - Macworld UK
These 10 tips for getting your Mac working again address specific types of problems; some are more general in nature. And some tips, are designed to help you prepare for problems in advance, rather than actually diagnose them. Speaking of being prepared, you should always have a current backup of all of your data. If you don't have a current backup, head over to Mac Backup Software, Hardware, and Guides for Your Mac , select a backup method, and then put it into action. The Safe Boot option is one of the most often used methods for diagnosing problems. It also checks your startup drive to ensure that it's in good shape or at least bootable.
The Mac's PRAM or NVRAM depending on the age of your Mac holds some of the basic settings necessary for it to boot successfully, including which startup device to use, how much memory is installed, and how the graphics card is configured. This guide will show you how. The SMC controls many of Mac's basic hardware functions, including managing sleep mode, thermal management, and how the power button is used.
In some cases, a Mac that won't finish starting up, or starts up and then freezes, may just need its SMC reset. Even if your Mac eventually finishes booting, it's a waste of your time to let the Mac try to solve the problem on its own. This guide will show you how to set your Mac's startup device.
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The Mac's startup process is normally predictable. After you push the power button, you see a gray screen or a black screen, depending on the Mac you are using while your Mac searches for the startup drive, and then a blue screen as your Mac loads the files it needs from the startup drive. If all goes well, you'll end up at the desktop. If your Mac gets stuck at the gray screen, you have a bit of detective work ahead of you.