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Sunday, May 19, 2024

How to fix macbook question mark folder?

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1. What is macbook question mark folder?

The question mark folder icon on a MacBook typically indicates that the computer is unable to find a valid startup disk.

2. What causes macbook question mark folder error?

  • Corrupted macOS Installation: If the macOS installation on your startup disk is corrupted or damaged, the system may not be able to boot properly.
  • Failed Hard Drive or SSD: A failing or failed hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) can lead to the question mark folder error. If the system cannot access the necessary files for booting, it will display this symbol.
  • Disconnected or Faulty Cable: In some cases, a loose or faulty connection between the hard drive/SSD and the logic board can prevent the MacBook from recognizing the startup disk.
  • Incorrect Startup Disk Settings: If the startup disk settings are not properly configured, or if the selected startup disk is no longer valid, the system may not be able to boot.
  • Malfunctioning macOS Boot Loader: The boot loader is responsible for loading the operating system. If it becomes corrupted or encounters an issue, the MacBook may not be able to start up.
  • File System Issues: Problems with the file system on the startup disk can prevent the system from locating the necessary files for booting.
  • External Devices or Peripherals: Sometimes, external devices or peripherals connected to the MacBook can interfere with the startup process.
  • Software Updates or Changes: Certain software updates or changes to system files can lead to compatibility issues or corruption that affect the boot process.
  • Hardware Issues: Besides the hard drive or SSD, other hardware components such as the RAM, logic board, or other internal components may be faulty.

3. How to fix Macbook question mark folder?

Method 1:

With 10.4, 10.5 or 10.6 put your install DVD into the optical drive (CD/DVD drive) and reboot. Be sure to either use the disc that came with your Mac, or, if you installed a later Mac OS X version from disc, use the newer disc. As soon as you hear the boot chime, hold down the “c” key on your keyboard (or the Option Key until the Install Disk shows up) until the apple shows up. That will force your MacBook to boot from the install DVD in the optical drive.

Or if you are running 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion or 10.9 Mavericks, boot from the recovery partition (Command +R on boot) and use Disk Utility to repair your OS 10.7 or 10.8 partition.

When it does start up, you’ll see a panel asking you to choose your language.Choose your language and press the Return key on your keyboard once. It will then present you with an Installation window. Completely ignore this window and click on Utilities in the top menu and scroll down to Disk Utility and click it. When it comes up is your Hard Drive in the list on the left?

If it is, then click on the Mac OS partition of your hard drive in the left hand list. Then select the First Aid Tab and run Repair Disk. The Repair Disk button won’t be available until you’ve clicked on the Mac OS partition on your hard drive. If that repairs any problems run it again until the green OK appears and then run Repair Permissions. After repairing use Startup Disk from the same menu to choose your hard drive for restarting from your hard drive.

If your hard drive isn’t recognized in Disk Utility then your hard drive is probably dead.

Method 2: Reinstall macOS without losing data

If your macOS is not badly damaged, the “repair installation” discuss here may help you to fix the software issues. It requires an internet connection to download macOS from Apple’s server and run the macOS Recovery. If carried out carefully, all your data should be intact. If you already have a bootable external drive containing the macOS, you can speed up the process by running the macOS Recovery directly from your external drive.

If you don’t have a backup, you need to reinstall the macOS without overwriting the data. The idea is to replace your corrupted system file and fix other software issues without deleting your personal data. Follow the instructions discuss above to download the macOS from Apple’s server through a WIFI connection.

Once you are in macOS Recovery windows, choose option 2 “Reinstall macOS”, and follow the on-screen instructions. The macOS will be installed into your startup disk without overwriting your data.

Note: Make sure to NOT use the option 4 “Disk Utility” to erase the disk. It is a good idea to connect the charger to your Mac before starting the installation process. In fact, the recent models of MacBook will insist that you must connect a charger before presenting you an option to proceed with the installation.

After the installation, your Mac should boot up normally. If your Mac still gets the flashing folder with question mark, you may need to perform a fresh-installation instead of this repair installation. Of course, you need to backup your data first.

Method 3:
  • Power off the system completely by long pressing the power button.
  • And press the power button once again to startup followed by immediately pressing Command+R.
  • Keep these two keys held down until you see an Apple logo or globe.
  • If prompted, select a Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet as part of startup.
  • After the macOS Utilities window appears, choose Startup Disk from the Apple menu.
  • Select your startup disk, then click Restart.
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