On startup, folder with question mark and finder window appears.
when i switch on the computer i get the start up chimes and the grey screen with the apple logo, this switches off very quickly and comes back on with a small folder which has an alternating question mark and a picture of the finder logo.
I have already replaced the hard drive once with another one form the same model computer and it worked for a while (two weeks), but now it has exactly the same problem. i have also reinstalled the software with no luck.
the strange thing is that sometimes it does boot perfectly and sometimes this happens right after i have just had the problem with startup?
I have run out of ideas for what to do.
intermittent problems like this can drive you nuts. I have found that's it's usually RAM ESD (electro static discharge) problems. (Zapped RAM) Remove one of the RAM chips and see if the problem persists. Then do the other. One, if not both of the chips may be bad or one or the other other slots may be bad. This is not an easy fix and will require trial an d error to find. Persistence here will persevere.
Another possibility with this model is the fact that the hard drive cable wraps under the logic board and plugs in on the underside, and it's a small plug that does not stay seated well, and there's no surface around it which would allow for it to be taped down successfully, so it often has a tendency to come loose when the laptop is bumped, causing the frustration you describe. Sometimes if it's just loose you can clamp the laptop and apply pressure where the plug is, encouraging the contacts to connect without having to open it up.
I have a pile of 1.33GHZ versions of this model that I am reluctant to sell because they seem to always come back with this issue. If anyone has a solution to the cable coming loose, or if anyone has found a way of successfully securing the hard drive plug to the bottom of the machine, I'd be very interested to hear it. I'm tempted to try using a hot glue gun or something similar, since there's really no way to tape it down with any success.
Did you buy a MacBook between May 2006 and December 2007? If you did, keep on reading.
Apple has learned that a very small percentage of hard drives that were used in MacBook systems sold between during this period may fail under certain, unknown, conditions. The problem shows up as a flashing question mark on the screen.
Affected are the 13-inch black and white MacBook models with the following processor speeds and hard drive capacities:
- Processor speed: 1.83GHz, 2GHz, or 2.16GHz
- Hard drive capacity: 60GB, 80GB, 100GB, 120GB, or 160GB
If your MacBook falls into the age and spec range and starts displaying the flashing question mark on the screen then you need to take it to Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider where the system will examined to confirm if it is eligible for a free of charge replacement under this program.
This program covers affected MacBook models for 3 years from their original date of purchase or until August 15, 2010 whichever provides longer coverage. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions if needed.
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