Model A1174 with 2 GHz Core Duo or Model A1207 with 2.16 or 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo

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black and white screen with blinking folder with question mark

My IMAC A1207 turns on but the screen is black and white with a blinking file folder (icon) that has a question mark in the center. What's going on and how do I repair?

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Your machine is a 2006 model and recovery mode was not invented yet.

Insert your original system installation disk. Boot holding down the C key to get to the disk. Go to the second page of the installation. The pull down menu will now be revealed. Go to Utilities > Disk Utility. See if the machine sees the disk, attempt a repair if it does. If not replace the hard drive using this guide:

iMac Intel 20" EMC 2105 and 2118 Hard Drive Replacement

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@mlake59 the folder with the question mark means the computer cannot find the startup system. This could happens because files that are needed to boot the computer are damaged, or the drive's directory is damaged. This can also happen when your computer has a dead drive.Hard Drive

Flashing question mark, or an alternating question mark and Mac OS (face or a folder)

Note: When troubleshooting hard drive problems it is a good idea, if possible, to back up any important data. Some troubleshooting steps may require erasing the contents of the hard drive.

1. Boot from the system CD that came with the computer, and open Disk Utility. Does the hard drive show in Disk Utility?

Yes: Run Repair Disk and Repair Permissions to correct any directory and permissions issues.

Go on to Step 2.

No: Go to Step 3.

2. Did Disk Utility successfully repair directory or permissions?

Yes: Restart the computer to the hard drive. Go on to Step 3.

No: Go to Step 3.

3. Did the computer successfully start to the internal Hard Drive?

Yes: Run Apple Hardware Test version 3A108 or later for this machine and return to the customer if it passes.

No: Boot the machine to Apple Hardware Test, version 3A108 or later, or to Apple Service Diagnostic for iMac, version 3S106 or later.

4. Did the machine successfully boot to the Diagnostic?

Yes: Run the test suites.

No: Make sure you’re using the correct version of the Diagnostic, and that the disc is able to boot another machine that it supports. If so, then try booting from an external optical drive.

If this is successful, you should replace the optical drive and retest the machine booting to the diagnostic disc.

5. Did the tests pass?

Yes: Reinstall the System Software that came with the computer and test.

No: Replace the component (s) indicated by the test results.

Hard Drive Issues

Note: The following information is for Intel-based and PPC Macintosh drive compatibility

• Drives to be used in booting Intel-based Macintosh hardware should be formatted and partitioned with an Intel-based Macintosh disk utility running on Intel-based Macintosh hardware. That should ensure you get the correct default partition map and structure for reliable booting.

• Intel-based Macintosh CPUs in Target Disc Mode will only mount on PPC machines running Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and may show one contiguous partition rather than separate partitions on the host machine.

• Always make sure to use the OS that came with the machine if you need to reinstall software (ask the customer for the discs if necessary), and the diagnostics specifically designated for that hardware.

System hangs during normal startup process

1. Boot from the system CD that came with the computer. Use Disk Utility to verify the hard drive.

2. Using Disk Utility, reformat the hard drive.

3. Check all cable connections to and from the hard drive.

4. Replace the hard drive data cable.

5. Replace the hard drive.

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