iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 (Late 2009, Core 2 Duo 3.06 or 3.33 GHz) ID iMac10,1, EMC 2374 (Late 2009, Core i5 2.66 GHz or Core i7 2.8 GHz) ID iMac11,1

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Getting? folder upon start up with new Hard Drive

My hard drive crashed.

I purchased one from here last week as well and new RAM cards. I installed everything and now upon start up I get the blinking ? folder. I tired to hold down command R and nothing happens. The hard drive is the same brand as what was in it before.

How do I get it to disk utility to install macOS?

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3 Answers

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So basically I am clueless to all this

But in simple terms I went to the disk utility erased the new hard drive. That formatted it then I was able to download from my snow leopard dvd. Thanks for the help

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Hey Brendan

So if you have installed the new HDD into your iMac you will need to install the macOS to it or restore your backup. If you are installing the OS you need to make sure that the Mac is connected to an ethernet cable with an active network. Hold the "Command" + "R" buttons while you power on the mac to access the Cloud Recovery Utility. After this loads you should be able to format your new HDD and reinstall the macOS you had before.

All the blinking question mark means is there is no bootable OS to select. If there is still a little life out of your old HDD you can attempt a clone from the old one to your new one.

Good Luck!

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Hi Stephen.

I have tried several times to hold down command + R as it boots up and nothing changes. I still get the blinking ?folder

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@techstuff - This system doesn’t offer internet recovery. Here’s a good reference on the earliest Macs that can be upgraded to support it: Computers that can be upgraded to use OS X Internet Recovery

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Before I replaced my old HDD I did have internet recovery on my computer. I deleted everything and reinstalled high Sierra but it crashed. When I tried again to reinstall in disk utility I had no drive to install it to so I purchased a new SATA drive. Now I can't get past the ? Folder. I will try downloading high Sierra to an external drive

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@dan If Brendan holds the "Option" key and gets to the BootStrap screen he should be able to get the Recovery utility, and or by pressing the Recovery key combination. Since OS X El Capitan updated the firmware. I have used internet recovery on 2007-current Mac models without a problem. So if his firmware is current he should have no problem, do you agree?

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Hi Dan and Stephen.

While booting up i also tried pressing the option key. My mouse cursor showed up but nothing else, only a white screen. But I still have not downloaded the OS on an external drive yet or got the CD which I may purchase on ebay. Will that be ok too? To purchase high Sierra os cd?

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You’ll need to create a bootable OS installer drive from a working Mac. Your system does support the latest MacOS High Sierra 10.13.x.

Here’s the steps: How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive

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Hi Dan.

So by installing high Sierra to my external drive I can just plug it into my imac before I boot up and it will recognize it?

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Yes, but don’t you want to install the OS? You’ll need the OS installer copied to the drive as well so you can then run the app to install the OS on to your new drive.

You will need to enable the disk boot manager by holding the Option key from your USB connected keyboard. Review this: 19 Useful Startup key combinations

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Yes that is what I ment. I may download the OS installr on a flash drive or I may purchase the CD from eBay. I'm afraid I will ruin my laptop while trying to download to the external drive since that seems to be my luck

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Don't you have a friend with a Mac you can lean on to help you?

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No. But I happened to find the original CD for OS snow leopard but when I go to install there is no disk to choose from.

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Brendan Ryan will be eternally grateful.
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