Forum Question: Help With System Restore

I was recently using my iMac when it froze up, out of the blue. The system was not responsive and without giving it a second thought, I had to force shut it down by pressing and holding the power key. Much to my surprise, when I turned it back on, there was a blinking Finder Folder icon with a question mark on it. I’ve researched as much as I could on it, and decided to plug in the restore CD. My only problem is that the internal Mac HD volume is not showing up at all. So when I boot with the restore disc, the main HD does not show up in disk utility, or in the window that says “Select the disk where you want to install Mac OS X”. What do I do? How am I supposed to get the system to recognize the internal HD?

— Bruno Hallais

Comments: 6 Responses to “Help With System Restore”

    9/24/10 @ 1:03 pm

    If your internal drive isn’t showing up at all, then it maybe be a hard drive failure — that might have caused the initial problem too. Hope you’ve been backing up with Time Machine.
    I’d take it into a shop (or the Genius Bar) and have them look. They can determine for sure. Then it would be a matter of replacing the drive and restoring from your backup.

      Bruno Hallais
      9/24/10 @ 3:39 pm

      Unfortunately, I think you may be right. It does sound like a hard drive failure. When I turn the computer on now, instead of the Finder Folder with the question mark, I see the gray Apple logo and the computer looks like it’s booting up as usual, but it shuts itself off.

      I used to have a Time Machine back up, but ironically, my external hard drive crashed as well. I’m not too worried about that though. I don’t mind losing that data, as long as I can get the computer to work.

      Bruno Hallais
      9/24/10 @ 3:42 pm

      Will Apple replace my hard drive with an external hard drive I already own? Also, I notice you live in Denver, CO. I live in Westminster. Do you know any possible alternatives to the Apple Genius Bar? The iMac is already out of warranty and I know their service can be pretty pricey.

    Sherri Turner
    3/3/11 @ 6:53 pm

    I think I’m experiencing the same thing. Can’t boot my PowerBook G4. All I see is a folder flashing a question mark. When I try to boot without pushing any keys I get this. When I push the option/alt key, I get a password entry form. When I enter the password, it goes to a two button screen one with and arrow looking like a reload button and one that looks like a next or enter arrow. Any ideas on how to rebuild with a Macbook pro and firewire? I can’t seem to get it to boot as a regular mac or as a firewire drive. Any ideas? Thanks, Sherri

      3/3/11 @ 8:44 pm

      Boot from your original system DVDs. Then run diagnostics from there. Your hard drive may be shot.

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