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Mike the Mac Medic
Mike the Mac Medic, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8995
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I have a macbook now about 6 years old. It was working fine

Resolved Question:

I have a macbook now about 6 years old. It was working fine until this morning. I never turn it off and reboot it every week or so. It had an extra monitor and a USB flash drive and my iPhone attached (USB). This morning I lifted the cover and it failed to restore the screen. After a minute or so, I switched it off using the manual button, which I pressed again to reboot. A clicking noise began coming from the right-hand far side of the computer and the screed became illuminated. After a while, a folder icon with a question mark began to flash in the centre of the screen. I switched off and pulled out all except the power lead, switched on and the same thing happened.
Please tell me what has gone wrong and what I can do to fix it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike the Mac Medic replied 2 years ago.
Mike the Mac Medic :

It sounds like the hard drive has failed. Do you have the system install disk?

Customer:

I do

Mike the Mac Medic :

Ok put it in and restart the computer holding the letter C until you see the Apple Logo. You may have to select your language but you will get to a screen to install, don't install, go to the top of the screen to Utilities, go to Du and open it. What do you see listed in the left hand column?

Mike the Mac Medic :

Sorry go to Disk Utility I meant

Customer:

I'm trying to do what u say

Mike the Mac Medic :

ok

Customer:

It did not seem to work. The Apple logo never came up. Instead the file logo with the ? started flashing as before.

Mike the Mac Medic :

Is that a Macbook with a battery you can remove?

Customer:

It is

Mike the Mac Medic :

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the computer, if it's connected.
3. Remove the battery.
4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
5. Release the power button.
6. Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.
7. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need them in step 9.
8. Turn on the computer.
9. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
10. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
11. Release the keys.
Then try to boot from the disk again

Customer:

I will try that and get back to you

Mike the Mac Medic :

OK

Customer:

I found the option key is the Alt key, followed the procedure and the machine does not boot up.

Mike the Mac Medic :

Oh yes sorry ALT outside the USA. OK a failed hard drive can cause that too but usually you can still boot. Do you have a backup?

Mike the Mac Medic :

Most likely the hard drive has failed and replacing it should fix it but without a backup I'm afraid you probably lost your files...

Mike the Mac Medic :

You can reinstall the system once that is replaced.

Mike the Mac Medic :

Did you remove all USB devices when doing that?

Mike the Mac Medic :

Still there?

Customer:

You said:



1. Shut down the computer. Done

2. Disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from the computer, if it's connected. Done

3. Remove the battery. Done - and found it was warped and will not readily go in. I bought a spare a couple of months ago but it is not, of course, charged. I have fitted it and connected the MagSafe plug and it is now on charge. I should give it, say, an hour before I proceed. Comments?

4. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.

5. Release the power button.

6. Reconnect the battery and MagSafe power adapter.

7. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need them in step 9.

8. Turn on the computer.

9. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.

10. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.

11. Release the keys.

Then try to boot from the disk again

Customer:

Mike,
Further to my last.

The command (cmd) key I know. Also P and R. (also fn, ctl and alt, ) Option I don’t. Where do I find it and how is it marked, please.

Mike the Mac Medic :

Yes sorry I said previously Option is ALT outside the USA

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