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Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 9775
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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90% of the time when I start up my iMac, I get the flashing

Customer Question

90% of the time when I start up my iMac, I get the flashing file folder w/?. Sometimes, starting up with the shift key down will get it going, sometimes not. Zapping the PRAM sometimes helps, usually not. Where's a good place to begin fixing this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Hi I am Ashik. I think i can help you
I know you don't want to hear this, but The folder with question mark (?) means that your Mac was unable to find the startup disk inorder to boot your Mac OS. This is because of either the Mac OS system files are corrupted or failure of hard disk. In your case, i think it is because of a hardware problem. Your Mac can sometimes detect your hard drive but some times not, thats why you get the question mark. If you have Apple Care, Apple will fix it for you free. If you don't have Apple Care, you have to pay a small fee to repair your hard drive.

Since you already tried Resetting PRAM and NVRAM and clean installation of OS i'm sure its the hard drive. Apple Store is the best place to fix your problem.

And i will recommend you to backup all you important files from your Mac before it completely dies....

Try this..
Restart your Mac and immediately hold down the "OPTION" key. Release the key when you see the startup manager. You can see a disk named "Macintosh HD", so select it and press "Return" key.

If that didn't worked, please contact Apple...

Best Regards,
...If i solved your problem, please kindly click ACCEPT. If i didn't, reply back before Accepting. Bonus and Positive Feedback are greatly appreciated. Thanks
Ashik and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you but my hard drive crashed again yesterday and I'm now only getting back on-line. Your 'advice'/prognostication is sobering. I do have Applecare but I was hoping to avoid a trip to the Apple Store. I found my copy of TechTool and will try that out first. Thanks for your trouble.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
I hope the TechTools will work. Good Luck !

Thanks for Accepting my answer. A Positive Feedback from you is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,