How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ashik Your Own Question
Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10738
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Ashik is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am trying to restore my Mac OS X system. Can someone help

This answer was rated:

I am trying to restore my Mac OS X system. Can someone help me?
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

Before we start, please remember these things. It may take more than one step/answer to solve a problem. So If my answers don’t work or if you are not satisfied, please don’t Rate my answer as Bad or Poor Service, but please Reply back to me by clicking the “Continue Conversation” or “Reply” button and I will gladly continue to help. Remember, only Rate answer after you are 100% Satisfied.

What version of Mac OS X are you using ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Mountain Lion
Do you want to reinstall your Mac OS X?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Probably. I'm hoping to recover some information/data. (ie: itunes library, pictures, etc)
What happens when you turn on your Mac ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
white screen, w/ a file folder w/ a question mark. I read enough to know that I needed to hold option key to get online to get the OS X Restore. I did that. and now I have the Mac OS X Base System window open. But I got nervous and decided to reach out for help
Bad News, the folder with the Question mark indicates that your Mac can't find the Mac OS X System files to boot or your Mac can't recognize your hard drive. This usually happens if the hard drive is not working or it must be erased.

So, are you in the Mac OS X Utilities window now ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes. i believe so. so, is my info lost?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The window that is currently open says Mac OS x Base System. At the bottom is shows that there is 8,202 Folders and 27,048 Files and also shows the capacity and currently available and used GB. So, it still recognizes some of the info, correct?
Yes. It is recognizing it. Which Mac is this ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
MacBook Pro
Do you have another Mac and Firewire cable ? If so you can connect both Macs and then mount your hard drive to another Mac and try to recover your files. Connet both Macs with a firewire cable. Restart your MBP and immediately hold down T key on your keyboard. This will boot your Mac in Target Disk Mode and other Mac will recognize your hard drive like an external drive. Refer this article :

If that didn't work, then reinstall your OS X ML. Reinstalling MLion won't delete any of your files. It will just replace the system files with new one. Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Command + R keys and this will boot your Mac to the Lion Recovery Screen. From it, click Reinstall Mac OS X. Refer this article too :

Remember, Target Disk Mode and reinstalling won't work if your Mac can't recognize your hard drive.

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do not have another Mac. To be clear, then, if I choose to reinstall OS X ML, I won't lose my files as long as the Mac can recognize the Hard drive, correct?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
on the window i'm on now, there is a place where I can "Burn" to a CD/DVD. Should I try this?
Yes. Reinstalling will only replace the system files with new one.
Are you in the Mac OS X Utilities window ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm in the Disk Utility window
Close Disk Utility and reinstall your OS X.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Trying to install. It says to "Select the disk where you want to install the Mac OS X" and there are no choices showing up in the box
That means the partition of your hard drive is corrupted. You have to erase your hard drive to reinstall and that will erase everything from your hard drive. Is there anyway to get another Mac ? So you can atleast recover your files first.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
will i be able to choose which files I keep? Also, I have windows (parallels) on the mac, along with Word, Excel, PP, etc. Will I lose all of those? I'm looking for a fire wire. I might be able to use my wife's mac. What about an external HD?
Yes. As long as the hard drive is working, you can access the hard drive just like you used to in your Mac.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok...i have an external HD I'm connecting now. I'll see what happens
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
do i go to Disk Utility in order to use the external HD?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry...I don't know how to get the info off the Mac and onto the external HD
External HD won't work. You can only transfer to another Mac. If you want to transfer to external hd, you have to buy a third party Disk Utility application like Disk Warrior :

Disk Warrior can fix 90% of all problems unless it is hardware related. With Disk Warrior, you can even recover your files

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
diskwarrior looks good. and sounds like a good option; however, how do I purchase it and then use it on my mac?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don' t have a fire wire that will connect 2 macs.
You can purchase Disk Warrior from their website and you will get it as discs. Then you can boot from that disc and follow onscreen instructions to repair or recover files from your HD.

You can get the firewire from most of all local stores.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i'm currently in Haiti
If you can't buy it, then you should either take it to the Apple Store or get another Mac and recover the files. Let me know what you think..
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is nothing more that you can do for me. Thank you for you time. I would like to give you a very postive rating. You did everything that you could...Thank you
Thank You. Sorry I couldn't give you a better answer. If you like my service, please rate me as Good Service or more.

Have a great day,
Ashik and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mac Questions