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Pat, Mac Enthusiast
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience:  10 years of systems administration experience in mixed Mac and Windows environments
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Hi there. I am experiencing an issue with my MacBook OSX 10.4.11 I

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Hi there. I am experiencing an issue with my MacBook OSX 10.4.11

I was on the internet earlier today when my screen froze up. As I was unable to click anything for a few minutes, I decided to just power down. Now when I try to power on, I hear four clicks and am met with a gray screen with a flashing folder in the middle that has a question mark inside of it.

From a troubleshooting guide, I have attempted the following:
Starting up holding Shift
Starting up holding Shift+Command+V
Starting up holding Command+Option+P+R

I've tried these with and without being plugged in, I've taken the battery out and put it back in a few times, and the machine has shown zero responsiveness. And because I lost my installation disc quite a while ago, I am unable to go this route. Just to see how it would respond, however, I DID insert my roommate's installation disc for his computer and the Installation Software came up successfully. I didn't run it, obviously, as it is licensed to him. Help??
Clicking noises generally mean bad things for hard drives. Is the data on your Macbook currently backed up?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Unfortunately it isn't Undecided I haven't been able to afford any sort of external storage hardware as of yet. Now I wish I saved up.

Do you think it would be a smart option to purchase a new installation disc? I found a few sellers on ebay selling Tiger 10.4.x discs, where I'd just have to send them my exact Model/Serial # XXXXX they could send an unused installation disc that is fully refundable. Because my computer did fully respond to my roommate's disc, I'm slightly encouraged that this could be a fruitful route..but, then again, given the ominous clicking noises, perhaps I'm out of luck either way? In either case, is the stuff I have stored on my hard drive completely unobtainable since I have not backed it up?

Thanks for your time.

If its a Macbook and you have 2 GB of RAM, you should upgrade to OS 10.6 Snow Leopard. You can buy the disc for about $29, or buy the Mac Box Set for about $160 that comes with the newest version of iLife. You'll also need to purchase a new drive, I'll post a couple of links to some drives I recommend in the next message.

We can try to repair your disc to see if your data can be saved. Boot the computer from the installation disk again and then do the following:

1. Choose your language and choose next
2. At the top of the screen are menus, one of them is called "Utilities". Click on this menu and choose "Disk Utility"
3. When it launches, click on your hard drive and choose "repair disk". It will report if it contains errors that it can correct. Let me know what the result of this is.
Here are 3 drive choices. I'm in the US and this is who I would use. If you're in another country, you should still be able to find these drives if you search by model number:

160 GB, lowest cost, limited storage

320 GB, moderately priced, twice as much storage as the first drive

500 GB, more expensive, but lots of storage.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
A couple more questions:

1) The hard drives in the links you provided me (thanks, XXXXX XXXXX way) are internal hard drives as opposed to external hard drives, right? I am not well versed in hardware (or software, for that matter!) so I want to make sure I understand. If I were to purchase one of these, I'd have to take my MacBook in to a local repair center to have it installed, I'm assuming?

2) Where can I find the $29 Snow Leopard disc?

Result of the boot/Disk Utilities:

As I mentioned earlier, the only installation disc I have is my roommate Jon's, and it is the Snow Leopard version (my computer is only equipped with Tiger)...I used it to see if my computer would respond to it, despite not being able to actually use the disc.

When I went to Disk Utility, it showed two options in the Left Panel: "MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-857", and "Mac OS X Install DVD". Both of them did not allow me any of the options (Verify Disk, Repair Disk, etc), perhaps because I wasn't allowed to perform the install in the first place?? Not sure. Frown

Sorry to take so long...the computer took several minutes to boot up. Thanks for your help.

1. Installation of the hard drive is very easy. You need a small Phillips head screwdriver and a Torx T-8 screwdriver. Here is a youtube video that shows how to make the swap:

2. Any Apple store, BestBuy, Fry's Electronics, or any other authorized Apple resaler.

If Disk Utility doesn't even see your drive, the only way to recover the data would most likely be to send the drive to a recovery specialist. This is very expensive and would cost at least $600.
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