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Jesse, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2287
Experience:  Life-long Apple Geek & Power User, 10+Years Apple Experience
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the screen is gray with a folder with a question mark

Customer Question

on start up the screen turns gray with a flashing folder with a question mark it is a macbook osx
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Jesse replied 7 years ago.
Hello, and welcome to!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help.

This typically means your computer is having trouble recognizing your Hard Drive. Try inserting the gray restore disc that came with your Mac into the disc drive, then restarting while holding down the C key on your keyboard. This should boot you to the disc.

Once that's loaded, click the Tools menu at the top of the screen, and select the Disk Utility option. Once it's open, run the Repair Permissions and Repair Disk options.

If those complete without any errors, quit Disk Utility, and restart the machine like normal. Let me know if this is successful.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
after i get to disk utility it shows me a CD-RW option and a Install disc option when i select verify disk permissions it says error: no valid packages
Expert:  Jesse replied 7 years ago.
While you're at the Disk Utility screen, if you don't see your hard drive listed on the left, then it's likely been corrupted, and is unreadable. You'll need to have it replaced.

You can try using a program like Data Rescue (get it here) to fix the drive, or recover your information, but if it's acting up, it's going to need to be replaced.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
how can i try to use that program on my macbook? nd also how much do you think a new hard drive will cost ?
Expert:  Jesse replied 7 years ago.
You can startup from that program's disc, by inserting into the disc drive and restarting while holding the C key on your keyboard. It will then let you run various tests to try and recover the data or repair the drive.

If you have an external hard drive, you can plug it into the computer, and transfer whatever data is recovered (if any) to it.

New hard drives cost anywhere from $80-$200, depending on the quality and size of the drive.