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 John T. F. Your Own Question
John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 3058
Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
Type Your Mac Question Here...
John T. F. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my imac startup with flashing question mark

Resolved Question:

my imac startup with flashing question mark
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  John T. F. replied 6 years ago.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX self-employed tech, and I'm offering my time in good faith today to assist you on this question.

If you reboot and hold down the OPTION key does it list your hard drive as an available boot device?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  John T. F. replied 6 years ago.
Okay, do you have an OS X Boot CD handy?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes, i have the mac os x and snow leopard cd
Expert:  John T. F. replied 6 years ago.
Okay, choose the newest of the two, if they are both boot CD's.

Please note: You are paying for expert advice, time spent, and information only. When troubleshooting computer issues, sometimes the final diagnosis is that it is a physical defect in nature and the ‘answer / solution’ may be a recommendation to seek out repair from an authorized service center if the defect in question is not considered “user repairable”.

Insert the CD and boot from this disc.

Choose your language and when you are sitting at the Introductory Installer screen, go up to "Utilities" and choose Disk Utility.

In Disk Utility, choose your hard drive from the listing in the left sidebar

Click the button to Verify Disk. If it finds errors, click Repair Disk.

Repeat the process until there are no more errors detected.

Then click Repair Disk Permissions.

When finished, restart your Mac and hold down the OPTION key to choose your hard drive.

When back at the desktop, you can eject the CD and put it away.

Hopefully, this info will answer your question. If it does, please click ACCEPT so I can be credited for assisting you today. If you continue to have questions on this topic, do NOT leave negative feedback, just reply back to this ticket. I will be more than happy to work with you further.


Note: When leaving feedback, please judge only my personal efforts. Do not leave negative feedback for factors outside my control; such as hardware defects that must be physically repaired (obviously, not my fault), loss/lack of software or backups, or the JustAnswer website. It would be unprofessional to sugar-coat a solution and I show my respect by being upfront with you. Thanks again!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
they is no hard drive detect and only show media hard drive
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
they is no hard drive detect and only show media hard drive

Expert:  John T. F. replied 6 years ago.
That's unfortunate. What model of iMac do you have exactly? (if you are unsure, tell me the year you purchased it)
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
imac 24/2.8/2G/320GB in 2009
Expert:  John T. F. replied 6 years ago.

please try the following:

Shut down the imac

Unplug the iMacs's power cord

Wait 15-30 seconds

Plug the iMacs's power cord back in

Wait 5 seconds, then press the power button and see if there is any improvement.

If there is no improvement, it is likely this is a hard drive failure and it will need to be physically serviced. If you need help locating an authorized service center I can assist you in locating one. If you have an extended AppleCare warranty this should go through Apple directly in most cases.

John T. F. and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you