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Ask Omer Mushahwar Your Own Question
Omer Mushahwar
Omer Mushahwar, Computer Hardware Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  I work with Mac Computers and Servers on a daily basis
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macbook wont boot up shows file wih ? . What to do? Can I get a file off it?

Customer Question

macbook wont boot up shows file wih ? . What to do?
Can I get a file off it?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Omer Mushahwar replied 5 years ago.

Omer Mushahwar :

Hi I am one of the experts here on Just the file with the question mark on boot usually mean the files/directory database has gone corrupt

There are a couple reasons this could happen

1) It could happen based on a bad shutdown corrupting it, in this case you will need to use your OSX installation disc. To initiate a repair, insert the system software CD into the CD drive of the affected computer and turn the system off. When the machine has shut down, turn it on again and hold down the 'C' key on the keyboard. The computer will automatically boot up from the CD, allowing you run the disk repair utility from the Utilities folder on the CD. On a Mac OS X system software installation disk, you will need to select Disk Utility from the Installer menu and run repair on the hard drive

2) Another problem that can occur is the driver on the disk itself can become corrupted. If this is the case, the hard disk (HD) will not appear in any disk repair utility. This is a problem because you will need to reinitialize the HD, which will cause all the data on the HD to be lost.

3) The last sort of problem is the most severe: The hard drive's mechanical parts may have failed, which means the data on the drive is completely inaccessible. There are companies that will (for several hundred dollars) attempt to recover the data of such drives, but for most people the cost is prohibitively expensive

Hopefully in this case we are just dealing with a corrupt database please follow the steps in part one to run the repair. On the off chance however that its the actual hard drive you may need to take in in to an Apple Store for repair

Omer Mushahwar :

Please let me know how step 1 works for you and if you have any questions


any way to connect another mac to it to get data off?

Omer Mushahwar :

Does your macbook have a firewire port?



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Expert:  Omer Mushahwar replied 5 years ago.
The Chat closes when you accept refresh the page to see it in Q&A style
Expert:  Omer Mushahwar replied 5 years ago.

This link will get you back there as well