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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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My mac book pro has a white screen all day....with a flashing

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My mac book pro has a white screen all day....with a flashing file with a question mark ....what is this and why won't the computer boot up?
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

That is telling you that it cannot find a system to boot from. What version of OS X is on the MacBook Pro? Better yet, do you have installation DVDs?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I do not have the installation DVD' was working fine yesterday...turned it on today and this is what there a place to find what version is on it....i'm really not savvy with techno stuff:(


Lets see what we can do without the disk.

Press the power until it shuts off. Then start it up following the instructions below.
To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys all together at the same time.
‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P' all together at the same time.
Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes, this is the sound that your computer makes when it starts up, it is like a boonngg. The screen should also cycle from white to black and then back to white along with the chimes.
The sound should also get louder.
This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.
This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.

After the last chime sounds wait for it to cycle again, then before it chimes press and hold the Shift key, this is a safe boot, it does some maintenance on the system.



To do a Safe Boot, restart and before the first chime press and hold the 'Shift' key.

Wait until you see the Apple logo and the spinning gear appear, then let go.

It can take as long as 20 minutes to load, so please be patient.

When the login screen appears it will say in red on the login window 'SafeBoot'.

Now login and give it a few more minutes to finish loading.

Try doing whatever it was it was giving you the problem. If it works then probably the problem is solved, so restart normally.

If the problem persists then restart normally also, other fixes will need to be done.



If it boots then give it a few minutes to finish its chores and then restart. With luck all will be well, if not then it will need more than this.

Let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I held down the 4 keys when I started it....I heard the booong...but no chimes....screen went from white to black....booong sound four times (still no chimes).....after the fourth booong sound do I release the buttons and then hit the shift button or do I continue to hold down the buttons with this step too? ....grey file with question mark is back


The bong is the same as a chime. Let go the 4 keys and hold only the Shift key.
The first part you got right.
Try that and let me know.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ok - excuse my ignorance....4th chime....then I hit the shift button...I'm confused what to do I release the shift key or hold it for 20 minutes....if I release the shift key, do I turn the computer off and then turn it back on to restart it?

Press and hole the power until it shuts down again, this time only hold the Shift key, keep it pressed until you see the progress bar or for 5 minutes, if the bar hasn't shown up by then it won't show at all.
This is what it will do.
It will look normal but a progress bar should appear.


If you do not get that then it will need outside help such as an install DVD.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the only thing that comes up is a flashing file folder

Then it will require a trip to an Apple store or an installation DVD or this utility DVD.
The last is the most costly, the trip to Apple would be my first choice unless you can find an install DVD. Any one you know have a Mac? Hopefully someone with a disk?
The system has suffered a catastrophic failure, it, hopefully, is software. That is why the DVD is needed, it has the tools on it to help diagnose it.

I can do no more without the disk. Sorry.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

no worries....thanks so much for your time!


You are welcome, I do hope it gets fixed ok. This is where to find the closest Apple store for that second opinion.
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