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Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10941
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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Hello, When I start my Mac Laptop instead of showing the apple

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When I start my Mac Laptop instead of showing the apple sign and start normally, the computer shows a folder in the middle of the screen with a question mark in it, and it does not start, it blocks there.
Is there anything I can do to solve this problem by myself?
thank you
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

Before we start, please remember these things. It may take more than one step/answer to solve a problem. So If my answers didn’t work or if you are not satisfied, please don’t Rate my answer as Bad or Poor Service, but please Reply back to me by clicking the “Continue Conversation” or “Reply” button and I will gladly continue to help. Remember, you are rating my Service to you and Not the Outcome of the answer or this website.

The Folder with Question mark indicates that your Mac can't find the hard drive or the system files to boot. This usually happens if the hard drive of your Mac is failing or failed.

We can try some basic troubleshooting steps and see if that works or not.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

  1. Shut down your Mac
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears and before the chime sound.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for three times.
  6. Release the keys.

Restart in Safe mode

Make sure that the computer is shut down. Press the power button. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator. Let the Mac boot up...

Run Disk Utility in Single User Mode
Turn your Mac off. Turn it back on and this time hold down the Command (Apple) key and the S keys at the same time. This will boot your Mac into Single User Mode. Then type the following command...

/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)

If you can't run /sbin/fsck -fy then type only fsk - fy

Hit return and the disk utility should run and let it finish. When it finishes and there is no error, then type reboot and hit return. Let the Mac boot up. (Disk Utility will fix all system errors, bad preferences files etc)

Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting. Don't Rate my answer until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Option one functioned but the result ended with the folder with question mark again

Option 2 & 3 did not work at all the folder with question mark appeared

What version of Mac OS X are you using ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't know, I bought the MacBook in 2008 OS X 10 i think ?

Thanks. Do you have the Mac OS X installation came with your Mac ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No i bought it 2nd hand

Unfortunately, we need the discs to find out the exact problem. If this is software related, reinstalling the OS X will solve the problem, but you need the discs to reinstall the OS X. Restart your Mac and immediately hold down Option key on your Keyboard. This will bring Startup Manager screen. Can you see the hard drive's icon in there ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It's fine I will take it to shop where I bought so they fix the problems since i don't have the disks

thanks for your support

This problem usually happens if the hard drive is failing. We need the discs to confirm it. You will have to replace the hard drive if the hard drive is failed. I'm sorry that I couldn't solve your problem. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'm more than happy to help you with the best I can.


If you are satisfied with my service, please rate me Positively.

Have a great day,

Ashik and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Hi there,
It's me Ashik again. It has been a few days, so I am just checking in with you to see if you still need help, and if not to say Thanks for using JustAnswer.

I want you to be happy with the service I am providing, so if we still need to work on this let me know. If you have new questions now or in the future please do not hesitate to ask them.

Thanks and Have a great day,