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Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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Early 2011 Macbook Pro with a 320gb hd Backups on Time Capsule My

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Early 2011 Macbook Pro with a 320gb hd
Backups on Time Capsule

My MBP is now flashing a folder w/ question mark on it at start up.
I have already tried:
Starting while holding option, c, and resetting p-pram, and starting with disk.
Checked connections of hard drive cable inside

Nothing has any effect on seeing the flashing folder and when I access disk utility the hard drive does not exist.

From referencing forums, my hard drive is done, so:

I would obviously like to go SSD. My frustration is that I was nearly filling my old drive with photos and videos, and the price of a 500gb ssd is expensive.

1. If I were to go with a smaller ssd, does my time capsule allow me to go in and restore folder by folder?

2. The hdd has slowed down a lot over time. Is now a good time to install fresh and just bring over the personal data from the TC?

3. Is there any real benefit to getting a small ssd and placing a large spinning drive in the bay? I don't use the dvd anyway.

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.

1. If you were to downgrade the size of your hard drive, yes time machine will allow you to manually drag specific files and folders instead of restoring your entire data

2. When you were experiencing slowness, that may have been an indication that your hard drive was failing. Now that you have a question mark, it sounds like your drive has failed indefinitely. So yes I would recommend either trying to re-partition it first and if that fails you will need to replace your hard drive.

3. You do not have the option to remove the dvd bay and place a smaller hard drive on a macbook


How reliable of an option is re-partitioning it?

Appleologist :

It depends on your hard drive issue. If you are getting a question mark, it could be mechanical or a software. Does your hard drive even show up in disk utility?


No it does not.

Appleologist :

Ok then it does need to be replaced for sure. That means it is a mechanical error with the drive and can not be repaired using software


When restoring from time capsule, since it would be a good idea to start fresh from the OS, is it possible to restore the apps as well as the personal files?

Appleologist :

You can defiantly restore personal files and you can drag over apple applications. Other applications that require a license, you will need to re-install it


do you mean apps from the app store or only apps like pages and facetime?

Appleologist :

Apps like pages. Facetime comes with the operating system so that will be there when you re-install your operating system. Apps from the app store can also be re-downloaded


Ok. Thanks!

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