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David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1483
Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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Mac OSX Snow Leopard- Hung up on flashing Question mark.

This answer was rated:

Mac OSX Snow Leopard- Hung up on flashing Question mark.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions.

Does it always show a flashing question mark? Does it boot beyond that every time?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. Stuck on flashing question mark.


Please try this step, it is a possible solution. If it doesn't work, please do not give a rating, get back to me for more steps.

Power off the Mac.

Power on, and hold down the Command + Option (Alt) + P + R keys.

Keep holding all four keys until you hear a second startup chime and release them.

Let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did the restart- holding all 4 keys until second chime. Question mark reappeared.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Took far too long to recommend a solution.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Didn't reply after first comment.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I want to change this rating. I tried what you recommended and the system came on line. How do i change this rating?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Change this rating. I tried your recommendation at second time and the system came up.

Hi Ray,

I apologise for the original delay. When I went to take my cat in she ad a small cut under her eye. I think a tom cat might ave attacked her, but she is OK. When I got back to my computer and saw you were waiting i typed my reply, and clicked submit, but that very second you had opted out. When you opt out I cannot reply to the question, so I wrote an email to the moderators asking if I could reply. After I clicked send to that, I could see your reply to say the issue was resolved! Thankfully the moderators have opened the question and I can now get back to you. I am sorry about the workings of the system.

The flashing question mark on a folder is Apple iconology for startup not being able to locate a System folder. This can happen if the PRAm does not have the correct startup disk set. The keys you held down reset the PRAM to default, thus setting the correct startup disk and start up was then able to locate the System folder and continue booting.

You should be able to change the rating now if you wish. Please let me know if there are any more symptoms or feel free to ask me any follow up questions. I will be happy to help.

Yours sincerely,
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