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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8527
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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When I went to turn on my computer I had a blinking folder

Customer Question

Hi there. When I went to turn on my computer I had a blinking folder with a question mark. From what I saw on other threads I held down command + R and it brought me to a different screen. I clicked on macintosh HD and it said I needed repairs so I clicked repair disk. It's taking a long time and the bar has stayed in the same place for quite some time. Should I stop repair or wait it out?
JA: Just to clarify, what's the model of your Mac, and what operating system are you running?
Customer: It's a mac book pro 13-inch and I got it in 2012 and it's operating on OS X
JA: When did you purchase your Macbook? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: In 2012. I turned it back on and hit command R and then clicked on macintosh HD. I clicked repair disk and that's been running for quite some time
JA: Anything else you want the Mac Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yesterday when I was using it it froze so I put it up and when I got on it today it was showing the blinking folder with the question mark
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is***** will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.
To enable me to help you better, please tell me what MAC OS X name, or type 10.X number, your MacBook has on it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I think OS Sierra
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.


Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

Is it still running Repair Disk, then? is that the current situation? And if so, how long has it been?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it's still repairing disk. The bar has been at the halfway mark for about 30 minutes
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It actually just moved up to a about a quarter. It says estimated 19 min remaining
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

Good! The 'progress bar' is notoriously NOT a regular reliable evenly-running indicator.

It sounds as if the problem is well in-hand, though a positive outcome is not absolutely certain yet. I advise you, seriously, to just wait it out. 19 minutes? it may be actually 1/2 hour or a bit more... see what I just said about progress bars not being evenly-running and reliable as an indicator? ... but do wait for it to complete, don't disturb it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay I'll wait. A rainbow wheel just popped up so I'm not sure if that'll slow it down
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

It's just a sign - esp. if it does away after a bit - that the process of recovering the disk hasn't locked up, gone haywire, nor gotten really messed up. I hope so, anyway. If it doesn't just freeze up for 2 hours and have the progress bar never move a tiny bit at all, then you're doing well enough.

Do you need any other information, meanwhile?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Nothing has changed. I'll keep you updated. Thanks for the help
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

Are you done with the case? if so, are you ready to rate my answer and my work, please?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No I'd like to stay on until the repairing is complete
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

That's fine... I'll be here. Just let me know how it goes, when it seems to be come to some sort of (at least interim) resolution.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It's still at 19 min and the rainbow wheel hasn't gone away.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

That's not so good... but, be patient with it. Another hour? if you can afford it.

After that... if you can afford to, wait overnight... but after that much time, the disk is surely completely trash, in some manner that Disk Repair cannot get past.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
if that's the case, what does that mean? There's nothing that can be done for my computer?
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

No, just that more or less data loss from your computer's hard drive might well be expected, and the operating system might have to be reinstalled - unless it's a hardware problem that caused the startup corruption on the hard disk, and in that case, the hard drive would have to be replaced also.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 month ago.

So it's right to ask whether you have data backups?