Mac not booting folder with question mark

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So you are looking to get Apple technical support in South Africa? ZA Support is the perfect Apple support partner to assist you with your Apple support query. Remember that ZA Support provides expert South African Apple technical support, Apple sales, Apple repairs and Apple upgrades.

In this article we will go through some of the steps you are able to try in order to identify why your Apple Mac is not booting with a question mark.


Do not underestimate the severity of a failed hard drive. If you suspect that your Apple machine’s hard drive has failed DO NOT turn it on or try any of the below mentioned steps as the more times the drive is turn on and off the higher the cost of Apple data recovery.

Let’s begin with some possible causes for the Mac not booting with a question mark. Usually when a Mac doesn’t boot with the question mark it means that the Apple hard drive has failed. Granted without having a proper diagnostics on the machine it is difficult to determine if this is the case definitively.

Causes can include the following:

– Apple hard drive has reached it’s lifecycle (Often between 2-3 years depending on the frequency of usage)

– The machine has been moved, bumped or dropped previously or recently. Apple hard drive failure can begin months, weeks or days before the Mac does not boot with the question mark sign.

– The machine has been exposed to potential power surges or magnitised objects.

Here are some questions that the ZA Support Apple technical support team have asked:

– Do you have an Apple back up of your machine? If you are starting to shake at the answer of this question maybe contact our Apple data recovery team

– Could the machine have been exposed to spikes in power, surges or lightning?

– Is the machine insured?

Remember that ZA Support provides book in services where machines may be booked in with our Apple technical support team who will be able to assess and provide reports on the status of your Apple Mac not booting with a question mark.

Now let’s consider some of the trouble shooting techniques you may try to resolve the Mac not booting.

Step: 1 (Only for users on Lion or later)

Try and restart the machine holding down the ALT key on chime.

Step: 2

If the machine boots you to the recovery screen navigate to the disk utility window and click on the top left hand drive then select repair disk.

Note: If the Apple repair disk utility returns with any RED writing ZA Support recommends the machine is booked in for formal diagnosis. An Apple hard drive failure at this point is either imminent or has already occurred.

Step: 3

If the repair completes successfully try and reinstall the operating system through the recovery control panel you are already in. (You will most likely have to redownload the system which may take anything between 1-10 hours). We can do this faster so if you can’t afford to wait contact us.

Step: 4 (If all else fails)

This is a more advanced Apple support technical step. So we would suggest users with experience do this.

What you will need:

– Apple firewire 800 to 800 cable

– Or if on a new Mac Thunderbolt to firewire 800 or direct Thunderbolt.

– Another Mac with one of the above mentioned input’s

Target mode the failed Mac which is not booting with a question mark to the spare Mac that you have. Once the machine is targeted then try and access the failed Apple hard drive from the spare Mac you have through disk utility. Run a SMART status repair from the utility and see if the drive shows signs of failure. If there is RED writing as previously indicated it is strongly recommended the machine is booked in.

If you are not sure on any of the steps or would like some Apple technical support with your Mac that is not booting with a question mark please contact us!

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