Flashing folder with ?, if i reset, requests password i do not have?

When booting iMac (21.5 purchased late 2011).i get flashing folder with "?". Cannot reboot in safe mode, tried to reset PRAM, was then shown padlock screen equesting password. I didnt realise id set a password so dont rember it. this password differs from admin password for this imac.

iMac (Mid 2011) and later...Recovering a lost firmware password
Only Apple retail stores or Apple Authorized Service Providers can unlock these computers protected by a firmware password.
If you cannot remember the firmware password for your Mac, schedule a service appointment with either an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.  If you plan to visit an Apple Retail store, please make a reservation at the Genius Bar using http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/ (available in some countries only).

Similar Messages

  • IMac won't boot and has flashing folder with question mark on gray screen

    I just bought a new iMac. I have been trying all week (with no success) to transfer files and apps from my previous iMac. The last time I tried to transfer, I used target mode on the old computer. It looked as if it was finally working, so I left with 2+ hours remaining on the transfer. When I returned, the computer was frozen and nothing would work. So I held the power button to turn it off. When I tried to turn it back on, there was only a gray screen with a flashing folder with a question mark. I feel like I have tried everything listed in other discussions. The only thing I am not able to try is to reinstall Lion because the new computer did NOT come with an OSX disc of any type. Any suggestions?

    Go to > OS X Lion: About Lion Recovery

  • Grey Screen with Flashing Folder with Question Mark

    Hi,
    I need some help with an issue I'm having on my Mid-2012 Macbook Pro (13"; OSX 10.9.2; 8GB RAM).  I've had issues with this Macbook for the past year.  I've worked with Apple Support and had it into the Mac Store prior to the warranty expiring (Dec 2013).  I have the exact same model with all of the same specs that my employer purchased at the same time for work as my work computer, and I haven't had any issues with that one.
    Previously, the system would slow down excessively and eventually start hanging. Occasionally the screen would start flashing.  Apple phone support had me wipe the hard drive and re-install the OS and all of my file, apps, and setting from my Time Machine backup.  That worked for about four months, and then it started again. Since it was getting close to the warranty expiration, I took it to an Apple Store. They ran a bunch of diagnostics, said the hardware was all fine but the OS needed to be re-installed.  They did that in early Dec, and everything was cool again until about three days ago.  Three days ago, it started slowing down and freezing again (even when doing non-memory intensive tasks such as broswing the web with only a couple of tabs open and no other applications open).  Last night, it froze hard and wouldn't shut down, so I had to cold boot it.  When I tried to power it back on, it came to the grey screen with the flashing folder with the question mark (which I know means it can't find the boot sector).  I waited until this morning, and it stil wouldn't boot. I then rebooted into Startup Manager, and the HDD was there. I selected the HDD, and it booted fine and ran fine for a couple of hours (I was able to do a Time Machine backup).  Then it froze up solid again. I waited for an hour or so before cold booting (don't like doing that), and when I tried rebooting, I got the flashing folder with the question mark. I tried booting into the Startup Manager again, but this time, my HDD wasn't listed. I then booted into the OSX Recovery utility (CMD R on boot), went into the Disk Utility hoping to do a disk repair, but my HDD wasn't listed. I have an external SATA to USB adapter, so I pulled the HDD, hooked it to a USB port on my other (identical except it doesn't have problems) Macbook Pro.  Once my other Macbook booted, the HDD from the bad Macbook Pro showed up fine.  I ran a verify and repair disk on the HDD from the bad Macbook, and it didn't show any issues.
    So I figured I'd be really brave. I took the HDD from the bad Macbook Pro and put it in my work (good) Macbook Pro (I took the HDD out of my working work Macbook Pro).  It booted fine.  I then did the verify and repair disk (again no errors) and verify and repair permissions (it found a few, but no more than it has in the past). I ran it that way for about an hour with no issues. That led me to believe that the HDD for my personal Macbook was fine, and it must be an issue with the SATA cable or the mainboard. 
    Here's where it gets odd.  I put the HDD from my work Macbook Pro into the bad Macbook Pro thinking it wouldn't even recognize it.  It did recognize it, and it booted fine.  I ran it like that for about 30 minutes.  It did have a couple of short freeze ups, but it didn't lock up solid. I didn't want to push my luck and possibly damage the HDD for my work Macbook, so I shut down the bad Macbook Pro ended the experiment at that point.
    I put the original HDD back in the Macbooks where they originally came from. I then ran the Apple Hardware Test (press and hold D on startup) on the bad Macbook Pro; I did the extended testing option. It ran for about an hour, but it didn't find any issues with the bad Macbook Pro. 
    I put the HDD from the bad Macbook back in my working Macbook and wiped the disk and reinstalled OSX from a Time Machine Backup from last week (before the problems occured).  Put it back in the bad Macbook and still no luck. Finally I tried resetting the PRAM because I saw that as one of the options on this discussion board. 
    I've searched and read everything I can find related to this, but I can't find anything that works, and I'm at my wits end.  Can anyone point me in a direction of what might be wrong and what else to try?
    Thanks!
    Mike

    You performed thorough and methodical troubleshooting, and this appears to be the most important result:
    I put the HDD from my work Macbook Pro into the bad Macbook Pro thinking it wouldn't even recognize it.  It did recognize it, and it booted fine.  I ran it like that for about 30 minutes.  It did have a couple of short freeze ups, but it didn't lock up solid.
    Given compatible hardware, you ought to be able to swap hard disk drives in exactly that manner, so it shouldn't surprise you that it worked. However, installing the "known good" HDD in the problem machine should not have resulted in any freeze-ups at all.
    You can conclude the hard disks (both of them) are serviceable and whatever fault exists probably lies elsewhere. Often the SATA cable is damaged or not seated properly, and is likely to fail more than anything on the logic board. Inspect the logic board's SATA connections and make sure there are no contaminants or damage. The two drives and two logic boards are going to have slightly different component tolerances, so perhaps the defective one is simply exceeding some limit.
    Apple Hardware Test is very cursory and essentially tests for the presence of operable hardware. It is far from an exhaustive test, and only a report of a failure can be relied upon for accuracy. For a more thorough test you would need to have Apple evaluate it using the time-consuming Apple Service Diagnostics. Even then, they may come up without a clue, and eventually someone will suggest a logic board replacement which can be expensive.
    It is an unusual problem, and I don't know how much time Apple would invest in diagnosing it before they conclude you really ought to buy a new Mac instead. They might surprise you though in that a "depot repair", if yours is eligible, is a very cost effective option so consider it.
    Given your ability you might also consider purchasing a replacement logic board from PowerbookMedic, or even sending it to them for a flat rate repair.

  • A flashing folder with question mark

    Dear all,
    I have a rather strange problem with my  MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011). Whenever I start my computer I see a flashing folder with a question mark. I know this is supposed to be a common problem wich can be usually solved by the solution provided by Apple support (http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1440) However, my issue is different. Here is how it all started: I wanted to install Windows using bootcamp. The installer complained that my hard disk was corrupted and that I need to repair it using the recorvery HD. When I tried, I was asked to provide the firmware password. Since I did not have it ( I wrote it it on a piece of paper that I did not have access to at the moment), I went back and restarted my in target mode so I can back up my documents on another mac. Unfortunatelly, after restarting in target mode, I was asked to provide the firmare password again. When I finally got the password, my computer restarted with a flashing folder with a question mark. I have tried all troubleshooting available on the internet and nothing seems to work. Some people thing that I need to replace my internal HD cable. However, how can this be? I didn't mess up with my hard disk at all. During the troubleshooting, I used a bootable hard-drive, and notice that I could no longer see my HD in the list of available hard-driver. It is like it is completely gone. Can someone please suggest any solution? Please keep in mind that I live thousands of miles away from any Apple store. I can't get any official support. I have to fix this myself.
    Thanks for your assistance.

    You very well may be having a problem with a faulty SATA cable - go to www.ifixit.com and search for your model number and the part number of the cable. Then go to eBay and search for the part number. You'll find a cable much less expensive on eBay than from ifixit.
    You won't know unless you try!
    Clinton

  • When I start my Mac air I get a flashing folder with a question mark

    I am trying to start my Mac air and I get a flashing folder with a question mark. When I turn the power of it shuts down but wen starting it comes back

    Just being clear about your situation.  When you hold down Option during boot it does not show a system volume or a recovery volume from which to boot.  At that point if you select a network boot and you do not see a spinning globe that persists there a good while as it loads the recovery partition over the network.  True?
    A couple of more thinks to try:
    Disconnect all of your external devices.
    Reset PRAM
    Boot with the option key again.
    Standard things to try (which is sounds like you already have attempted) A flashing question mark appears when you start your Mac

  • Flashing folder with question mark at Startup

    Here is what I know so far.
    - The computer was powered off by pushing the power button without shutting down.
    - The computer was then restarted and it was coming into the white screen with the Apple logo in the middle, but i noticed that it was skewed slightly (like someone took a 4:3 ratio screen and stretched it to a 16:9) and then it would show a circle slash icon and then the flashing folder with a question mark on it.
    - It would not come up in single user mode (Command + S) and it said that there was an error loading kernel 'mach_kernel'
    - It would not come up in safe mode (Shift)(The flashing folder came up again)
    - I reset the PRAM (Command + Option + p + r) and it seemed to fix the problem with the stretched screen but did not help the boot situation (still got flashing folder)
    - I did the start up where you can select the hard drive to boot with, it owed the HD and i selected it, but then i got the flashing folder with question mark.
    - It would not come up in Verbose Mode (Command V) Error loading Kernel again.
    - I bought a FireWire cable and hooked it to another MacBook Pro, and booted the faulty Mac into Target Disk Mode, the FireWire logo came up on the screen and bounced around like all forums said that it would, but the drive would not show up on my host. I checked the System Profiler on the host and it did acknowledge the Target Disk Mode was there, but the drive of the target would not show up on the host. I restarted the host, nothing. I checked all of the connections, nothing. I replugged all of the connections, nothing. I even reversed the FireWire cable, nothing.
    - I have DiskWarrior 4 if i can get the drive to show up in TDM, but nothing so far.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help guys. I managed to get the computer started by holding down C at the Start Up with the Install Disc 1 in the computer. The disc was really kindof unnecessary, as the newest version of Mac OS X (10.4.10) became available via the hard drive.
    I then found out that the battery was not installed, so I reset the management system by removing the A/C power, the battery and pushing the power button for 5 seconds, and then reconnecting everything. It did not help, the battery is bad i guess, so I am going to call AppleCare and get a new battery.
    Thanks for your help.

  • Flashing folder with a question mark in it when starting up

    Hi, I own a white MacBook that is fairly new. When I boot it there is a flashing folder with a question mark in it. I read here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1440 what to do.
    I inserted my Leopard disc, held C while booting and then opened Disc Utilitiy. But the only images to appear in the left column of Disc Utility is the "Mac OS X Install DVD". So I tried resetting the PRAM by holding down cmd-opt-R-P while booting.
    Then I tried the same thing again but still there is only the install disc in the left column. If I go to Startup Disc there is only the install CD and "Network Startup".
    Now, if I were to reinstall the system as it says in step 4 of the guide, what will happen to my data? I read that this error could be a sign of the hard drive crashing, and with no back up I really don't want that to happen.
    So, is it safe to reinstall the system, or what do you suggest my next step to be?

    Try booting in Safe Mode
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455
    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck
    I tried booting in Safe Mode by holding down shift while starting, but it just went to the flashing folder with the ?-mark in it. Then I tried to enter single-user mode by holding down cmd-S while starting (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1492), in order to try the fsck-thingy, but still just the flashing ?.
    When I start my computer it makes bad noises from the bottom right side. I fear that the HD is broken , it sounds as if it is working very hard, making scratchy and clicky noises.
    I also tried using the computer as a FireWire target in order to retrieve some data (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661). When I bootet the "broken" computer and held down T the FireWire symbol appeared on the screen. But on the host computer I could not find the target computer.
    Any more ideas?

  • TS1440 When I start up, there is only the flashing folder with a question mark on it. When I tried to reinstall snow leopard, there is no hard disk to be found.

    After rebooting my computer, there is only the flashing folder with "?" on it. I tried several things like PRAM resetting and whatnot, but nothing worked. I then tried to reinstall Snow Leopard, but it appears there is no hard disc to be found to install it. I also wanted to repair the disk first but it wasn't present in disk utilities. Did I lose my hard drive, or is this still salvagable?

    That is evidence that your hard drive has failed and needs to be replaced.

  • What do I do when he only thing on my screen is a flashing folder with a question mark.

    I had a few browsers open on my computer. I accessed my calendar and it froze. The mouse would still move, but I could not click on anything. Then the screen went grey with a flashing folder with a question mark. I turned the power off and turned it back only but only see the grey screen with the flashing folder. I tried resetting the PRAM but it still will not work.  Can this be fixed? Please help!!

    You may have a disk error - could be an unrepairable physical problem with the drive, or a repairable file structure problem.
    Hold down cmd-R (both keys together) as you start up the Mac, and keep them held down until you see the Apple menu. When it boots to the recovery partition, click Disk Utility, and run Repair Disk on the Macintosh HD. Let us know if you see errors there and whether or not DU can fix them.
    Good luck!
    Matt

  • Installed Yosemite update on MacBook Pro retina late 2013 will not boot flashing folder with ?

    I just Installed Yosemite update on MacBook Pro retina late 2013 will not boot flashing folder with ?

    dunno, Lynn--maybe Etrecheck. trying running disk utility to verify the status of your hard drive. That may give you a basic idea. Perhaps tech tool pro.  As for it running hot, I can't say for sure. try shutting it down and using a vacuum clearner +crevice tool around the back of it.  It's been my experience that hard drives usually fail without a lot of warning, luckily you have a backup. Afterwards you can say "Yup, that went bad".  I've done a little research and found out that your MacBook Pro doesn't come with a conventional hard drive as such, but an SSD (solid state device) . It's upgradeable (up to 1 TB ) but not cheaply
    go here for more info (OWC) :http://eshop.macsales.com. For right now, I'd recommend resetting the SMC/PMU, maybe zapping the pram . to do that, reboot, hold down Apple+Option, P+R keys while rebooting. Hold down for 3 chimes, let go and let it boot. as for the SMC thing....
    I'm assuming your battery isn't removeable-shut down computer, plug in MagSafe cable . On built in keyboard, on left side, press Shift-Control-Option and power button at the same time.  release all the keys and the power button. press power button again to turn on computer
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    John b

  • Flashing Folder with Question Mark after Trackpad 1.0 Update

    My machine won't boot after installing this update. I get the flashing folder with question mark and can't even boot from the Install DVD either... I just get a frozen spinney wheel at the Apple Logo screen. I've tried resetting the PRAM and everything else that a Googling of the problem suggests. This update bricked my Macbook!!!!
    Anybody else having this problem? Anybody have any suggestions or am I stuck with going to see a "genius"?

    I've not seen any other posts about it causing problems, worked fine here. You've tried resetting the PRAM the only other thing you could try is:
    Boot holding down Apple/S and don't let go until you see scrolling text.
    When that stops and you see a root#: prompt enter
    fsck -fy
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    If it fails first time, at any time, or finds and fixes a fault - run the command again and keep doing so (some fixes can take several passes) until it says "Appears to be OK" then enter
    reboot

  • Flashing folder with question mark on start up + many other issues

    About 6 months ago I first encountered the flashing folder with question mark on startup. I fixed the issue myself by unplugging the mouse and keyboard and rebooting. I also did the cmd S fsck -fy before that and all was well.
    The other day I had the flashing folder again...I got it going a couple of times but it happened again. Right now I seem to be in deep trouble. Please read the following:
    1. I booted up from the leopard dvd and no hard drive was there to run a disk utility on
    2. Booted up again from the dvd and hard drive was there. Ran the disk utility and everything was fine...for about 5 minutes. Then the computer froze and I had to hard power down. Rebooted to the flashing folder.
    3. Did command s and fsck but at the end I get the message failed to issue comm reset after 3 attempts.....failing....
    4. I powered down, vacuumed out the vents, sprayed compressed air to make sure it wasn't over heating from dust buildup as I read somewhere.
    5. Booted up...worked for about 5 minutes again.
    6. Now I can't get to the hard drive from the install dvd at all...I tried 100 times. Cmd s won't work at all!! So it looks like I am out of options. Does anyone have ny radical solutions that i can try to fix this. There are some very important things on my hard drive that I would be very upset about loosing.
    Please reply

    Sorry to bear bad news, but most likely the drive is already dead or dying. I hope you backed up everything when the first symptoms appeared.
    There are data recovery services, but might be very expensive.
    EDIT: Some (a few) people have had success putting the drive (sealed very well in a plastic baggy) in the freezer overnight and then quickly putting it in an external enclosure and getting the data off it that way.
    Message was edited by: WZZZ

  • Flashing folder with question mark on startup mac mavericks

    Hi buddies, I've an old macbook (those with pretty die hard silver case).
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    I read this A flashing question mark or globe appears when you start your Mac
    but i wanna know if my datas on my hard disk would be safe or not... and what should I do keep them safe.
    If I loose my files and data, you can name me dead!!!

    Your data are safe if you have them separately backed up. Otherwise, there is no assurance they are safe. Given the nature of the problem it's too late to backup your data, so you will need to try reinstalling OS X and take your chances all will work out well. Hopefully, it will.
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         1. Boot the computer using the Snow Leopard Installer Disc or the Disc 1 that came
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    Download and install Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1.
    If you have Lion or later installed:
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    Boot to the Recovery HD:
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    Reinstall Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks
    OS X Mavericks- Reinstall OS X
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  • Flashing folder with question mark, apple logo, and do not enter symbol

    someone please help.
    i just took my imac to the apple centre and they erased everyhting and reset everything, and now it has just asked me to restart it so i did and now im stuck on flashing apple logo, flashing folder with quesiton mark inside, and a "do not enter" sort of symbol.
    please please please help, i cant go back to apple as i spent so much money already!

    Lion and Mtn Lion don't come on disks (the USB flash, AFAIK, is no longer available). You could boot into the recovery mode and reinstall. Details in Recovery and About Lion Recovery. Also, see the Internet Recovery.

  • MacBook Pro flashing folder with question mark - NO installation/setup disks

    I recently bought my Macbook Pro in August of 2012 and I have noticed that the newer MacBooks do NOT come with additonal installation disks or anything of the sort. I started up my Mac today and was faced with the flashing folder with a question mark on it. I already know what this is implying and I have tried literally everything to fix it. It does not recognize command-R so I cannot choose HD recovery and when I try to perform "first aid" on it, it does not recognize my disk-0 and when I try to verify or repair, it does not let me. All options are greyed out. I have tried resetting the PRAM but that does not do anything either and I cannot boot it to single user mode. Please help. The last thing I want to do is bring it in for repairs as it is my last week of classes in university and I absolutely need my laptop for school work.

    I recently bought my Macbook Pro in August of 2012 and I have noticed that the newer MacBooks do NOT come with additonal installation disks or anything of the sort. I started up my Mac today and was faced with the flashing folder with a question mark on it. I already know what this is implying and I have tried literally everything to fix it. It does not recognize command-R so I cannot choose HD recovery and when I try to perform "first aid" on it, it does not recognize my disk-0 and when I try to verify or repair, it does not let me. All options are greyed out. I have tried resetting the PRAM but that does not do anything either and I cannot boot it to single user mode. Please help. The last thing I want to do is bring it in for repairs as it is my last week of classes in university and I absolutely need my laptop for school work.

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