Random Flashing Question Mark at Startup Mountain Lion

Suddenly out of the blue my screen at startup shows a flashing question mark on a folder. I cannot press D, cmd, alt or shift immediately after startup - It doesn't change anything....
Then occasionally after some time it boots up just fine as nothing has happened...
Is there anything that I can do? Does apple have any advise on this?
So sad !
Thanks for your help in advance! I know there are threads on this in this forum but
Maybe mountain lion os has change something?

If you want to try to restore Lion, here are the instructions:
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10727
Before you go try through the entire install process, when you see the menu bar, click on Utilities and select Disk Utility.  See if you can repair the disk.  If you can, your problem may have been solved.  If not your HDD has expired.
If this does not get you into Disk Utility, try your original installation disk.
Ciao.

Similar Messages

  • Random flashing question mark on startup

    Every once in a while when my mac mini cold boots, I get the flashing question mark. Turning the mac off, and booting it back up again usually fixes the problem. I ran verify disk permission and verify disk; both came back ok. S.M.A.R.T status was always "verified". I have also booted into single user mode and ran FSCK. No problem there either.
    I didn't have this problem until I upgraded to 10.6.3. Just wanted to find out if anyone else is having the same issue and if there is a way to figure out what is causing the problem.

    On the face of it, this sounds like a temperature-dependent problem: when the hard drive is cold, it either isn't spinning up on the first try, or the calibration is slightly off and the Mac doesn't recognize the drive as being bootable.
    When it is slightly warmer (second try) it spins up, or the calibration is now within limits and therefore it boots and now can pass all the DiskUtility tests.
    If it were me, I'd make sure that I had this drive fully backed up onto another external drive -- just in case.
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    Just in case the issue is something else, I'd suggest going to Apple Menu > System Preference > Startup Disk and explicitly setting the drive to be your startup drive.
    It might also be interesting to hold down the Option key at startup and explicitly choose the drive. Do this for a few days and see if the problem continues to occur. Holding down the Option key should give the drive a bit more time to spin up.

  • A flashing question mark on startup

    My Mini is displaying a flashing question mark after startup. How do I fix it?

    The flashing question mark indicates that your Mini cannot find a valid startup disk. Restart with the Install disk in place and hold down the C key and the Mini will start up from the CD. Repair the Mini's hard disk using Disk Utility on the Install CD (Look under the Apple menu). If this does not work, you may need to obtain a startup CD with a third-party recovery utility such as Disk Warrior to attempt to rebuild the Mini hard disk directory.
    Here's a link to an Apple document to help you:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58042
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  • Flashing question mark on startup Mac Pro 1,1

    hi everybody, I have an issue with my Mac Pro 1,1. I bought this computer last week.
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    The hatter wrote:
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  • Flashing question mark on startup, plzz plzz help

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    [Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214]
    [Using Disk Utility in Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302672]
    [Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25751]
    From BDaqua (couldn't have said it better):
    "Try Disk Utility
    1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer (Edit: Do not use this disc if it is not the same general version as what you have currently on your computer, e.g. use a Tiger disc for a Tiger drive, not a Panther disc), then restart the computer while holding the C key.
    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.
    3. Click the First Aid tab.
    4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.
    5. Select your Mac OS X volume.
    6. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk.
    Then Safe Boot, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes."

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