iMac Flashing ?folder-of-death help

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi everyone. I need a little technical help for a problem I am currently having with my iMac.

My iMac is a new 2008 model I got backin May. My OS and all the software is currently up to date with the newest releases. I currently only use the software that came with my iMac, and World of Warcraft.

Lately I have been having problems during startup. Sometimes when I start up I get a flashing file folder with a ?. The problem comes and goes and seems to be totally random. However it seems to be getting worse. To fix the problem I have to just shut it down for several minutes and leave it unplugged. Then I can restart as normal.

I have tried various ways to fix the problem, but so far I have had no luck. I have repaired my disk permissions, tested for hardware problems, and reset my p-ram(sp?). All of these tests showed no problems and have not helped the situation. I would try to do a "repair disk" but it stays grayed out and I can't select it. Even after I "verify disk". Is that normal?

I was thinking to maybe re-install my OS. What does everyone here think? Can I re-install the OS without erasing my files or other programs and updates?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I am no computer expert, so please keep any tech tips in laymans terms.



  • Reply 1 of 1
    I think that's the iMac showing you that it's currently looking for a start up volume, meaning the one with the OS you want to start from.

    Have you installed only Mac OS, or Windows too?

    PS: You can try setting your Mac OS volume again as the start up volume by the following:

    System Preferences > Startup Disk: Select the System you want to use to start up your computer (most probably the one on the left saying Mac OS X, 10.5.4 & volume-name) > Press Restart.

    Does that help?
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