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Got the flashing folder of death.

Tried verifying, repairing the disk. No luck.

Restored from Time Machine. No luck.

Rebooted with Command-Option-P-R. No luck.

The drive as far as I can tell is working properly....

Reinstalled and it still won't boot off the hard drive. How can this be the install worked fine?

Even went as far as putting a bootable USB flash drive and it sees that.

I tried pressing the OPTION key on boot but it only sees the USB drive.

This is madness. How can OSX install on a drive BUT then fail to boot from it?

(I could understand if the drive was failing, but this makes no sense)

I can replace the drive but that seems silly and might not be the issue in the first place.

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You've covered almost all of the common causes. I'd install to an external drive (USB is fine) or try booting into single user mode to see if enough of the kernel was written to the drive (it's unlikely though if it's not seeing the reinstalled drive as blessed) – bmike May 7 '13 at 0:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sounds like the partitioning is damaged. If you can boot from OS X on an external drive, use Disk Utility to "Repair Disk". If that reports OK, the Repair the partition with the OS X installation.

The particular kind of Mac might be helpful, and the OS versions.

Also, for Intel Macs, the disk must be partitioned with GUID. If its gotten to be Master Boot Record or Apple Partition, it won't see the disk as a boot source.

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Ok I will do what you said. I've repaired it several times and don't see errors. I'll try to find out what it means to "repair the partition". It is GUID partitioned. Snow Leopard, Mac Mini 2007 2,1. – Tim Nelson May 7 '13 at 11:38
In Disk Utility, have you selected the DISK above the partition ? If you select the drive, it performs different services than checking the HFS+ formatting. – Philip Widing May 8 '13 at 1:51
Philip. Thank you that was it. I was pretty sure I had done both the drive and the volume, but who knows! – Tim Nelson May 8 '13 at 14:51

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