I'm using a MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013). I recently reformatted and reinstalled the OS via Internet Recovery, but I suspect something went wrong.

Now, when I boot normally, I get the infamous Flashing Question Mark.

When I boot with Alt+Cmd+R, I get the spinning globe with

Starting Internet Recovery. This may take a while

and then:


When I boot with Cmd+R, I get the exact same thing as above. Maybe my Recovery Partition is corrupted, so it defaults to Internet Recovery?

This MacRumors thread Flashing Question mark in folder after start up seems similar to my problem, but the OP is able to get into Internet Recovery, unlike me.

Any suggestions?

  • Did this actually work for -2006F for anybody who voted this up? It doesn't work for me. I still see -2006F after trying several times. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 6:46
  • 1
    Yes, the accepted answer worked for me at the time. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 22:18
  • Thanks. At least I now know more than one issue can cause this. Do you remember if you got this error before or after choosing a Wi-Fi signal? Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 3:13
  • I don't remember. Sorry! :( Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 22:05
  • I think my case was related to captive portals, but the error came before the Wi-Fi list. When I tried in other places, signals with captive portals either silently failed and went back to the list, or gave a different error code... So still a mystery but I got the recovery of my old OS to work on a signal with no captive portal. Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


Considering you can't boot into an OS, the first things I'd try are resetting the NVRAM and SMC. Below are the steps for doing so, as well as the order you should do it.

1. Reset the NVRAM

Older Macs had what's called Parameter RAM (PRAM), newer Macs use Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM). Here’s how to reset it on your particular Mac:

  1. Shut down your machine. Yes, a full shut down, not just logging out.
  2. Press the power button and then press the commandoptionpr keys. You have to make sure you press these keys before the gray screen appears or it won’t work.
  3. Hold those keys down until your Mac reboots again and you here the startup chime.
  4. Let go of the keys and let your Mac reboot normally.

Note: When you log back in you may need to readjust some of your system preferences (e.g. speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, time zone information, etc).

2. Reset the SMC

Here’s what you do to reset the SMC on your particular Mac:

  1. Shut down your computer
  2. Keep the MagSafe adapter (power cable) plugged in.
  3. Press at the same time shiftoptioncontrol (on the left side of the keyboard) and the power button
  4. Let go
  5. Turn your computer back on with the power button.

Once you've done both of these, check to see whether the problem behaviour (i.e. an inability to enter Internet recovery) is still present. Let me know how you go.

  • I don't know that it's necessary with NVRAM, but on PRAM systems I always hold down command+shift+p+r and let the chime repeat at least three times.
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 0:39
  • No, three time is not needed. Also, the very newst macs don't chime at all. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 3:55
  • It's not necessary to reset the SMC.
    – vy32
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 1:34
  • One subtle clue that you've successfully zapped the PRAM/NVRAM is that the startup chime may be (even significantly) louder, because the volume setting has been erased along with everything else. Most folks don't run their machines at full-volume, so the loud chime is an unintentional confirmation that it's zapped.
    – Dave Land
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 20:09
  • @DaveLand On that note I've only yesterday provided feedback to Apple that they now need to provide a confirmation message or something similar) so users know they have successfully reset the NVRAM (as newer Macs have no audible indication whatsoever).
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 23:22

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