I tried to start up my computer and got a flashing file with a question mark. So I held down the -key on boot and brought it into recovery-mode.

After going through the different options I went to the disk utility and all I see is the grayed out SuperDrive and below there is disk0 and Mac OS X Base system.

Leaving disk utility I went to reinstall Mac OS X. After the verification and agreeing the terms, it doesn't show my harddrive.

Did I unmount the harddrive or what could the reason it's not showing up?

  • If your HD was dead, system would not start. If it is grayed out = you do NOT have the required permissions. – user44516 Mar 24 '13 at 9:01
  • Please elaborate. Your question is not clear. What is flashing? Can you log in? Did you try the safe boot mode? – user44516 Mar 24 '13 at 9:08
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    To perform a Safe Boot, press and hold the Shift key immediately after your Mac starts up. Continue holding down the Shift key until a gray Apple logo appears on the screen. Does this work? – user44516 Mar 24 '13 at 9:14
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    So your title is wrong, you do not have the problem with the system drive (hd). And you computer operates normally. You have an Error with the Superdrive! – user44516 Mar 24 '13 at 10:15
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    Analogy--> A guy with stomach pain goes to doctor. Doctor performs brain transplant, however the stomach pain is still there. – user44516 Mar 24 '13 at 12:33

I am assuming that you got a flashing folder with a question mark similar to this:

Flashing Question Mark

That means your Mac cannot find the boot loader.

Now, since you said that you were able to go into disk utility, you already know how to boot into Recovery Mode. What I am assuming you saw when you were working in Disk Utility is something similar to this:

enter image description here

The SuperDrive being greyed out is probably because the drive is empty. disk0 is typically the disk drive in your Mac. Mac OS X Base System is more than likely a partition on disk0

Do this:

Hold down the Option while powering on your Mac. If there is a bootable partition, it will be listed (other than the recovery partition). If so, boot into it.

Once you have booted, check to see what you have selected as your startup disk (Preferences --> Startup Disk)

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    Wow I forgot I posted this... It actually was my Sata cable. I replaced that and everything works fine. Thank you though... Your answer is right for many cases – Daniel Toebe Mar 31 '16 at 20:35

Since you have access to internet, read this instructions how to solve your problem.

Before you hack around always try the safe boot mode first, that will automatically check and repair the disk (in most cases).

If not, then follow the instructions below:

Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck


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