October 18th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

So I have been away for two weeks visiting my old folks back in Jakarta, Indonesia. Back to Hong Kong late last night and this is what happened when I turned on my beloved-4-year-11-month iMac (runs OS 10.6.8):

The start-up chime sounded, then a blank white screen appeared. Eventually, a dark grey folder with question mark appeared at the center of the screen, flashing. Nothing else happened. Nothing I could do except to turn it off using the power button.

I cannot run any diagnostic tool because the optical drive has died about a year ago. So I went to the Apple Support Forum to find out how to fix this issue:

I have followed some of the steps described here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1440?viewlocale=en_US

First, I disconnected my mouse and Wacom Tablet. Restarted. The problem persisted: white screen, followed with a flashing folder with question mark. So I turned it off with the power button.

Then I turned on my iMac again. Upon pressing the Option key, a cursor appeared. I connected my Apple mouse, and I am able to move the cursor around. But there is nothing there to click, the screen is a blank white, unresponsive screen (the folder with question mark did not appear).

Next I tried resetting the NVRAM/PRAM since I cannot reboot from the installation CD. After the second chime, the computer restarted but the only change happened was the speaker volume became much louder, which indicates that the PRAM has been reset. The screen stay blank white until the folder with question mark appeared and flashing again…

 What to do now?