It will be more frustrating when you turning on your Mac system but it won’t start up. Instead of normal system start up, you may get blue or gray screen, an icon of a broken folder, a kernel panic or a flashing question mark etc. In such kinds of situation you cannot access the Mac data stored under Mac hard drive. If a flashing question mark is displayed on the display screen when you start your Mac system, then it is probably because it cannot find the system software it needs to start up. In order to perform Mac recovery after flashing question mark appearing on the screen, you need to make use of good third party Mac data recovery software.
When the question mark flashes on screen, Mac will check all available disks for an operating system it can use. If Mac finds operating system then it will finish booting. If the flashing question mark still present and Mac will not finish booting then you cannot access the data stored on Mac hard drive. After the flashing question mark appears on the screen either the computer starts up normally after a brief delay or the computer does not start up. If the computer starts up normally after a brief delay then you need to reselect the startup disk in Startup Disk preferences. If system does not start up, this may happen when the Mac OS X system software is missing, then you needs to reinstall Mac operating system. Reinstalling the Mac operating system may lead to data loss on the Mac hard drive.
In case Disk Utility finds flashing question mark issue it cannot repair, it erases the hard drive and Mac operating system will be reinstalled. Erasing deletes everything on the hard drive including data saved on the desktop. You should back up important data before erasing a drive otherwise there are chance to cause data loss on the Mac hard drive. Two main reasons for causing flashing question mark issue are corruption of the system software and accidental deletion of System and Library folders on the hard drive.
- Accidental deletion of System and Library folders: Mac operating system software is stored under the System and Library folders at root level of Mac hard disk. If you have accidentally deleted System and Library folders that were unfamiliar to you then you may have accidentally deleted your Mac OS X system software. If you start the system then a flashing folder with question mark will appear on the screen.
- Corruption of Mac OS X system software: Mac OS X system software may corrupt due to various situations like improper shut down of system, virus attack or power outage etc. When this will happen Mac does not complete the booting and a flashing folder with question mark will appear on the screen.
Appearing a flashing folder with question mark when you start up the system determine that Mac OS X system software is missing and you should reinstall Mac OS X. Reinstalling Mac OS X will erases the data on the hard drive, but nothing to worry you can recover the deleted data from the hard drive by using Remo Recover (Mac) – Pro Edition software. This software supports the recovery of deleted or lost data from HFS+ and HFSX formatted Mac volumes. You can download the freeware of this software.