MBA and flashing folder with question-mark?


#1

Trying to help my neighbor who goes back to college next week…

He’s got an Apple MacBook Air “Core i5” 1.7 13" (Mid-2011/Thunderbolt) that no longer boots. He gets the flashing folder with a question-mark icon.

When we CMD+R during boot, Disk Utility shows a 2GB ‘base’ partition. It appears his working partition disappeared…

What might we try to get him running?

Thank you in advance,
Steve


#2

As it’s an ssd device:

  • try an external boot disk to see it the rest of the hardware still works
  • if so: try to reinstall macos through the recovery partition (cmd-r on boot)
  • if that does not do it: go to a genius bar, your ssd has probably died (they can better diagnose that)

#3

Thank you @JKoopmans.

We were going to reinstall MacOS last night, but only the ‘base’ partition appeared. It is as if the ‘user’ partition didn’t exist.


#4

Do you have a clone of the machine you can boot from?
That would give you some diagnostics options.


#5

Genius Bar could be the faster way to get an answer and solution.

Flashing Folder icon means it cannot locate the Operating System. This is due to a corrupt OS or failing drive. Disk Utility should see the SSD and a Volume. Repartitioning the SSD may be required to regain a Volume that you can reinstall an OS on.

Best of Luck and let us know what happens.


#6

We believe the SSD failed. The owner got good use out of that machine considering its age!

He bought a new MBA.

Thank you for the suggestions!
Steve