View Full Version : Reset PRam and "?" folder @startup

03-07-2001, 11:47 PM
I remember the last time I reset my Pram with an apple tech on the phone when I suspected HD troubleapple hearing loud scratching static from my HD. I restarted and I got the dreaded "?" mark folder. The tech said that my machine (BW G3 400) was notorious for that. Recently after using an apparently outdated version of Speed Disk (norton's), my computer wouldn't wake up (from sleep), and I had to initialize & partition in Mac Standard format, System folder residing in the 7MB partition and my storage in the remaining 5MB or so. The problem is that I reset my Pram and the same thing happened. I ejected and re-insetred the CD drive (with no CD) and it seemed to fix itself. So I re-installed 9.1, re-set the Pram again to see if it happened, and it did. I watched it flash a coupla times, and it detected the startup drive. Does this perhaps hint at an aging HD in need of quick replacement? This place is so much better than the Apple support forum by the way.

03-07-2001, 11:54 PM
Quick question or 3. What is your startup drive selected as in the control panel? Are we dealing with the ATAPI/IDE drive, I assume? Did you replace the loud scratchy drive or is this the same one? Personally, I stay away from SpeedDisk if at all possible. But that is just me. Some dyed-in-the-wool guru's should be along shortly.

03-08-2001, 12:15 AM
I sounds like you haven't selected a (the) drive in the Startup Disk Control Panel.

03-08-2001, 12:53 AM
Hey everc1,

Your mac forgets a lot of stuff when you reset PRAM, like what devices are on all your busses and which volume is the startup volume and soforth. The flashing "?" just means the startup code in ROM is relearning all your connected devices and looking for a bootable system disk. You need to reselect the startup system folder in the control panel as Louie says. You should not see the "?" on a normal restart unless something is wrong with your hardware configuration.

You should be using HFS+.

Some times a disk will make a fast fluttering clicking noise if the read/write head encounters bad blocks on the media but I've never heard of "scratching". Some Apple CDROM players make a scratching noise when the CD spins up. I've never heard of a 12 MB hard drive (or even a 12 GB hard drive). Something's wrong if that's right.

There are several billion possible reasons your mac didn't wake from sleep before, probably 99.99% of the fixes would not have forced you to re-initialize your drive.


03-08-2001, 01:28 AM
Silly me. The Startup disk CP was not configured right.

Yes, the Scratchy Drive was replaced under waranty over a year ago. The speed disk I used was not for 9.1, I suspect this to be the problem. Do you know of any other utility that would de-frag?


03-08-2001, 01:49 AM
Hey ever
There was a thread from just a few days ago that hit on the defrag/optimization issue: