Gray screen and folder with question mark

my powerbook g4,on boot shows a grey screen and a folder with a question mark,

wat could be the problem?

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thanx guys i will consider all your suggestions and hopefully get down to the bottom of this issue

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Mine won't turn to Windows but blinking ? Mark and folder help me fix this

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mayor, this question is 6 years old. Try asking your own question.

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I agree with rab777hp, it's probably the hard drive, not the logic board.

First, if the data on the drive is important, boot into Firewire Target Mode (hold down T while booting, whereupon you'll get a bouncing orange icon). At this point you can connect this Mac to another Mac and copy the important files off it. Target Mode will sometimes work even on a very broken computer.

Do you have your system CD or DVD? If you boot to that, by inserting it, and holding down the C key while the computer boots, you can run Disk Utility's Repair Disk function (look for DU in the menus after you get booted to the CD.) If DU can't see your startup disk, then it's toast. If it can see it, that doesn't mean the drive hasn't failed; but try to repair it anyway. Also look at the bottom of the Disk Utility window while you've got the hard drive's first line selected (assuming you can see it); does it say SMART Status Failed? Then you know the disk is bad. But be aware that there are some kinds of failure that the SMART Status doesn't reflect.

Best of all is if you can boot to an external drive with some diagnostic tools on it, or a Disk Warrior CD. While Disk Warrior is rebuilding a directory it can often warn of disk failure.

If it's the stock drive, it's of the age where it's prone to failure anyway. Hopefully you have a backup or managed to recover your files. Replacing the drive is not too hard using ifixit's excellent instructions. Plus this is a good opportunity to upgrade to a bigger drive.

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The machine is having trouble locating the hard drive. Ideally, it could be the hard drive cable. If not, try a different hard drive. If these do not solve the problem, all signs point to the logic board.

Good luck!

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Actually try a software fix first, hold down the option key while booting and select your HD. Then change the preference for startup disk in system preferences.

But this usually happens because your HD is fried, will probably need replacing.

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if dvd is stok inside your hopeless

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After holding down the "option key", i finally got the mouse to work!!!

However, the folder is not there anymore. I attached my external hard drive and nothing happens. It still shows the gray screen...

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